A Florida political leader died Saturday while on a family visit to Mount Airy.
Bill McBride, 67, of Tampa, was married to Alex Sink, a native of this city. He ran for governor of Florida in 2002, defeating former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno in a Democratic primary before losing to Republican incumbent Jeb Bush in the general election.
McBride and his wife were at the home of her father, Kester Sink, when he suffered a fatal heart attack Saturday night. “They flew in Friday,” Sink said.
“Basically, there was a gin rummy fun game going on and he excused himself from the table,” Sink added Monday of the events surrounding McBride’s attack. “And sometime later we discovered that he had died.”
McBride had a history of cardiac-related problems, including another heart attack in 2003.
He and Alex Sink, who was born here in 1948 and graduated from Mount Airy High School, had been married about 30 years. They were longtime residents of Florida, where she also was the Democratic nominee for governor in 2010, losing to Rick Scott.
McBride also is survived by two adult children, including a son in law school and a daughter who is a graduate of Wake Forest University and is now in her first year of medical school. Their son is a graduate of Stanford University, where he was a member of the football team.
Kester Sink said Monday that his late son-in-law was still a practicing attorney and did much to help others.
“He had a heart of gold,” Sink recalled. “I guess you could call him a big brother…he always had time to look after the unfortunate people.”
McBride’s death has hit his family hard, especially occurring at Christmastime, but it is managing to cope, Sink added.
“Alex, she’s a strong person,” he said of his daughter.
McBride served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam era and earned a bronze star. He was associated with Holland & Knight in Tampa and was credited with building it into one of the largest law firms in the nation.
Kester Sink said funeral services for McBride will be conducted either Friday or Saturday.
Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or firstname.lastname@example.org.