Honorable Anthony Russo of Union, New Jersey, was inducted into the Union Township Historical Society “Hall of Honor,” at a ceremony held at the Suburban Golf Club, as part of the townships 350th Anniversary celebration. Also inducted were Michael Yesenko and the late Louis Giacona.
The noted attorney and former New Jersey State Senator, Anthony Russo was born and raised in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. He received his B.A. degree from Lafayette College and graduated from Rutgers University School of Law. Following his admittance to the New Jersey Bar, Mr. Russo established his law practice in Union Center, where he still maintains his office.
Mr. Russo was first elected to the Union Township Committee in 1961. When he succeeded the late F. Edward Biertuempfel as Mayor in 1974, he became the township’s first Democratic mayor. He served the governing body for 27 years, ten of those as mayor. He also was elected to the New Jersey State Senate, where he served for four years and is currently the Union County Adjuster.
While on the Township Committee, Anthony prepared a colonialization ordinance requiring commercial landlords to colonialize retail store fronts before re-renting. In his first year as Mayor, he colonialized the interior of the Municipal Building as a reminder of Union’s rich colonial history. He and Michael Yesenko also arranged for the funding and erection of Revolutionary War markers on the streets throughout the community.
In 1974, with Yesenko’s assistance, Russo arranged for an oil painting to be hung in the Town Hall, which depicted Martha Washington meeting her husband for the first time as President. The event occurred in 1789 at Liberty Hall, New Jersey’s then Governor William Livingston’s home on Morris Avenue in Union.
Mr. Russo and his late friend, Lou Giacona, were instrumental in raising funds to acquire the Hanna Caldwell property in Union, a historic Revolutionary War site, to benefit and serve as the official headquarters for the Union Township Historical Society.
Anthony and his wife, Ann, are parents of three children, Bonnie, Raymond and Gary and grandparents of four grandchildren.