John Toomey, the former Santa Claus at the Union Square Macy’s who said he was fired for telling dirty jokes to adults, has died, spokesman Lee Housekeeper said Friday.
Toomey was found lifeless in his Market Street hotel room. The cause of death was not immediately known, however last Christmas he had been suffering bronchial trouble and heart problems, Housekeeper said.
Toomey’s saga made national headlines and earned him an appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."
After Toomey was fired, he was subsequently hired at Union Square’s Lefty O’Doul’s restaurant. The restaurant capitalized on Toomey’s brief fame and held a gift drive.
The charity drive exceeded goals, with more than 12,000 gifts reaching San Francisco’s needy children, Housekeeper said.
In this way, Toomey for at least one Christmas truly was Santa Claus, the spokesman said.