John F. Russo - Class of 1950

Inducted: 2005

 



Following graduation from APHS, Senator this class, he completed a judicial clerk Russo received his Bachelors degree, cum laude, from Notre Dame University. After receiving his law degree from Columbia University Law School where he graduated in the top third of his class, he completed a judicial clerkship with Justice C. Thomas Schettino of the New Jersey Supreme Court. Shortly thereafter, Senator Russo moved to Toms River in Ocean County where he first served as an Assistant, a position he held for ten years. Additionally he built a successful law practice.

In 1973 Senator Russo became the first Democrat from his district in nearly 100 years to be elected to the New Jersey Senate. He was re-elected five times by some of the largest margins in the state. During his 18 year tenure as a Senator, he authored more that 200 laws and was involved in virtually every major public policy issue at one time or another. Senator Russo was elected Ocean County Democratic Chairman for four terms during the 1970's. He served as Senate Majority Leader in 1978, and again in 1984 and 1985. He chaired the Committee on Energy, Agriculture and Environment as well as the Senate Judiciary Committee. In 1985 Senator Russo finished second in a field of six candidates in the New Jersey gubernatorial campaign. He served as the Senate member of the Princeton Public Affairs Groups, Inc., located in Trenton, N.J., and Washington D.C.

Senator Russo married his high school sweetheart (Mary Ann Carrigan APHS '51), They have three children and 5 grandchildren. He has maintained strong ties with the people he grew up with in Asbury Park, including Remo Strada, Al "Red" Pollack, George Fahoury, Tony Nevolo, Gavin Siciliano, Frank Carpertier, and many others. He is an avid pilot, skier, tennis player, and golfer.