David Mugar, Force Behind Boston July 4th Celebration, Dies

Fireworks over Boston by Mike Halsall on Flickr/Creative Commons

Updated: 3:00 pm January 26, 2022

HYANNIS – David Mugar, famed as the creator of the July Fourth Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular’s modern iteration and philanthropist, died at the age of 82 Tuesday night. 

Mugar was the chairman and CEO of the real estate and investment firm Mugar Enterprises, Inc., based in Boston.

Boston’s free July Fourth concert started in 1929, but by the mid-1970s its popularity and crowds had dwindled.

Mugar suggested to his longtime friend Boston Pops conductor Arthur Fiedler that the show add cannon fire, church bells, fireworks over the Charles River, and a rendition of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture.”

The show’s popularity soared and today it draws about 500,000 people.

Locally, he has made contributions to Cape Cod Healthcare totaling $10 million dollars, and was integral to the creation of the Cape Cod Mall, which he sold to the Simon Company in 1998.

The Associated Press contributed to this article. 

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the CapeCod.com News Center in 2019.

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