John Radcliffe, a longtime lobbyist, union official and advocate for right-to-die legislation, died Tuesday night, Lt. Gov. Josh Green said on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Spotlight Hawaii Facebook Live webcast this morning.
Radcliffe battled cancer for several years and had known since 2014 that his diagnosis was terminal.
A one-time teacher, he came to Hawaii in 1975 from Virginia to be head of the Hawaii State Teachers Union, a position he held for 13 years.
Later became a registered lobbyist, establishing Capitol Consultants of Hawaii, a firm that took on dozens of clients each legislative session.
After he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Radcliffe became an advocate for legalizing medical aid in dying in Hawaii.
“I’m the most grateful guy in the world,” Radcliffe told former Honolulu Star-Advertiser columnist Lee Cataluna in late June. “My life has been wonderful. My family is solid.”
He added: “Coming to Hawaii was the best thing that ever happened to me. Well, I have a number of ‘best things’ that happened to me. But being accepted here was one of them.”