The need for strong, independent local journalism
is more urgent than ever. Please support the city we
love by joining Friends of Willamette Week.

Ron Paul, Former City Hall Staffer and Foodie Champion, Dies at 65

Paul championed the creation of the James Beard Public Market.

Ron Paul, former chief of staff to Charlie Hales during his tenure as Portland city commissioner, has died at age 65.

Hales' office confirmed Paul's death to WW this afternoon.

As Hales' chief of staff, Paul helped coordinate the city's lobbying efforts for the creation of the Oregon Cultural Trust. He also began what would become a decadelong passion project, championing the creation of the James Beard Public Market—a planned indoor food market at the west end of the Morrison Bridge.

According to the Market's website, Paul was instrumental in creating an active board of trustees and bringing in famed Norwegian design firm Snøhetta to spearhead the project.

He also served as chairman of the Oregon Arts Commission and was a member of Oregon Humanities' board of directors.

A chef and restaurateur with more than two decades in the business, Paul was known for his dedication to sustainable agriculture, culinary artistry and arts and culture-based economic revitalization projects.

UPDATE, 6:34 pm: Hales has released a statement eulogizing his former chief of staff.

"Ron was visionary and tenacious; he championed a public market for 16 years," Hales writes. "He brought people together around ideas of great public spaces, smart growth, and local food to make Portland a better place.

"Most of all, Ron Paul was an optimistic, positive force — always for something, and always welcoming the next idea, or the next guest, to his generous table."