John Whitman

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John Whitman
First Gentleman of New Jersey
In role
January 18, 1994 – January 31, 2001
Preceded by Lucinda Florio
Succeeded by Diane DiFrancesco
Personal details
Born John Russell Whitman
(1944-06-08)June 8, 1944
Albany, New York
Died July 2, 2015(2015-07-02) (aged 71)
Morristown, New Jersey
Spouse(s) Christine Todd Whitman
Relations Charles S. Whitman (grandfather)
Alma mater Yale University
Harvard Business School (MBA)
Occupation businessman

John Russell Whitman (June 8, 1944 – July 2, 2015) was an American businessman and investment banker. He was also First Gentleman of New Jersey (the husband of former Governor of New Jersey Christine Todd Whitman.[1]) from January 18, 1994 to January 31, 2001. Whitman has had a long career in banking and financial services, including working at Citigroup.

Early life and education[edit]

Whitman was born in Albany, New York in 1944,[2] the son of Janet (Russell)[3] John's grandfather, Charles S. Whitman, was the 41st Governor of New York.[2] and Charles Seymour Whitman, Jr., a New York civil court judge.[4] John had a brother (Charles S. Whitman, III) and a sister (Janet Whitman).[4]

He earned a bachelor's degree from Yale University, graduating in 1966.[2] He then served as a first lieutenant in the US Army during the Vietnam War.[2] He received an MBA from the Harvard Business School[5] in 1971.[2]


Whitman began his banking career with Citicorp in 1972, eventually rising to Vice President in charge of the Corporate Finance Department of Citicorp International Bank Ltd. in London.[5] Whitman served as Chairman and CEO of Prudential-Bache Interfunding from 1987 to 1990.[6][5] He also was the managing partner of Sycamore Ventures, an international venture capital fund incorporated in the Cayman Islands.[7]

During his wife's term as Governor of New Jersey, Whitman held no official role in her administration. He was appointed by his wife as co-chairman of the New Jersey World Cup Host Committee in 1994.[8] He also mediated the 1995 negotiations between the New Jersey Devils and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority that kept the Devils from moving to Nashville, Tennessee.[9] In 1997, Whitman was appointed by his wife to head the fund raising committee to restore the dome of the New Jersey State House.[10]

Personal life and demise[edit]

Whitman married the former Christie "Christie" Todd in 1974.[4] They resided on a farm in the Oldwick section of Tewksbury Township, New Jersey.[4] They had a son, Taylor, and a daughter, Kate, and six grandchildren.[4]

On June 19, 2015, Whitman fell, resulting in a catastrophic brain injury.[11] He died in a hospital at Morristown, New Jersey on July 2, 2015 at the age of 71.[4]


  1. ^ Fitzgerald, Barbara (3 February 2002). "There's a Big Stink At Whitman's E.P.A.". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 August 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Slotnik, Daniel E. (July 3, 2015). "John Whitman, Investment Banker and Husband of Governor, Dies at 71". TheNew York Times. Retrieved July 4, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Whitman, Janet Russell". The New York Times. October 3, 2004. Retrieved July 4, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Friedman, Matt (July 2, 2015). "John Whitman, husband of former N.J. Gov. Christie Whitman, dies". NJ Advance Media. Retrieved July 10, 2015. ...Whitman, who lived with his wife on a farm in Oldwick, was a key player in her first campaign. 
  5. ^ a b c "John Whitman". Sycamore Ventures Pte Ltd. Retrieved February 23, 2011. 
  6. ^ Peterson, Melody (February 16, 1997). "At Home: The Governor's Close Ties to Prudential". The New York Times. Retrieved February 23, 2011. 
  7. ^ Peterson, Melody (October 18, 1997). "Whitman's Husband Has Behind-the-Scenes Role". The New York Times. Retrieved February 23, 2011. 
  8. ^ Jones, Joyce (March 13, 1994). "For Governor's Husband, A World Cup Role". The New York Times. Retrieved February 23, 2011. 
  9. ^ Dellapina, John (July 11, 1995). "Meaningful Meeting? Devils, Jersey Keep Negotiations Going". New York Daily News. Retrieved February 23, 2011. 
  10. ^ Pristin, Terry (October 25, 1996). "Funds Sought for State Dome". The New York Times. Retrieved February 23, 2011. 
  11. ^ "John Whitman, Husband of Former New Jersey Governor, Dies". ABC News. Retrieved July 4, 2015. 
Preceded by
Lucinda Florio
First Gentleman of New Jersey
Succeeded by
Diane DiFrancesco