Peter Shapiro has Died

From The New York Times: Peter Shapiro, who as a 23-year-old insurgent was the youngest person ever elected to the New Jersey General Assembly and who later became the first Essex County executive, died on Thursday at his home in South Orange, N.J. He was 71.

The cause was respiratory failure after long being treated for lung disease, his wife, Bryna Linett, said.

As a young assemblyman, Mr. Shapiro helped streamline the way local government worked after successfully campaigning in 1977 for a charter change that coupled Essex County’s nine-member Board of Chosen Freeholders (now the Board of County Commissioners) with a strong county executive in what was the state’s most populous county, which includes Newark.

A statement from Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo:

“I am greatly saddened that Peter Shapiro, the first person to serve as Essex County Executive (1979-1987), passed away on March 28. Peter helped steer Essex County down a better path after the change in government and was a role model and close personal friend of mine. I worked for him when he served as Executive and leaned on him for advice and guidance when I was first elected to the position. Peter was gentleman who always had the best interests of Essex County, even after he left office. My heart and prayers go out to his family.”

In 1985, Mr. Shapiro – a Democrat – ran unsuccessfully for governor against incumbent Gov. Tom Kean, Sr.

Take a look at Mr. Shapiro in his prime, impeccable at a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill HERE.

Governor Phil Murphy issued a statement.

“Tammy and I are incredibly saddened to hear about the passing of Peter Shapiro. Peter was an esteemed public servant who, at just 23 years old, made history by becoming the youngest New Jerseyan ever elected to the General Assembly. Over the course of his storied career, and especially as the first-ever County Executive of his beloved Essex County, Peter dedicated every ounce of himself to ensuring our state’s political institutions served the needs of our families. His legacy of courage and compassion will inspire the people of New Jersey for generations to come.

“Our hearts and prayers are with Peter’s wife Bryna and their son Samuel. We will deeply miss the Wunderkind of Essex County.”

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8 responses to “Peter Shapiro has Died”

  1. Peter was a supporter of our baseball league when I was president in Verona. GOD bless him in Heaven & console his family & friends.

  2. My sincerest condolences to the Shapiro
    family and all that knew and loved Mr.
    Peter Shapiro. May he rest in peace🙏

  3. I remember Peter as the young go getter. Last I saw him was in 2000 at a restaurant in E. RUTHERFORD, NJ
    RIP

  4. Peter was an extremely competent PUBLIC SERVANT .who functioned with the public’ s best interest in mind always . May God rest his soul

    Former State Assembly colleague
    Eldridge Hawkins , Sr

  5. RIP Peter.
    I worked briefly for Peter when he was County
    Exc. Under the guidance of Emma Byrn a great PR
    Person during Peter’s years. God speed.

  6. Peter Shapiro was a great public servant to New Jersey and this nation, his contributions should always be remembered with gratitude!

  7. We were fortunate to work with Peter on charter change. He was the kind of public servant we will alwaysays admire. RIP.

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