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Linwood Wright, a former mayor and city councilman who played a key role in the city’s economic development revival, died Wednesday morning. He was 85.
Wright served on the City Council from 1986 to 1998 and as mayor from 1996 to 1998. He also served one term as vice mayor. He was one of the city’s leaders during the annexation battle of the late 1980s.
For the past 14 years, Wright was a senior consultant with the Danville Office of Economic Development. He played key roles in several major industrial development announcements and led the department twice as an interim director.
His last public appearance was in August as he helped cut the ribbon on the new Sterling Lighting facility in north Danville.
Wright worked as a chemist at Dan River mills, serving as vice president of research and development until his retirement in 2008. He also chaired the Future of the Piedmont Foundation, which founded the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research.
"He knew the area like the back of his hand, and of course knew all of the folks in the area from a political standpoint as well as a community leadership standpoint,” said Deputy City Manager Early Reynolds. “That institutional knowledge goes a long way and I'm thankful that Linwood would always share that information with people. He didn't hoard it."
Funeral arrangements are incomplete.