The New Jersey Globe wishes to extend Happy Birthday wishes to John Kolesar, a giant in the history of New Jersey journalists and perhaps the oldest living statehouse political reporter. He is 92 today.
Kolesar started covering New Jersey politics around 1953 for the Associated Press, and later served as managing editor for the Trenton Times and the Courier-News. He served as president Center for the Analysis of Public Issues, once New Jersey’s premier non-profit think tank.
In 1961, Kolesar served as president of the New Jersey Legislative Correspondents Club.
He also had some short stints in government and politics. He served as an advisor to New Jersey’s first Commissioner of Community Affairs, Paul Ylvisaker, during the last three years of Gov. Richard Hughes administration, and was an advisor to former State Sen. Bill Schluter’s independent bid for governor in 2001.
Kolesar lives in Hamilton. He met his wife, Nina, when she worked as a teletype operator in the Trenton Bureau of the Associated Press. She passed away in 2017.