In Memoriam: Michael R. Long

New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms mourns the passing of former Conservative Party Chairman Michael R. Long, who lost his life on July 24, 2022 at age 82.

Born in Queens, New York, Mike Long left high school in 1959 to become a U.S. Marine. Following his return to the U.S., Long became involved in the Conservative Party of New York State. He worked on Barry Goldwater’s 1964 presidential campaign, William F. Buckley’s 1965 candidacy for mayor of New York City, and James Buckley’s successful Conservative Party candidacy for U.S. Senate in 1970. Long served as Brooklyn’s at-large member of the New York City Council from 1981 to 1983. He also owned or co-owned various small businesses and served in various community leadership roles.

Long became the chairman of the Conservative Party in 1988 and served in that capacity until 2019. During his chairship of the Party, he had a major impact on New York’s political scene. Long was involved in the insurgent candidacy of Herb London for New York State Comptroller in 1990 and the successful gubernatorial campaigns of George Pataki. As chairman, Long refused to allow candidates who supported partial-birth abortion or same-sex “marriage” to receive Party endorsement. He once said that he would not be able to “‘go to sleep at night or look in the mirror’” if he had not taken a stand on partial-birth abortion. Long’s principled stands on important issues often helped motivate elected Republicans to vote correctly on important bills. A Roman Catholic, Long was honored as a knight of St. Gregory by Pope John Paul II in recognition of his efforts on behalf of the unborn.

Long was known and respected in New York politics as a man of principle and as a mentor figure to other conservatives. He also possessed a gruff but grandfatherly demeanor that was endearing.

Long leaves behind his wife, Eileen; nine children; 24 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. He also leaves a legacy of love and service to the state of New York. He will be deeply missed. New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms extends our heartfelt condolences to Long’s family and his many friends in the Conservative Party.