REST IN PEACE
Gerald William Lange of Eastham, MA, formerly of Wellesley, MA, passed away in his sleep from cardiac arrest on September 7, 2023. He was 80.
Lange was born in St. Paul, MN, and maintained a strong tie to the Midwest his entire life. He left behind an impressive intellectual legacy, beginning with his graduation from the University of Minnesota summa cum laude, where he was awarded the Danforth Fellowship, followed by a JD from Harvard Law, where he also graduated summa cum laude. He was a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship, but lost out that year to Al Gore.
Following graduation from Harvard, Lange went to work for PBS and produced the inventive, ingenious, and famous show “The Advocates”, which featured famous politicians (including guests such as Ronald Reagan and Milton Friedman) debating each other with the aid of a team of lawyers.
In 1970, Lange married Caroline Stewardson in Cambridge, MA, who remained his closest friend and confidante until her death.
In the late 1970s, Lange moved on from PBS, and transitioned into private political consultation. He was hired as a Senior Advisor to the Phil Crane Presidential campaign in 1980, after which he worked on a myriad of local political campaigns, including, most notably, the Ray Shamie campaign, the Jim Rappaport campaign, the Dick Jones campaign, and the Keriotis and Weld gubernatorial campaigns, in the capacity of Senior Advisor.
Early in the 1980s, he was hired by the Reagan Administration as Chief Issues Advisor to Health and Human Services under Margaret Heckler, a position which he kept for several years into the mid 1980s until returning to private political work.
In 1991, Lange was hired to coordinate public relations for the Central Artery Project in Boston, AKA “The Big Dig”. During the mid-to-late 1990s, Lange often appeared on PBS’s “The Group” to represent the conservative side of an issue up for debate. An almost lifelong conservative Republican, Lange was devoted to the conservative political cause until the day he died.
After retiring from politics, Lange worked in real estate with his friend and previous employer in politics, Royall Switzler. In 2008, Lange retired from Wellesley to Eastham, Cape Cod.
Lange co-authored two books with his political partner and protege Todd Domke, The Conservative’s Dictionary and Cain & Abel: Why Good Things Happen to Bad People.
Lange was a devoted husband and family man, and his passing follows the passing of his beloved wife Caroline in 2017. He was also an avid history and film buff.
Gerald Lange is survived by his sister, Judith Pluff, of St. Paul, MN; his longtime friend and brother-in-law, David Pluff, of St. Paul, MN, and his son, Christopher, of Framingham, MA.
Gerald will be interred in a private ceremony at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia, beside his late wife of 47 years, Caroline.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.