STAMFORD, Conn. -- Timothy J. Curtin Jr. said he was “flabbergasted” when he was told he would be named Stamford’s 2013 Citizen of the Year.
“They surprised me at the Government Center with the announcement. I was flabbergasted,” said Curtin, who has a long history of public service in Stamford.
The award is bestowed annually by the Jewish War Veterans Fred Robbins Post 142. The dinner to honor Curtin was held Thursday at the Italian Center.
Curtin, 86, has a long and varied career, including working as an FBI agent for a dozen years. He decided to leave that career and use his law degree from Seton Hall University, taking a job in the legal department of CIBA-Geigy (now known as Novartis) based in Ardsley, N.Y.
Born and raised in Norwood, Mass., it was 48 years ago that he made Stamford his home.
“I was working in Westchester and I had come up to Stamford because a friend of mine lived here," Curtin said. "I just loved the town when I came so I decided that is where we are going to live.”
He didn’t waste any time in becoming part of the city as he served on a series of positions in city government, including on the Planning Board and as chairman of the Stamford Fire Commission. He currently acts as chairman of the Old Town Hall Redevelopment Agency.
An ambitious politician by the name of Dannel Malloy tapped Curtin in 1995 to become his mayoral campaign manager as Malloy sought to topple two-term Republican incumbent Stanley Esposito.
After Malloy won the job as mayor, Curtin worked as Malloy’s unpaid special assistant before becoming the city’s director of operations in 1999.
For Curtin, his electoral history consisted of becoming a representative for Ward 5 in his hometown of Norwood, when he was a Boston College student in 1949. He served in the Navy during the latter part of World War II.
He and his wife, Fay, raised four sons, Michael, Timothy III, Kevin and Stephen, of whom Kevin and Stephen live in New Canaan. The two older boys live in Florida.
Curtin said he has never regretted the decision 48 years ago to move to Stamford.
“It’s the people, just wonderful people who live here and work here. I love them all. It is a wonderful, wonderful place to live.”