Passaic is a city in Passaic
As of the United States 2000 Census
city had a total population of 67,861. Located north of
Newark on the Passaic River,
it was first settled in 1678 by Dutch traders, as Acquackanonk
The city and river draw their name from the
word "pahsayèk" meaning
Main Avenue in 1911
The city originated from a Dutch
settlement on the Passaic River established in 1679 which was
Industrial growth began in the 19th century, as Passaic became a
and metalworking center. Passaic was
formed within Acquackanonk
on March 10, 1869, and was incorporated as an
21, 1871. Passaic was chartered as a city on April 2, 1873.
A famous strike in 1926 against reductions in wages involved the
right of free assembly
Passaic has been called "The Birthplace of Television". In 1931,
experimental television station W2XCD began transmitting from
Radio Corp. in Passaic. It
has been called the first television station to transmit to the
home, and was the first such station to broadcast a feature film.
Allen B. DuMont
, formerly DeForest's chief engineer,
opened pioneering TV manufacturer DuMont Laboratories in Passaic in
1937. DuMont later started the DuMont Television Network
world's first commercial television network, in 1946.
Passaic is served by two newspapers The
Passaic is located at .
According to the United
States Census Bureau
, the city has a total area of
3.2 square miles (8.3 km²), of which, 3.1 square
miles (8.1 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles
(0.3 km²) of it (3.12%) is water. Passaic is bordered on
the north, west and south by the City of Clifton, and to the east by the Passaic River.
located 10 miles from New York City, and 12 miles from Newark
Passaic has several business districts: Main Avenue begins in
Passaic Park and follows the curve of the river to downtown.
Broadway runs east - west through the center of the city, ending at
Main Avenue in downtown. Monroe Street has many shops, restaurants
and businesses reflecting the city's Latino and Eastern European
The city is home to several architecturally notable churches,
including St. John's Lutheran
of Passaic, and St. John's
Southwest Passaic (known as Passaic Park) is a residential and
institutional center of Orthodox
, with 25-30 minyanim
, and 1,300 families, as well as being home
to numerous yeshivas
, schools and other
institutions. There are also kosher
Passaic Park takes its name from Third Ward Park. This area is also
noted for its large mansions and homes of various architectural
styles, especially Victorian
. Several condominium
apartment complexes are also located
here including: Carlton Tower (the city's tallest structure), The
Towers, and Barry Gardens (which are all located within walking
distance of each other on a stretch of Passaic Avenue between
Aycrigg Avenue and Barry Place).
As of the census
of 2000, there were 67,861
people, 19,458 households, and 14,457 families residing in the city
of Passaic, New Jersey. The population density
was 21,804.7 people
per square mile (8,424.8/km²). There were 20,194 housing units at
an average density of 6,488.6/sq mi (2,507.1/km²). The racial
makeup of the city was 35.43% White
, 13.83% African American
, 0.04% Pacific Islander
, 39.36% from
, and 5.04%
from two or more races. The cultural groupings for Hispanic
of any race were 62.46% of the
population. Passaic is also known for its Ukrainian
enclave. . 60.2% spoke Spanish
, 29.3% English
, 2.5% Gujarati
and 2.5% Polish
as their first language. Among the
speakers of Polish in Passaic are many Gorals
. Passaic also has both a sizable Orthodox Jewish
community and a growing
Mexican community of over 13,000 that in 2000 made up 19.67% of the
In the first half of the twentieth
century there was a sizable Italian-American population, but today
this is less so.
There were 19,458 households out of which 42.0% had children under
the age of 18 living with them, 43.7% were married couples
living together, 21.7% had a female
householder with no husband present, and 25.7% were non-families.
8.2% of Passaic households were same-sex partner
households. 20.3% of all
households were made up of individuals and 8.4% had someone living
alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size
was 3.46 and the average family size was 3.93. In the city the
population was spread out with 30.8% under the age of 18, 12.5%
from 18 to 24, 31.6% from 25 to 44, 16.9% from 45 to 64, and 8.1%
who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For
every 100 females there were 99.5 males. For every 100 females age
18 and over, there were 97.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $33,594, and the
median income for a family was $34,935. Males had a median income
of $24,568 versus $21,352 for females. The per capita income
for the city was
$12,874. About 18.4% of families and 21.2% of the population were
below the poverty line
, including 27.6%
of those under age 18 and 16.0% of those age 65 or over.
The city of Passaic is governed under the Mayor-Council
municipal government under the Faulkner Act
. Under this form of
government, the mayor is elected directly by the voters for a
four-year term. Seven council Members serve four year terms on a
of Passaic is Alex Blanco
, who won a special election in
November 2008 to succeed acting mayor Gary
, who, as City Council president automatically moved into
this position upon the resignation by previous mayor Samuel Rivera
, after Rivera pled guilty to
corruption charges filed against him. Blanco was elected to serve
the remainder of Rivera's term, and was re-elected to a full term
on May 12, 2009, with 4,751 votes (53.2% of votes cast), defeating
Passaic Board of Education member Vinny Capuana who received 4,177
(46.8%). Passaic's Deputy Mayor is Robert C. Hare.
, members of the City Council are Gary Schaer (Council President), Maritza Colón-Montañez, Gerardo Fernandez, Jose Garcia, Kenneth J. Lucianin, Chaim M. Munk and Daniel J. Schwartz. The seat previously held by Marcellus Jackson was won by Kenneth J. Lucianin after a special election to fill that seat. Jackson and former councilman Jonathan Soto were also arrested on September 6, 2007 as part of the same sweep as Mayor Rivera. Before his resignation, Mayor Rivera attempted to hand-pick a replacement for Jackson, relying on is tie-breaker vote in a split council. The three council members who disagreed with Rivera's selection were able to postpone this selection by not attending the vote for the replacement, depriving Rivera of the minimum quota to produce the deadlock vote. On September 25, 2009, former Councilman Gerardo Fernandez having been found guilty of lying to the federal grand jury reviewing evidence of the latest corruption wave was sentenced to 18 months in prison and cannot hold public office for two years.
In addition to his role as council president, Schaer also holds a
seat in the New Jersey General Assembly. This dual position is
allowed under a grandfather clause in the state law enacted by the
New Jersey Legislature
signed into law by Governor of
New Jersey Jon Corzine
2007 that prevents dual-office-holding but allows those who had
held both positions as of February 1, 2008, to retain both
For the past twenty years waves of corruption have plagued the city
which has seen the federal convictions of two mayors, seven
councilman and other public officials. Despite the many previously
identified events of abuse of public trust the city continues.
Recent activities include the hiring of a new business
administrator, Tony Ianoco, after he had been found using his
official status to "solicit donations" while working for Paramus
Federal, state and county representation
Passaic is in the Eighth Congressional District is part of New
Jersey's 36th Legislative District.
The Passaic City School
is a type II school district, and is an independent
legal entity administered by a nine-member Board of Education
elected by the voters
of the school district. The Superintendent of Schools is Dr. Robert
H. Holster. The school district is not a part of any regional or
consolidated school district, and neither receives nor sends
students, except for a limited number of special education
students. The school system comprises 2 early childhood
centers, 12 elementary schools (grades K-6), 1 middle school
(grades 7-8), and Passaic High School for grades 9-12.
The district is one of 31
School is a private coeducational day
school located in Passaic, serving students in prekindergarten
through twelfth grade.
opened a new campus in the city of Passaic on
September 11, 2008. Construction commenced on the new site in
Spring 2007 at 2 Paulison Avenue. The new campus will allow PCCC to
reach the 15% of its students who come from the city of Passaic.
The college's nursing program will be relocated and expanded at the
new campus to provide a qualified program to help fill the
longstanding nursing shortage.
The Yeshiva Gedolah of Passaic, an advanced yeshiva
is an institute of Jewish
learning for post-high school age men. Passaic
also has a number of other orthodox educational institutions for
primary and secondary education as well as other advanced
seminaries and kollels
for advanced and
The Passaic Fire Department (PFD) is a paid fire department. The
PFD was organized in November 1869 and became a paid department in
1909 which now consists of 109 firefighters. There are two fire houses
that contain seven Engines
and three Ladder trucks
Portions of Passaic are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone
. In addition to
other benefits to encourage employment within the Zone, shoppers
can take advantage of a reduced 3½% sales
rate (versus the 7% rate charged statewide).
Passaic is served by state roadways including Route 3
and Route 21
. The Garden State Parkway
and Interstate 80
transportation is provided by New
Jersey Transit, with service to Paterson, Rutherford, Newark, Clifton, Garfield, and Wallington among other locations.
New Jersey Transit bus 190 provides local service and
interstate service to Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York
Passaic New Jersey Transit rail station is located in the
Passaic Park section, providing service on the Main Line southbound to Hoboken
Terminal, and to
Junction for New Jersey Transit and Amtrak connections to
Pennsylvania Station in Midtown
Manhattan, Newark Airport and points north and south. Northbound service is
provided to Paterson, Ridgewood and New
York stations in Suffern and Port Jervis.
jitney buses operate along Main Avenue providing service to
Paterson, Union City, the George
Washington Bridge Bus Terminal in New York
City, and points between.
This service does not
operate on an official schedule.
Passaic uses telephone area code
- Mitch Albom (born 1958), author of
The Five People
You Meet in Heaven.
- Suzanne Berger (born 1939),
- Terrence Boyle (born 1945), judge
United States District Court for the Eastern District of North
- George Breeman (1880-1937),
sailor and Medal of Honor
- Bob Butterworth (born 1942),
former Florida Attorney
- Arthur K. Cebrowski (1942-2005), United States Navy admiral and senior U.S. Department of Defense official.
- Alan N. Cohen (1930-2004), former co-owner of the
Boston Celtics and the New Jersey Nets.
- Howard Crook (born 1947), Opera singer tenor.
- Mark DeRosa (born 1975), Major League Baseball infielder.
- Dow H. Drukker (1872-1963), represented New Jersey's 6th
congressional district from 1914-1919.
- Evelyn Dubrow (1911-2006),
lobbyist and Presidential
Medal of Freedom recipient.
- Charles Evered (born 1964),
- Donald Fagen (born 1948), musician
with Steely Dan.
- Jack Fina (1913-1970), musician
- Paul Goldberger (born 1950),
Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture
- David Grisman (born 1945), famous
bluegrass musician and former
member of Old and in the Way with
Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead
- Reed Gusciora (born 1960), former
minority leader of the New
Jersey General Assembly.
- Robert Helps (1928-2001), pianist
- Craig Heyward (1966-2006),
National Football League
- Dennis Johnson
(born 1951), former NFL defensive
- Mike Jorgensen (born 1948),
former Major League Baseball
- Lewis Kaplan, violinist.
- Fritz Knothe (1903-1963), former
Major League Baseball
- Martin Krugman (1919-?),
successful hair salon and wig shop proprietor who was a suspect in
the 1978 Lufthansa heist and later
allegedly murdered in 1979
- Richard Liptak (1985) Radio host
on 90.3 WMSC
- Anthony Mason (born 1925),
- Ray Malavasi (1930-1987), National Football League head
- William J. Martini (born 1947), former Republican Congressman.
- Michael Marisi Ornstein
(born 1963), filmmaker and actor.
- Bill Mokray
(1907-1974), basketball historian and statistician enshrined to the
Hall of Fame in 1965 as a contributor to the sport.
- David Packer (born 1962),
- Morris Pashman
(1912-1999), New Jersey Supreme Court Justice who served as mayor of Passaic from 1951 to
- Millie Perkins (born 1938),
actress, best known for her lead role in the film The Diary of Anne
- Jason Perry
(born 1976), former safety in the NFL from 1999 to 2002.
- Kenneth Peterson (S/Sgt). Distinguished Service Cross, Silver
Star, Bronze Star, Purple with Oak Leaf Cluster.
- Joe Piscopo (born 1951),
- Gerry Polci, drummer and singer with
Frankie Valli and The Four
- Michael J. Pollard (born 1939), actor.
- Stuart Rabner
(born 1960), Chief Justice of the New Jersey
- Frankie Randall (born
Francis Lisbona, January 11, 1938) Popular entertainer, musician,
singer and actor.
- Joseph Rankin, U.S. Representative from
- John Roosma
(1900-1983), captain of Ernest Blood's
"Wonder Teams" who became the first college player to total 1,000
points for his career while at the United
States Military Academy.
- Alan Rosenberg (born 1951),
Emmy Award-winning actor and activist,
Screen Actors Guild President
(2005-present), Donald Fagen's
- Mark Rosenberg (c. 1948 - 1992),
- Paul Rudd (born 1969), actor.
- Bob Russell
(1914-1970), Hall of Fame
- Bob Russell
- Sherwood Schwartz (born 1916),
- Víctor Santos (born 1976),
Cincinnati Reds pitcher
- The Shirelles, musicians
- Robert Smithson (1938-1973),
- Mark Stevens, former NFL QB,
Redskins,played college at Purdue
- Larry Storch (born 1923),
- Tyronne Stowe (born 1965), former
- Marcia Strassman (born 1948),
actress, grew up in Passaic, across the street from Alan Rosenberg.
- Michael Stroka (born 1938),
- Loretta Swit (born 1937),
- Danny Szetela (born 1987),
Major League Soccer player
- Dave Szott (born 1967), National Football League player and
- Franklin Stuart Van
Antwerpen (born 1941), judge on the United
States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
- Jack Tatum (born 1948), football
- Ösel Tendzin (born 1943),
Tibetan Buddhist scholar. 
- Dick Vitale (born 1939),
- Perry Williams (born 1961),
former cornerback for the New York Giants.
- Darrin Winston (1966-2008),
Major League Baseball player
who played two seasons in Major League Baseball for the Philadelphia Phillies.
- Saul Zaentz (born 1921), film
- Michael Zager (born 1943),
musician and producer
- Frankie Zak (1922-1972) Major League
Baseball player, Pittsburgh
Popular culture references
- In the 1960s television sitcom F
Troop, the character, Cpl. Randolph Agarn (played by
Larry Storch), hails from Passaic,
Storch's home town. The city is occasionally mentioned - and
featured - in episodes.
- The short-lived Ellen Travolta
sitcom Makin' It was set in
Passaic, although, at the time of the disco-themed show, the city
actually had little disco culture of its own. Ms. Travolta had an
occasional role in Welcome Back
Kotter, which starred Ms. Strassman as Mrs. Kotter.
- Numerous music groups have performed at the Loop Lounge on
Broadway. Performers have included: Faith
No More. Dead Milkmen, They Might Be Giants, APB, Gang of Four,
My Chemical Romance, and
- The city's name was mentioned in "Raging Cory," an episode of
Boy Meets World.
- The title character in the sitcom Alice is
- Almost the entire movie Be Kind,
Rewind starring Danny Glover,
Mia Farrow, Jack
Black, Mos Def, and Sigourney Weaver was filmed in Passaic, in
fact most of the shooting was done on Passaic Street at the route
21 overpass, which the majority of the movie took place within a
couple of hundred yards.
- On February 24, 1973, Passaic's Capitol Theatre was the site of
the final live show by American rock 'n'
roll band The Byrds.
- In the 1920s, the Passaic High School basketball team, led by
coach Ernest Blood, won 159 consecutive
games, earning the nickname "Wonder Team".
- The title character of the series Sledge Hammer! was said to be born in
- One of the mock Bialystock and Bloom musicals in The Producers was called
- Passaic is mentioned in the HBO series
Flight of the
Conchords when the band goes on a warm-up tour by playing
a club in Passaic and damaging the club's amplifier.
- In the episode Total
Re-Carl from Aqua
Teen Hunger Force, Frylock sends
away for organs to help re-build Carl's body from the "Passaic
- Burt ("BS") Levy's series of novels starting with The Last Open Road features a young
Italian-American mechanic from
Passaic who becomes involved in the American sports car racing scene in the 1950s.
- The original release of The Sims
included an exterior wallpaper called "Passaic Aluminum
- Glenn Maer, the drummer from U.S.
Chaos, was born in Passaic in 1962.
- Passaic is mentioned as a hometown (for at least a short period
of time) of the brothers on Royal Pains (2009) on USA Network. They
had to downsize from a nice house in maybe Passaic, New Jersey to a
little two-bedroom apartment when their father lost all of their
Films shot in Passaic