Frank E. Rodgers Longest Sitting Mayor in USAFeb 11, 2022
Francis E. Rodgers (November 15, 1909 – February 8, 2000) was an American Democratic Party politician who was among the longest-serving Mayors in U.S. history, first elected in 1946 as Mayor of Harrison, New Jersey. He served in the position for 48 years from 1946 to 1995, having been elected to 24 consecutive two-year terms in office. On May 30, 1987, Rodgers earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records when he surpassed by a single day Mayor Erastus Corning II of Albany, New York, who died in office in 1983 after having served 40 years, 4 months, and 28 days in office. The town marked the occasion by closing municipal offices in the mayor's honor and by letting students in the Harrison Public Schools have a day off.
48 years in Office as Nations Longest-Serving Mayor
The New Jersey Mayors Association honored Mayor Frank Rodgers of the Town of Harrison Mayor Rodgers for a remarkable life of dedicated service as Mayor for an unbroken record Statewide and Nationwide for 48 years. His political career began in 1936 when he won a seat on the Town Council and hold it despite being inducted into the Army during World War II. His induction cut his attendance at Council meetings but not his popularity with voters. He was re-elected to his sixth two-year Council term while in basic training at Ft. Dix and in 1946 began his first term as Mayor. His total years in Municipal Office is 58 years. Other offices held by him were Hudson County Freeholder, Clerk to the Board of Freeholders, and Hudson County Clerk. He was elected to the New Jersey Senate in 1977 serving two terms. He is the longest-serving Mayor in the History of the United States. A lifelong resident attended Holy Cross School in Harrison and St. Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark. He served in the US Army Counter Intelligence for 27 months during World War II. In 1963 Governor Richard Hughes appointed him as Secretary to the New Jersey Racing Commission. In 1976 Governor Brendan Byrne appointed him as Commissioner of the New Jersey Highway Authority. Governor Thomas Kean appointed him Commissioner of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. His many talents in leadership gave Harrison a High School, a Municipal Stadium, Townwide Swimming facilities, a New Fire Headquarters, and a Senior Citizen Center. The name Frank E. Rodgers Boulevard is a proud tribute for accomplishments that surpass the measure of time in Outstanding Service to his town. This Special Man will always be remembered in the History of Harrison for his gifted personality unselfish devotion throughout his lifetime. His achievements have earned for him the respect, admiration, and high esteem of all who have been fortunate to know this incredible and incomparable man. Signed Dunellen Mayor Lawrence Auzovino, Executive Director, New Jersey Mayors Association.
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