Anthony J. Russo – Mayor of Hoboken, 74, passed away peacefully at home in Hoboken on April 19, 2021.
He was born on December 22, 1946 in Hoboken to his parents Josephine (Ferrante) Russo and Nick Russo. Anthony Russo graduated from Hoboken High School in 1964. He then attended and graduated Murray State University. He returned to Hoboken and became a Special Education teacher with the Hoboken Public School District in 1970, soon thereafter he received his master’s degree in Special Education.
He was Married to Michele DeStefano in March of 1971.
Anthony was preceded in death by his loving and devoted wife, Michele (DeStefano) Russo, his parents Nick and Josephine Russo and his 3 brothers, Anthony Russo, Michael “Mikey” Russo and Frank Russo.
He is survived by 3 sons, Councilman Michael Russo, retired Hoboken Police Officer Nick Russo and Hoboken Police Sergeant Anthony Russo, his 11 grandchildren, Jenna, Eric (Camargo) Anthony, Lucien, Lia, Ava, Jack, Niccolo, Michele, Michael and Aliana and his sister Lucille Sacco and half-brother Ronnie Miller and numerous neices and nephews.
Anthony Russo’s interest in serving the residents of Hoboken resulted in an election victory in 1991 becoming Third Ward Councilman. Councilman Russo fought battles against budget spending, stood up for public waterfront access and campaigned against development that was not beneficial to Hoboken residents on the waterfront.
In a hard-fought election for Mayor in 1993, Councilman Anthony Russo was competing against many other contenders. His ability to speak to the people of Hoboken in a clear manner; projecting faith and determination to move the City forward, led to victory in a June Runoff election and being sworn in as Mayor on July 1, 1993.
Hoboken needed to heal following the election and Mayor Anthony Russo promoted Change with his slogan “Turn the Tide” and promoted Unity by having discussions with various activist groups and hiring several who campaigned for other mayoral candidates, setting a tone of inclusion in government.
The result: Hoboken was reborn as a Waterfront City! The long fought battle for public access to Hoboken’s waterfront became a reality!
Mayor Anthony Russo went on to stream-line City government from nine departments to three, form the 1st public/private water utility agreement in the United States, attain the coveted ISO Insurance Rating through improvements in the Fire Department, modernize the Hoboken Police Department and produce stable City budgets year after year.
Mayor Anthony Russo brought Pride back to Hoboken in a very big way. It was evident to all that we would succeed – and Hoboken continued succeeding through a 2nd Term ending on June 30, 2001.
Mayor Anthony Russo was a beloved person in Hoboken. He walked the streets daily receiving and sharing greetings. His vision for Hoboken was broad enough that everyone shared in the excitement of a renewed spirit of community.
Now, upon this time of loss, we say goodbye to our Mayor. With love, continued devotion and eternal gratitude, we say goodbye to a beloved family man, a father, a grandfather, a senior citizen, a simple and good man.
Visitation will be held on Friday, April 23, 2021 from 2 to 8 p.m. at Failla Memorial Home, 533 Willow Avenue, Hoboken. Parking available in rear of memorial home off Sixth Street. Due to CDC Guidelines, visitors are asked to wear a face covering and practice social distancing. Funeral mass will be offered on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. at St. Francis Church, Hoboken. For Live Streaming of his mass, please go to Saint Francis Church Hoboken YouTube. Interment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery , in North Arlington, NJ. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations can be made to The St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Madeline Fiadini LoRe Foundation for Cancer Prevention or St. Francis Church Memorial Fund in Anthony ’s memory.