Bernard J. Berry

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Bernard J. Berry
33rd Mayor of Jersey City
In office
December 15, 1953 – May 21, 1957[1]
Preceded by John V. Kenny
Succeeded by Charles S. Witkowski
Personal details
Born (1913-07-03)July 3, 1913
Jersey City, New Jersey
Died January 6, 1963(1963-01-06) (aged 49)
Jersey City, New Jersey
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Cecila Mulvoy (1911-1996) ()
Children Bernard J. Jr., Nancy, Eileen, Marie, Kathy
Residence Jersey City, New Jersey

Bernard J. Berry (July 3, 1913 – January 6, 1963) was an American Democratic Party politician who served as the 33rd mayor of Jersey City, New Jersey from 1953 to 1957. He took office following the resignation of John V. Kenny.[2]


He was born on July 3, 1913.

Berry achieved a level of notoriety for having banned both rock and roll music as well as an "obscene" film from Jersey City during his tenure. Berry banned the film The Moon Is Blue from being shown for being "indecent and obscene"[3] and refused to allow Bill Haley and the Comets to play a concert at municipally-owned Roosevelt Stadium.[4] The latter act is believed to have inspired Haley to write the first protest song in rock and roll, "Teenager's Mother," which included the lyrics "Are you right? Did you forget too soon? How much you liked to do the Charleston?"[5]

In 1956, after the 1954 closing of the US immigration station, Berry commandeered a US Coast Guard cutter and led a contingent of New Jersey officials on an expedition to claim Ellis Island.[6]

He died on January 6, 1963.


  1. ^ "Jersey City Official Sworn In Among Jeers". Sarasota Journal. May 22, 1957. p. 9. 
  2. ^ "Kenny Keeps His Word, Resigns as Mayor; Hague Foe, in Ill Health for a Year, Held Office Since '49 -- Succeeded by Berry". The New York Times. December 16, 1953. p. 38. 
  3. ^ "Jersey Judge Sees 'The Moon is Blue'; Superior Court Jurist Says He Will Give Decision Today on Film Seized as 'Indecent'". The New York Times. October 16, 1953. p. 33. 
  4. ^ Altschuler, Glenn (2003). All Shook Up: How Rock 'n' Roll Changed America. New York City: Oxford University Press. p. 4. ISBN 0-19-513943-7. 
  5. ^ Dinnisoff, R. Serge (1991). Risky Business: Rock in Film. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers. p. 33. ISBN 0-88738-843-4. 
  6. ^ Logan, Andy; McCarten, John (January 14, 1956). "Invasion from Jersey". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2011-02-14. 

External links[edit]

  • [1] Bernard Berry at