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David Mugar, Creator Of July 4th Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, Dies At 82

BOSTON (CBS) - David Mugar, the philanthropist who helped create the July 4th Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, has died. He was 82.

Mugar was the son of Star Market founder Stephen Mugar and the former owner of WHDH-TV and Radio.

He's best known for launching the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular on the Esplanade with legendary conductor Arthur Fiedler in 1974. The show eventually became a nationally televised broadcast on WBZ-TV and CBS.

In 2016, Governor Charlie Baker announced the state would donate a portion of property on the Esplanade for a David Mugar statue.

"David is an irreplaceable presence and he is such an essential part of the 4th of July, he was such an essential part of the 4th of July, that it's hard to imagine that event without him. But his great legacy, of course, is that that event will continue beyond him," current Pops conductor Keith Lockhart told WBZ.

Mugar's family released a statement Wednesday saying he passed away peacefully Tuesday night.

"He was a Bostonian through and through, continually finding ways to give back to the community he loved. He was humble and generous. Quietly doing good for others and always leading with his heart. The many gifts he gave to civic and cultural organizations across the city and the state were most often given in recognition and honor of his parents, our grandparents," they wrote.

"We believe everyone will remember our Dad for the gift he gave the city, the state, and the country for 43 years and that is the 4th of July event he created with Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops on the Esplanade. We will remember him as a visionary, always looking out for those less fortunate."

"Our Dad used the opportunity he was given to think imaginatively, act honestly, and make a difference to those most in need. That is a legacy we will work hard to preserve. We love you Dad, and we will miss you."

Mugar is survived by his longtime companion, three children and five grandchildren.

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