In a town famous for breeding political talent, Edward J. McCormack Jr. was unique, almost paradoxical.
By nature a shy man, he succeeded in an arena that rewarded backslappers. A native of conservative South Boston, he was a lifelong liberal, perhaps the most progressive attorney general in state history. And after the state's voters ended his career in elected politics, he continued to play a prominent role in public life for nearly two decades.
Late in life, he was probably best known as a political insider who made and lost millions wheeling and dealing in the Boston real estate development game while his friend, Kevin H. White, was mayor. Developments he was involved in included Rowes Wharf, Copley Place, Lafayette Place and the Bostonian Hotel.