List of people from Union City, New Jersey

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Akon, a popular singer, rapper, businessman, and actor
Actor Bobby Cannavale is a multiple Tony Award nominee.
Otis Davis is a winner of two gold medals for record-breaking performances in at the 1960 Summer Olympics.
In addition to being Union City's Commissioner of Public Affairs, Lucio Fernandez is also an actor, dancer, playwright, and filmmaker.
AJ Lee, a wrestler in WWE and the record 3x WWE Divas Champion
Brian P. Stack has been Mayor of Union City since 2000.

The following is a list of notable people from Union City, New Jersey. (B) denotes that the person was born there, though births prior to 1925 would have been in West Hoboken or Union Hill which merged in 1925 to form Union City, as noted in some of these entries.


  1. ^ "Deep Grooves". Billboard magazine. November 4, 2006. Page 36, via Google Books. Accessed November 3, 2011.
  2. ^ USATF Hall of Fame bio Accessed October 26, 2010.
  3. ^ Dell, John. "Fred Barakat retires from ACC position", Winston-Salem Journal, March 3, 2007. Accessed August 20, 2015. "Barakat grew up in Union City, N.J., and said he had no clue about the ACC until he enrolled at Assumption College in Worcester, Mass."
  4. ^ Buder, Leonard. "11 Are Accused in Fatal Blazes at Betting Sites", The New York Times. October 8, 1985. Accessed August 29, 2018. "A former resident of Union City, N.J., Mr. Battle now lives in Miami."
  5. ^ Rosero, Jessica. "Death of a legend: North Hudson's Cuban Godfather dead at 77", The Hudson Reporter, August 19, 2007. Accessed August 29, 2018. "After returning to the States, Battle served as a second lieutenant in the United States Army for a few years, before moving to Union City, NJ."
  6. ^ Hevesi, Dennis. "Harold Bell, a Creator of Woodsy Owl, Is Dead at 90", The New York Times, December 12, 2009. Accessed August 20, 2015. "Born in Union City, N.J., on Oct. 5, 1919, Mr. Bell was one of three sons of David and Hilda Rosenthal Belsky."
  7. ^ Heller, Steven. Heller, Steven. "Ben Blank, Innovator of Graphics for TV News, Dies at 87", The New York Times, February 18, 2009. Accessed June 7, 2015. "Mr. Blank was born in San Francisco and as a child moved with his family to Union City, N.J."
  8. ^ Staab, Amanda. "Losing the baggy pants UC man says ‘From G’s to Gents’ changed his life", The Hudson Reporter, February 15, 2009. Accessed August 29, 2018. "After recently appearing on the MTV reality series From G’s to Gents, a once misdirected Union City man says he is now on his way to turning his life around."
  9. ^ a b Halasz, Piri. "Art: Maritime Theme at Exhibitions; Appeal of Nostalgia History and Humor Portraits of Vessels", The New York Times, January 21, 1973. "James Butterworth (1817–1894), whose work is on view in Trenton, was an Englishman born on the Isle of Wight. By the time he emigrated and settles in West Hoboken (now Union City), America was in the heyday of its gallant clipper ships."
  10. ^ Hernandez, Ernio; "Upcoming Hurlyburly Star Inks Deal for New NBC "French Connection" Drama"; Playbill, December 23, 2004. Archived November 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ Wenik, Ian (August 16, 2013). "Reality TV". The Union City Reporter. pp. 1 and 9.
  12. ^ Shockley, Jay. "Russell Sage Foundation Building and Annex Designation Report". New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. (June 20, 2000), p.5
  13. ^ "Gordon Chiesa". Accessed August 30, 2013.
  14. ^ Garcia, Julian. "Planinic Will Stay Extra Year In N.J.", New York Daily News, November 1, 2005. Accessed August 23, 2017. "Assistant coach Gordon Chiesa, the most experienced member of Frank's staff, resigned unexpectedly yesterday, citing family issues. Chiesa, a former coach at Manhattan and a native of Union City, N.J., was hired in June to replace Brian Hill, who left to become head coach in Orlando."
  15. ^ Bernstein, Jason. "Hallice Cooke of St. Anthony commits to Oregon State", NJ Advance Media for, September 10, 2012. Accessed August 23, 2017. "Hallice Cooke of St. Anthony has made a verbal commitment to Oregon State University.... 'It’s a great environment there in Corvallis, OR, way different from being in the city,' said Cooke, a Union City native."
  16. ^ Rosero, Jessica. "Native sons and daughters Prominent author, peace advocate Norman Cousins lived here", The Hudson Reporter, January 29, 2006. Accessed August 23, 2017. "Union City native Norman Cousins was a prominent political journalist, author and advocate for world peace who left his mark worldwide through his writings and strong liberal views."
  17. ^ Dominick Vincent Daniels, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed June 18, 2007.
  18. ^ Hague, Jim. "Truant officer was Olympic hero; Emerson High has gold medalist in midst", The Hudson Reporter, May 14, 2006. Accessed October 1, 2016. "In 1991, Davis wanted to move closer to New York, so he just chose Jersey City and then eventually settled in Union City."
  19. ^ Kaufman, Michael T. "American Mystery Series For Canadian TV A Hit", The New York Times, May 21, 1984. Accessed October 1, 2016. "After trying almost everything, from producing cut-rate kitsch to arcane documentaries, the national network has stumbled onto a remarkable method: It has given a free hand to Louis Del Grande, a refugee from both Union City, N.J., and Hollywood, enabling him to produce, write and star in a sophisticated comic mystery series that not only is a hit in Canada but has been sold to the Public Broadcasting Service and has a growing cult following in the United States."
  20. ^ "Dellay, Vincent John, (1907–1999)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed August 30, 2013.
  21. ^ Severo, Richard. "Pietro di Donato Is Dead at 80; Wrote of Immigrants' Experience", The New York Times, January 21, 1992. Accessed August 29, 2018. "Mr. di Donato was born on April 3, 1911, in West Hoboken, N.J. His family had immigrated to the United States from Vasto, in the Abruzzi region of Italy."
  22. ^ "Death of band master Dodworth". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. January 26, 1891.
  23. ^ Benson, Michael. Everything You Wanted to Know About the New York Knicks: A Who's Who of Everyone Who Ever Played On or Coached the NBA's Most Celebrated Team, p. 474. Taylor Trade Publishing, 2007. ISBN 9781461734789.
  24. ^ "Gary Thomas Erbe", askART. Accessed November 24, 2018. "Gary Erbe, a self-taught painter was born in 1944 in Union City, New Jersey where he maintained his studio from 1972-2006."
  25. ^ Hague, Jim. "A teen Latin pop star" Archived February 27, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Union City Reporter, November 11, 2007. Accessed November 24, 2018.
  26. ^ Hank Finkel, Accessed December 10, 2007.
  27. ^ Martin, Douglas. "Marshall Flaum, Documentary Filmmaker, Dies at 85", The New York Times, October 8, 2010. Accessed October 9, 2010.
  28. ^ Fraguela, Rafael,, December 18, 2003. Accessed June 6, 2010.
  29. ^ Yannis Psarakis. "Nikos Galis – Europe's Greatest-Ever Scorer", FIBA Europe. Accessed November 24, 2007. "Her horror at seeing her son come home every day with a new facial injury led to Galis taking up basketball and in 1970 began to play at Union Hill High School."
  30. ^ Strunsky, Steve. "In Person; A Former Sports Star Finds Politics A Rougher Field", The New York Times, October 22, 2000. Accessed June 4, 2010.
  31. ^ "Anthony Vincent Genovese" Archived July 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.. American Architects Directory. Third Edition (New York City: R.R. Bowker LLC, 1970), p. 317.
  32. ^ Tannenbaum, Rabbi Gershon. "My Machberes"[permanent dead link], The Jewish Press, January 3, 2008. Accessed July 1, 2008. "The current Zvhiler Rebbe is a son-in-law of Rabbi Yekusiel Yehuda Halberstam, zt"l (1904–1994), Klausenberg Rebbe and founder of the Union City community."
  33. ^ Frank Haubold, Sports Reference. Accessed June 29, 2012.
  34. ^ a b Frank, Dan (Director); Deneau, Jeremy (Writer, narrator) (August 10, 2012). Frank & Chip: The Olympic Experience (Film). United States: Upward Rising Development. Archived from the original on February 20, 2014.
  35. ^ "Irma Haubold", Sports Reference: Olympic Sports. Accessed August 27, 2013.
  36. ^ a b Diaz, Lana Rose. "Bringing the flavorUC native competes to be ‘Next Food Network Star’", Hudson Reporter, May 30, 2010. Accessed August 20, 2015. "view slideshow (2 images)Though he now spends his days on a 65-acre farm in Indiana pulling beets and sweet potatoes from the land, Alexis Hernandez grew up in Union City surrounded by the Latin flavors of his Cuban family."
  37. ^ Paul Jappe, The Pro Football Archives. Accessed May 31, 2015.
  38. ^ Rosero, Jessica; "Native Sons and Daughters: North Hudson Native and 20th Century Boxing Sensation Joe Jeanette"; Union City Reporter February 19, 2006
  39. ^ Vargas, Elizabeth; Gerdau, Richard; Mendelsohn, Michael; and Miller, Susan. "Searching For Tony", ABC News, January 12, 2007. Accessed August 23, 2017. "The story that captivated millions of readers and viewers across the country began in Union City, New Jersey. Tony lived, the story goes, in Union City with Vicki Johnson, a social worker who had adopted him."
  40. ^ "Guide to the Eugène and Maria Jolas Papers". Yale University Library. Accessed August 30, 2013.
  41. ^ "Your Name in Stickup Light Bulbs!", New York Magazine. Accessed February 19, 2018. "Khubani inherited his peculiar acumen from his father, an Indian immigrant and serial entrepreneur who made enough money importing Japanese-made pocket radios—an inexpensive, sixties precursor to the Walkman—to move his family from a third-floor walk-up in Union City to a modest house in Lincoln Park, New Jersey."
  42. ^ Reich, Ronni. "New York Musical Theatre Festival: Three Jersey artists offer something different", The Star-Ledger, July 7, 2013. Accessed August 29, 2018. "Randy Klein, who grew up in Union City and Fort Lee, appeared at the festival last year with Flambé Dreams, a kitchen comedy."
  43. ^ "A.J. Lee". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
  44. ^ "Miss April". G.L.O.R.Y. Wrestling. Archived from the original on April 14, 2009. Retrieved May 6, 2009.
  45. ^ "Hook'd On Hits". BBC. January 10, 2007. Accessed July 1, 2008."Dennis Locorriere was born on June 13, 1949 in Union City, New Jersey."
  46. ^ Embury, Stuart P. (2006). "Chapter One: The Early Years". The Art and Life of Luigi Lucioni. Embury Publishing Company. pp. 1 -4.
  47. ^ Ada Lunardoni, Sports Reference. Accessed August 30, 2017.
  48. ^ Herb Baack profile Archived May 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. at Database Football; Accessed October 26, 2010.
  49. ^ Pena, Stacy. "Alicia Menendez". Girls Leadership Institute. Retrieved September 23, 2012.
  50. ^ Senator Bob Menendez biography, United States Senate. Accessed August 23, 2017. "Senator Bob Menendez’s story is a quintessential American story. He grew up the son of Cuban immigrants in a tenement building in Union City and has risen to become one of 100 United States Senators."
  51. ^ O'Driscoll, Bill. "Legendary poet W.S. Merwin returns to Pittsburgh". Pittsburgh City Paper. November 9, 2006. Accessed April 11, 2007.
  52. ^ Kennicott, Philip (July 1, 2010). "W.S. Merwin, Hawaii-based poet, will serve as 17th U.S. laureate". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
  53. ^ Cohen, Patricia. "W. S. Merwin to Be Named Poet Laureate", The New York Times, June 30, 2010. Accessed June 7, 2015. "The son of a Presbyterian minister, Mr. Merwin grew up in Scranton, Pa., and Union City, N.J."
  54. ^ Rosero, Jessica. "Felix the Cat, created in Hudson County Otto Messmer and America's favorite feline", The Hudson Reporter, April 4, 2006. Accessed August 23, 2017. "The creative genius behind Felix was Otto Messmer of West Hoboken (now Union City)."
  55. ^ Mavromatis, Kally; "Felix the Cat – Silent Star of April 1999" Archived May 19, 2010, at the Wayback Machine., accessed April 5, 2007.
  56. ^ Gordon, Ian. Felix the Cat Archived June 28, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. at St. James Encyclopedia of Pop Culture. Accessed April 5, 2007.
  57. ^ Staff. "Nici+o+floare.+Nimeni+din+partea+oficialităţilor!"+.html "125 de ani de la naşterea lui Ioan Missir, ultimul primar necomunist al Botoşanilor. 'Nici o floare. Nimeni din partea oficialităţilor!'",, February 17, 2015. Accessed October 20, 2015. "Al doilea copil, Ioan, s-a născut pe 17 februarie 1890, în West Hoboken."
  58. ^ Machcinski, Anthony J. "House music superstar Erick Morillo returns to Union City for emotional street naming ceremony", The Jersey Journal, October 12, 2012. Accessed June 7, 2015. "Union City honored one of its own success stories yesterday when it renamed a section of Bergenline Avenue for music producer Erick Morillo."
  59. ^ Rosero, Jessica. "The revolution begins within: Hudson County native brings his Cuban people back home" Archived February 27, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., Union City Reporter, May 28, 2006. Accessed June 10, 2010.
  60. ^ Gettleman, Jeffrey. "William Musto, 88, a Mayor Re-elected on His Way to Jail, Is Dead", The New York Times, March 1, 2006. Accessed August 23, 2017. "William V. Musto, a former Union City mayor who was a charismatic and visionary force in New Jersey politics for decades, until he was convicted of racketeering and sent to federal prison, died on Monday at home in Union City."
  61. ^ "'Office' worker Nunez has a second 'Home'". New York Daily News, May 9, 2007. Accessed July 23, 2008.
  62. ^ People Weekly Extra All About Survivor Spring 2001, Page 29
  63. ^ Preston, Rohan. "People; Outback Survivor cast includes songwriter.", Minneapolis Star-Tribune, January 5, 2001. Accessed July 23, 2008. "Mitchell Olson, 23, a South Dakotan now living in Union City, N.J., is among the 16 contestants in the Australian edition of CBS' "Survivor" game."
  64. ^ Kelly, Chris. "Cartoon Creator Dies at 72: Palm City Resident Developed Casper". The Palm Beach Post. December 28, 1985. Accessed March 25, 2011. "Born in Union City, N.J., Oriolo graduated from high school in 1931 then went to work for the Max Fleischer Studios in New York and Miami."
  65. ^ Slotnik, Daniel E. "Cliff Osmond, Prolific Character Actor, Dies at 75", The New York Times, December 27, 2012. Accessed October 1, 2016. "Clifford Osman Ebrahim was born on Feb. 26, 1937, in Jersey City (adapting his middle name as his professional name). He grew up in Union City, N.J., and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1959."
  66. ^ Goode, Jon. "No stopping Togo; Catching up with Togo Palazzi", The Boston Globe, May 10, 2005. Accessed August 20, 2015. "Where Did You Grow Up: Union Hill, NJ"
  67. ^ Production bios page Archived October 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. at Sesame Archives, Accessed June 10, 2010.
  68. ^ Sherman, Ted. "A deadly fall: 46 years ago, a Jersey daredevil died while trying to set record",, October 12, 2012.
  69. ^ "Smithsonian Books". Smithsonian Books. 2003. Archived from the original on April 10, 2010. Retrieved April 14, 2010.
  70. ^ "'Lost & Found: Pinajian Discovery' debuts in NYC Feb. 13" Archived January 10, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.. Auction Central News. January 8, 2013
  71. ^ Ranney, William Tylee, The Handbook of Texas. Accessed October 23, 2015. "by 1853 he and his family had settled in West Hoboken, New Jersey, where a number of other artists lived. There he built a large studio to accommodate the many artifacts-buckskin costumes, guns, riding gear-that he had brought back from the West."
  72. ^ Millan, Nicolas. "Looking back Famed American 19th century painter called North Hudson home", The Hudson Reporter, April 15, 2008. Accessed October 23, 2015. "Once a resident of North Hudson, William Ranney settled in West Hoboken in 1851 to pursue his passion of painting while duck hunting and fishing in his spare time."
  73. ^ Maurer, Mark. "Dan Resin, at 79; 'Caddyshack' actor did TV commercials", The Jersey Journal, August 3, 2010, p. 24. Accessed October 1, 2016. "Shortly after attending Indiana University and Columbia University, Resin moved to Hudson County and lived in Union City, Weehawken, and eventually Secaucus."
  74. ^ "Dwayne Sabb" Archived February 18, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.. Accessed August 27, 2013.
  75. ^ "Local roots; Salas is first Hispanic woman appointed district court judge"], The Hudson Reporter, July 24, 2011. Accessed October 1, 2016. "Former Union City resident and Emerson High School student Judge Esther Salas is the first Hispanic woman to be appointed a U.S. District Court judge in New Jersey."
  76. ^ "Biography", Renoly Santiago – Official Website. Accessed February 11, 2014.
  77. ^ Rosero, Jessica. "Union City's very own Puccini Hoboken conductor brings life to late Italian composer" Archived November 14, 2017, at the Wayback Machine., The Hudson Reporter, April 25, 2004. Accessed November 13, 2017. "It was almost 15 years ago that Hoboken composer/conductor Joel Suben first came upon the work of classical composer Anthony Louis Scarmolin, who was born in Italy and had spent most of his life in Union City.... This mysterious composer's collection of Italian operas and avant garde symphonies would be unfamiliar to much of the public because for years Scarmolin had dedicated himself to composing '"marketable music' and serving as band and orchestra director for Emerson High School."
  78. ^ "Pedro Sosa Stats". ESPN. Accessed August 30, 2013.
  79. ^ "Pedro Sosa, G". CBS Sports. Accessed August 30, 2013.
  80. ^ Senator Brian P. Stack, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed March 25, 2011.
  81. ^ Gorov, Lynda. "Catching fire",, reprinted from The Boston Globe, May 8, 2003. Accessed April 15, 2007.
  82. ^ Moses, Claire. "Hudson teen in Broadway cast of 'Bye Bye Birdie', The Jersey Journal, October 15, 2009. Accessed August 23, 2017. "Although originally Strong, who lives in Union City with her mother Patricia Trujillo and her dog Magic, wanted to be a veterinarian, it didn't take her long to realize that performing was her calling."
  83. ^ Hortillosa, Summer Dawn. "Union City actress lands a role in Broadway's 'Mamma Mia'", The Jersey Journal, August 12, 2011. Accessed October 1, 2016.
  84. ^ Amanda Staab. "Local girl is voice of cartoon" The Union City Reporter. September 14, 2008.
  85. ^ Grimes, William. "Janine Pommy Vega, Restless Poet, Dies at 68". The New York Times, January 2, 2011. Accessed August 29, 2018. "Ms. Vega’s life course was set when, as a teenager in Union City, N.J., she read Jack Kerouac’s On the Road."
  86. ^ Walter Walsh, Sports Reference. Accessed October 1, 2016.
  87. ^ Eugene Wettstone papers, 1920-1997, Pennsylvania State University. Accessed June 7, 2015. "Eugene Wettstone was born in 1913 of Swiss immigrant parents and grew up in Union City, New Jersey."
  88. ^ Staff. "Sports People: Football; Giants Sign Center And Backup Safety", The New York Times, March 17, 1989. Accessed August 29, 2018. "The 6-3, 282-pound Winters comes from Union City, N.J., and played for Western Illinois."
  89. ^ Horner, Shirley. "About Books", The New York Times, October 29, 1989. Accessed June 7, 2015. "Although Mr. Witcover is a native of Union City and the explosion occurred just six miles away from where he was raised, he said in an interview that he had never heard the incident mentioned in elementary school or high school."

External links[edit]

Media related to People from Union City, New Jersey at Wikimedia Commons