Rest in Peace, Carl R. Golden

Carl R. Golden, whose remarkable political savvy and lightening wit made him trusted advisor and confidant to two NJ governors, a state chief justice and many others, died Monday at 86.

Golden died during a medical procedure, his wife of 32 years, Linda Monica Golden confirmed.

“He was absolutely the best. I don’t think anybody ever had a better press secretary,” said former NJ Gov. Thomas H. Kean, who worked with Golden for decades.

During a career of more than 50 years, Golden held a wide range of jobs in journalism and politics. He was a reporter for the Easton (Pa.) Express and the Newark Evening News and served as press secretary/spokesman for former U.S. Rep. Peter Frelinghuysen Jr., former state Chief Justice Robert N. Wilentz and former Gov. Christie Whitman.

He played a key role in Whitman’s election in 1991 and was her first Director of Communications. She said, “He knew Jersey backwards and forwards. The state will be missing his important voice at a time when we desperately need it.”

But Golden was best known for his association with Kean, first in his role as spokesman for the former governor when Kean was speaker of the state Assembly, then as part of both of Kean’s gubernatorial campaigns and as press secretary for Kean’s entire eight years as NJ governor.

Both lifelong Republicans, the two formed an unlikely partnership. Kean, who traced his lineage to NJ’s first governor, wore pinstriped suits and loved opera. Golden favored cowboy boots and Willie Nelson.

“We were perfect together,” Kean said, using the trademark phrase of his governorship.

As a professional, Golden’s word was truly golden. A friend recalled his three rules of politics: “Rule one, tell the truth. Rule two, tell the truth. Rule three, read rules one and two.”

“His integrity in the job was remarkable,” Kean said.

After retiring, Golden continued to observe NJ and national politics with a keen understanding that few others, if any, could match, and wrote frequent opinion pieces for syndication statewide and nationally. He also served as a contributing analyst at the Willam J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University.

Golden was born in 1937 in Easton and graduated from Easton High School in 1955. His mother and father, Marion and Clair, and his brothers, John and David, died before him. He is survived by his brothers Paul and George.

He met Linda Monica in 1981, when they both worked on the first Kean for Governor campaign. They married in 1992 and adopted three orphans in China – Jessica, Corey and Cassidy – and raised them to become young women.

Carl also had five children by a previous marriage: Carl Jr. and his wife, Susan; Jill Bennett and her husband, Ray; Donald and his wife, Eleanor; Patti Rasar and her husband, Michael; and Kristi and her husband, Emblez Longoria.

Golden also had 10 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.


Tuesday May 28, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Service following.

Page Funeral Home

302 East Union Street Burlington NJ.




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