Former-Mayor Art Agnos. Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner

Former-Mayor Art Agnos expected to recover from open-heart surgery

Former San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos is expected to fully recover from open heart surgery performed Friday.

Agnos, 77, underwent triple bypass surgery on Friday in Ohio after a diagnosis of congestive heart failure. He was initially expected to undergo quadruple bypass surgery.

Agnos served as San Francisco’s mayor from 1988 to 1992. He also served as director of the federal Department of Housing & Urban Development under President Bill Clinton.

In a mass email sent to friends and family on Friday, Agnos’ wife, Sherry, said her husband was expected to “fully recover.”

“He’s good for another 20 years, and we’ll take it!” she told Larry Bush, a former Agnos assistant.

According to Bush, Agnos is accompanied by his wife and sister. Bush also said Agnos will be at the clinic “for a few days more” and then recover at home.

“It was a lengthy surgery, I can tell you that,” said Bush, who worked in the Agnos administration, in comments to the Examiner. “It was longer than they thought, and very complicated.”

But, Bush said, “the prognosis is very good.”

As Agnos faced surgery, a bevy of people in the political community sent their well-wishes. On his Facebook page, local political consultant Alex Clemens wrote of Agnos, “A bigger-hearted politician can’t be found, nor one better at the two-handed, inescapable cheek-kiss placed upon unsuspecting victims (irrespective of age, gender, and marital status), nor a more passionate representative for what he believes – but most of all a bold leader in articulating his vision for a better tomorrow.”

Of late, Agnos has stumped for Supervisor Aaron Peskin, sheriff’s-candidate Ross Mirkarimi, and for the No Wall on the Waterfront campaign.

Bush said he was relieved Agnos will recover, adding “The man is important to so many of us. It would be a darker, grimmer city without him, and my life would be too.”

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