Hundreds attend funeral for state's longest-serving mayor

Hundreds attend funeral for Cliffside Park Mayor Gerry Calabrese.

Hundreds attend funeral for Cliffside Park Mayor Gerry Calabrese. (4/17/15)

CLIFFSIDE PARK - Hundreds of mourners gathered in Cliffside Park to attend the funeral of a man believed to be New Jersey's longest-serving mayor.

Gerry Calabrese was the mayor of Cliffside Park for 50 years before he died Monday.

The 90-year-old Calabrese was a Democrat who was first elected as the Bergen County community's chief executive in 1959. He had held the job continuously since 1965.

He first gained recognition as a college basketball player at St. John's University in New York. He then played in the early years of the National Basketball Association, spending two seasons with the Syracuse Nationals.

His son is Cliffside Park's borough council president and acting mayor.

Former governors Jim McGreevey and James Florio were among those attending Friday's service.

The Associated Press wire service contributed to this report.

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