Gerard L. Gormley, Jr., a former New Jersey State Athletic Control Board chairman and renowned restaurateur, died this morning. He was 85.
He was the brother of former Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Bill Gormley (R-Margate).
Gov. Thomas Kean nominated Gormley to the state board that regulates professional boxing and licensing in 1986. He held that post until his retirement in 2004.
Gormley became a boxing fan as a child, since his father, former Atlantic County Sheriff Gerard Gormley, Sr., was involved in the boxing industry. Some of the world’s most famous fighters, including former heavyweight champion – and future Camden County Sheriff – Jersey Joe Walcott trained at a farm owned by the Gormley family.
As a commissioner, Gormley took the lead in overseeing proposals to enhance the safety on mixed martial arts and extreme wrestling events. He also fought for affordable medical tests for boxers and martial artists seeking licenses to compete in New Jersey.
He was the longtime owner of the Midway Inn in Buena Township,
Gormley played a role in his brother’s runs for public office, beginning with hugely competitive campaigns for Atlantic County Freeholder State Assembly campaign in the 2nd legislative in the 1970s.
His late father was a popular Atlantic City undertaker when Farley picked him to run for sheriff in 1947. He beat Tom Henshaw, a former freeholder, in the Republican primary In the general election, Gormley beat Edison Hedges, an attorney from Hammonton who had run against Farley in 1938. He served as sheriff for 21 years.