|United States Senator
from New Jersey
January 3, 1997 – January 3, 2003
|Preceded by||Bill Bradley|
|Succeeded by||Frank Lautenberg|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 9th district
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1997
|Preceded by||Harold Hollenbeck|
|Succeeded by||Steve Rothman|
|Born||Robert Guy Torricelli
August 27, 1951
Paterson, New Jersey
|Spouse(s)||Susan Holloway (divorced)|
Robert Guy Torricelli (born August 27, 1951), nicknamed "the Torch," is an American politician from the U.S. state of New Jersey. Torricelli, a Democrat, served 14 years in the U.S. House of Representatives before being elected to the U.S. Senate. He served a single term in the Senate and decided not to run for reelection after a campaign finance scandal involving contributions by David Chang, an imprisoned Korean businessman. He subsequently founded Rosemont Associates, a lobbying group.
Education and personal life
After graduation from Storm King School in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York, Torricelli attended Rutgers University both for undergraduate and law school, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974 and his law degree in 1977. He was admitted to the New Jersey bar in 1978 and later attended Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, earning a Master in Public Administration in 1980.
Torricelli was married to Susan Holloway, from whom he is now divorced. He reportedly has since dated Mick Jagger's former wife Bianca Jagger and Ronald Perelman's ex-wife Patricia Duff, as well as conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham, and U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell.
Early political career
Torricelli was an assistant to the Governor of New Jersey Brendan Byrne from 1975 to 1977. In 1978 he served on the Staff of Vice President Walter Mondale, and managed the Carter-Mondale campaign in the Illinois primary, at the age of 28. At the 1980 Democratic National Convention, he served the Carter-Mondale campaign on the Rules Committee. In 1982, Torricelli leveraged his political contacts into a run for U.S. Congress, defeating incumbent Republican Harold Hollenbeck 53% to 46%.
Torricelli served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1983 to 1996 representing New Jersey's 9th congressional district, and then as a U.S. Senator from 1997 to 2003.
In 2000, he headed the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and helped the Democrats gain four Senate seats.
Late in an increasingly competitive race against Republican Doug Forrester in 2002, Torricelli suddenly withdrew after disclosure of illegal contributions to his campaign by David Chang, a businessman connected to North Korea. Torricelli had previously denied this and a number of other charges, and in his withdrawal speech stated that despite his leaving public office in a different way than he planned, he was proud of his service. Shortly thereafter, the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the Democratic Party could legally replace Torricelli's name on the ballot with that of former U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg, ironically a longtime Torricelli nemesis, with whom he had often publicly feuded. New Jersey Republicans had contested the Torricelli-Lautenberg swap on the grounds that the deadline for ballot changes had long passed. It seemed apparent to many that Torricelli had only made his decision after local polls showed, for the first time, that the scandal had damaged Torricelli's re-election chances beyond repair.
He is now a lobbyist and a partner in Panepinto Properties, a Jersey City real estate developer. He was again the subject of controversy in 2007 when it was revealed that he was spending some of the $2.9 million left over from his Senate campaign on donations to political candidates with ties to his business interests.
- Hernandez, Raymond; Chen, David W. (24 August 2007). "NOW A LOBBYIST, EX-SENATOR USES CAMPAIGN MONEY". The New York Times.
- BRETT PULLEY (October 31, 1996). "Torricelli's Wide-Reaching Goals Inspire and Enrage". New York Times. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
- "For Love And Money". May 27, 2001. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- GEORGE RUSH AND JOANNA MOLLOY WITH MARCUS BARAM AND MARC S. MALKIN (August 16, 1999). "Calvin Model Fears Rejected Pix May Bring Overexposure". Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- BY LLOYD GROVE WITH HUDSON MORGAN (May 24, 2005). "Kim Tapes Could Be Lil' Trouble". Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- U.S. Congress Gains Two Italian-Americans: Italian-American Congressional Caucus Gains Two Members in the House, Keeps Most Incumbents, Order Sons of Italy in America, dated November 10, 1998.
- "Sen. Robert G. Torricelli (D)". Retrieved 3 September 2012.
- Schmidt, Susan; Grimaldi, James V. (May 13, 2001). "Torricelli and the Money Man". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- Kwame Holman looks at Sen. Robert Torricelli's sudden decision to end his bid to retain his seat, Online Newshour, September 30, 2002.
- Hernandez, Raymond; Chen, David W. (2007-08-24). "Now a Lobbyist, an Ex-Senator Uses Campaign Money". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Voting record at The Washington Post
- CNN report on Torricelli dropping out of Senate race.
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 9th congressional district
|United States Senate|
|United States Senator (Class 2) from New Jersey
Served alongside: Frank Lautenberg, Jon Corzine
|Party political offices|
|Democratic Nominee for the U.S. Senate (Class 2) from New Jersey
|Chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee