With sad hearts, Oregonians learned of the passing of Ron Paul, a key voice in the local food scene and former chief of staff to Mayor Charlie Hales when Hales served as Commissioner. In addition to shaping Portland's food culture, Paul was a restaurateur, having owned Ron Paul Express and Ron Paul Catering & Charcuterie, and for the past decade, he served as executive director of the James Beard Public Market, slated to open in 2018.
Among his many achievements, in 2014, Paul helped bring about the James Beard Public Market Design Forum to give Portlanders a voice in the Market's development. "A great public space cannot be measured simply by physical attributes," said Paul. "Community involvement is a crucial component to a well-designed public space."
Ron Paul was also a supporter of the connection between food and art. As the outpouring on Twitter shows, Paul meant many things to many people:
How fitting and how sad that this recognition comes now. Thanks, chef, market-maker and civic entrepreneur Ron Paul https://t.co/LAkJQj2boF— Charlie Hales (@MayorPDX) December 22, 2015
Saddened to learn of Ron Paul's passing: https://t.co/N3MnUmA0k3 A Portland visionary, with the James Beard Public Market & much more.— Brian Libby (@brianlibby) December 22, 2015
Ron was an exceptional human being. I met him years ago, via William Robert Jamison, when he owned and operated... https://t.co/tzPl1Qhwmw— ByronBeck (@ByronBeck) December 22, 2015
We've lost a great champion of local food too soon. Thank you for all your contributions to our community, Ron. https://t.co/Se0NjvqipF— Green Zebra Grocery (@GreenZebraGroc) December 22, 2015
It is with heavy hearts we share the passing of former Arts Commission Chair Ron Paul. His work with the Arts... https://t.co/WZT3dl9ia1— OregonArtsCommission (@ORArtsComm) December 22, 2015
Ron Paul was a good guy full of good ideas for helping Portland. Already miss him... https://t.co/D9TTPKtTdr— Barry Johnson (@barryjohnson) December 22, 2015
We were very sad to hear about the passing of Ron Paul. Ron was one of the pioneers of the Portland food movement... https://t.co/GAgnPYHhYU— AmericasFirstFoodie (@FirstFoodie) December 22, 2015
Today America's "best food city" remembers Ron Paul, man behind highly anticipated James Beard Public Market https://t.co/QSttc68NU7— Brandon Sawyer (@PDXBIZresearch) December 22, 2015