(McLean, VA, December 5, 2013). The American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) joins in mourning the passing of industry great, Joe Napolitan, who died Monday in Agawam, MA at the age of 84.   Regarded as the father of modern political consulting, his storied career spanned over 5 decades.   Fellow Springfield Political Consultant Tony Cignoli said of Joe, “Napolitan set the standard, and the idea was that it had a code of ethics. If you broke that code of ethics, no other consultant who belonged to the group would then work with you. And it worked really well.”    This ideal was embodied in the founding of AAPC in 1969 and the establishment of AAPC’s Professional Code of Ethics, to which all members subscribe.

Former AAPC Board President Wayne Johnson said of Joe’s passing, “We’ve lost a giant.  No single individual did more to create our profession, and to foster the idea that for a free society to flourish, we must love the principles we share more than the partisan issues that divide us in the moment.  He was mentor, colleague and friend, not only to me, but to so many others. We’ll miss him deeply.”   Ray Strother, who also served as AAPC Board President added, “Joe Napolitan was the rock on which we built modern political consulting. He founded both the International Association (IAPC) and the American Association of Political Consultants out of love and respect for his profession. He reached out to help upstarts like me and he quietly gave advice to scores of young consultants. Joe was truly the diamond standard of wise men in the business and I (we) will miss him desperately. He was the flickering lighthouse that gave us direction.”

Obituary from Sampson Chapel:
Joseph J. Napolitan, 84, world renowned political consultant died on Monday evening December 2, 2013 at Heritage Hall Nursing Home in Agawam.

Joe was the son of the late Pasquale and Lucy (Anzolotti) Napolitan. He was born in Springfield on March 6, 1929. He attended Chestnut Street School, and Springfield Technical High School where he played football.

After his graduation from high school he served his country with the United States Army in Guam during WWII. Then he attended and graduated from American International College.

He worked for the Springfield Newspapers for 10 years as a reporter. He married Mary Nelen, a social worker, in 1952, and they traveled the world together.  In 1956, Joe opened a consulting office in Springfield. His first political client was Tom O’Connor, who was elected Mayor of Springfield. Joe went on to help many people run their campaigns, including Charlie Ryan, John F. Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey, and Lyndon B. Johnson, and over 100 others in this country, all Democrats. He also advised candidates in over 20 countries, including the heads of states in France, Mauritus, Venezuela, Sudan, the Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica. Joe wrote the book “The Election Game and How to Win It” in 1971, which has been used as a textbook for managing campaigns.

He coined the term “Political Consultant” and founded the American Association of Political Consultants and co-founded the International Association of Political Consultants, to promote ethical and creative campaign practices.

Joe served on many boards, which included AIC, Kavanaugh’s, Fordham University Center for Electoral Politics and Democracy, and the International Foundation for Election Systems which helps countries run fair elections.

Joe was kind, wise, generous, and a hardworking man who will be missed by many around the world.

Joe was predeceased by his wife of 59 years, Mary, a son, Jay, a sister, Peggy Mann, and four brothers-in-law. He is survived by his children, Christina Napolitan of West Tisbury, MA, Luke Napolitan of Longmeadow, and Martha Cownap and her husband Ben of Kimberton, PA; 5 grandchildren, Lucy, Mary Sage, Francis, Clara, Diggory; along with many nieces and nephews and friends all over the world including Maggie Ryan, Joe and Laurine Michenfelder, Sally Hunter, Sandy Hutter, Pat Nelen, Angel Callado-Schwartz, and his secretary of over 55 years, Dorothy Sajdak.

Visiting hours for Joe will be held on Friday, December 6, 2013 form 4 to7:30 p.m. at Sampson’s Chapel of the Acres Funeral Home, 21 Tinkham Road, Springfield, (413) 782-5226. His funeral will be Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 9:15 a.m. at the funeral home followed by the Liturgy of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. in Holy Name Church, 323 Dickinson Street, Springfield. Burial with Military Honors will follow in St. Michael’s Cemetery, 1601 State Street, Springfield.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Napolitan Scholarship Fund, c/o American International College, 1000 State Street, Springfield, MA 01109, the Springfield Boys and Girls Club, 481 Carew Street, Springfield, MA 01104 and to Camphill Village P.O. Box 1045, Kimberton, PA 19442.