Irving Bienstock, a former Fair Lawn councilman and deputy mayor, died on February 16. He was 93.
Bienstock began serving on the Democratic county committee in the mid-1960’s and was elected Fair Lawn Democratic municipal vice chair in 1974.
He ran for borough council in 1974 as part of a unity slate backed by two feuding factions of the Fair Lawn Democrats. He finished fifth for five seats in the Democratic primary, winning by 1,122 votes.
Democrats won all five seats in the general election, with three Republican incumbents losing re-election. Bienstock finished fifth, 326 votes ahead of future mayor/assemblyman Nicholas R. Felice.
Bienstock was re-elected in 1978 by 2,501 votes. He later served as deputy mayor.
He did not seek re-election in 1981, when Fair Lawn switched to non-partisan local elections.
After Fair Lawn flipped back to partisan elections, Bienstock ran again for council but lost the 1985 Democratic primary by 376 votes.
In 2017, U.S. Senator Cory Booker met with Bienstock to celebrate is his service in both the U.S. Army and Air Force during World War II, where he was a combat engineer and medic who landed on Omaha Beach.
“It was a true honor to meet him and hear from him a little about his experiences, valor and honorable service. He left me humbled and inspired,” Booker said at the time. “And the fact that he came to an election rally demonstrates his continued commitment to serving his nation by voting and standing up for candidates he believes in.”
Bienstock is the father-in-law of Assemblywoman Lisa Swain, a former mayor of Fair Lawn.