Former Aurora Mayor Paul Tauer dies at 86

Former Aurora Mayor Paul Tauer dies at age 86.
Mayor Mike Coffman
Former Aurora Mayor Paul Tauer dies at age 86.

Paul Tauer, who served as Aurora’s Republican mayor for 16 years, has died at the age of 86.

Tauer had a major influence on the city. He was mayor from 1987 to 2003 and served as a city councilman for another 8 years. Tauer played a key role in opening Denver International Airport and bringing the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center to the city.

Aurora’s current Mayor Mike Coffman praised Tauer in a statement and offered his condolences.

“Paul Tauer was a champion for Aurora and a pillar of our history… overseeing an era of tremendous business, residential and cultural growth,” Coffman said. “He was instrumental in the transformation of the former Fitzsimons Army Medical Center into the Anschutz Medical Campus, establishing Aurora as home to one of the nation’s largest and most respected medical communities.”

Tauer's time as mayor came to an end because he was term-limited. His son Edward Tauer succeeded him.

Before entering politics, Tauer taught for 31 years. His love for teaching continued after he was mayor at the University of Denver where he taught classes for adults in the evenings. 

He was involved with the city’s Asian American and Pacific Islander community and helped start the Aurora Asian Community Partnership.

In a statement, Democratic Sen. John Hickenlooper called the former mayor a “fierce champion.”

“Paul Tauer was one of Colorado’s great mayors. His battles with Wellington Webb, Denver’s great mayor, were epic, and in many ways established Aurora as a major city,” Hickenlooper said.