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Stephen Adubato, Sr., left, and former New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey. (Photo: James E. McGreevey.)

Adubato Tribute: James E. McGreevey

By James E. McGreevey, October 16 2020 9:56 am

Stephen N. Adubato Sr. immeasurably improved the lives of all those he touched. Steve was a major force in New Jersey Democratic politics, Essex County, and in urban education reform. Three stories come readily to mind. 

The first being when I was a gubernatorial candidate in 1997. I remember waiting to see Mr. Adubato at the North Ward Cultural Center while listening to Italian opera being piped from his office. Upon meeting Mr. Adubato, Steve proceeded to tell me how while the Irish had made margin contributions to the world, Italians were infinitely superior people as to art, culture, music, and history. I simply nodded. 

The second story, as Governor I visited the Robert Treat Academy and upon entering hundreds of kids held up signs and chanted “Show me the money!” Steve’s championing of urban education reform, setting academic standards of excellence, and producing the best test scores was a tribute to his truest passion and commitment — to children. 
The third story, after I resigned, which was a difficult personal time, Steve organized a tremendous dinner of fellowship, pasta, and wine in which he shared with me generously his friendship and support.  
There are few persons I know who have left a more indelible mark of goodness upon the world. Comfortable with princes and paupers, Steve understood and respected the dignity of everyone he met. He was always civil, always a gentleman, yet he was a passionate advocate for the promise and potential of every child. Steve’s strength and power were derived from his faith, his family, his friends, and the conviction that every child is precious and valuable. My condolences to Fran and the family. Requiescat in pace.
James E. McGreevey served as Governor of New Jersey from 2002 to 2004.
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