Sido L. Ridolfi

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Sido L. Ridolfi
New Jersey State Senator
In office
January 1954 – January 1972
Preceded byJ. Richard Kafes
Succeeded byJoseph P. Merlino
Personal details
Born(1913-09-28)September 28, 1913
Trenton, New Jersey
DiedMay 9, 2004(2004-05-09) (aged 90)
Robbinsville Township, New Jersey
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Beatrice Ridolfi
Alma materPrinceton University (1936)
Harvard Law School (1939)
Military service
AllegianceUnited States of America
Branch/serviceUnited States Coast Guard
Years of service1942 – 1945
Battles/warsWorld War II

Sido Louis Ridolfi (September 28, 1913 – May 9, 2004) was an American Democratic Party politician who served in the New Jersey Senate from 1954 to 1972, serving as Senate President in 1967.

Early life[edit]

Ridolfi was born in 1913 in Trenton, New Jersey. He attended Trenton Central High School and graduated from Princeton University in 1936, where he majored in politics. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1939.[1][2]

Senate and Gubernatorial Staff[edit]

In 1941 Ridolfi was appointed Secretary to the New Jersey Senate Minority Leader. He served as a legislative advisor to Governor Charles Edison from 1941 to 1942. He left his post to join the United States Coast Guard in World War II.[3]

Local and county elected office[edit]

In 1947 he was elected Sheriff of Mercer County, New Jersey. He was elected City Commissioner of Trenton in 1951, reelected in 1955.

He was first elected to the State Senate in 1953, defeating Assistant Mercer County Prosecutor Arthur Stephen Lane. Ridolfi and Lane had attended Princeton and Harvard Law at the same time.[4] He was re-elected in 1957, 1961, 1965 and 1967. In 1967 he served as Senate President and Acting Governor.[3]

Alleged ties to organized crime[edit]

In December 1968, Assistant New Jersey Attorney General William Brennan III (son of Supreme Court Associate Justice William J. Brennan, Jr.) gave a speech alleging that three incumbent state legislators were "entirely too comfortable with organized crime."[5] The legislators were later revealed to be Ridolfi and Assemblymen David Friedland and John A. Selecky. Ridolfi was accused of assisting in the purchase of a house for John Simone (aka "Johnny Keys"), a Philadelphia capo and cousin of mob boss Angelo Bruno.[6] He was also accused of land dealings with Edmund Bralynski (aka "Big Brownie"), identified by state law enforcement officials as "a top rackets figure in Trenton."[7]

On January 14, 1969, a special legislative investigating committee expressed "disapproval" of Ridolfi and Selecky. The committee reported, "While Senator Ridolfi has done nothing illegal, his actions have reflected adversely on the Legislature."[8]

Later life[edit]

Ridolfi retired from the Senate to continue his private legal practice, and after redistricting his seat was won in the 1971 legislative election by Republican William E. Schluter.[5]

He died on May 9, 2004 at the age of 90 at Rosehill Assisted Living in Robbinsville Township, New Jersey.[1][9]


  1. ^ a b "Sido L. Ridolfi '36". Princeton Alumni Weekly. 2004-10-06. Archived from the original on 2010-08-03. Retrieved 2009-11-14.
  2. ^ Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey, 1956, p. 381. Accessed August 1, 2019. "Sido L. Ridolfi (Dem., Trenton, N. J.) Senator Ridolfi was born in Trenton, September 28, 1913. He is a graduate of Trenton Senior High School, Princeton University, and Harvard Law School."
  3. ^ a b Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey. J.A. Fitzgerald. 1971. p. 347.
  4. ^ Saxon, Wolfgang (28 October 1997). "Arthur S. Lane, 86; Former Federal Judge". New York Times. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Legislators were 'entirely too comfortable with organized crime'". PolitickerNJ. 2009-01-29. Retrieved 2009-11-14.
  6. ^ Baud, Chris. "1970: 'Entirely too comfortable' with the Jersey Mafia". The Trentonian. Retrieved 2009-11-14.
  7. ^ Sullivan, Ronald (1969-01-10). "A 'Racket Figure' Ridolfi's Partner". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-11-14.
  8. ^ Sullivan, Ronald (1969-01-15). "Two Legislators Chided in New Jersey". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-11-14.
  9. ^ "Sido L. Ridolfi, former New Jersey senate president". Bucks County Courier Times. 2004-05-11. Retrieved 2009-11-14.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
John A. Lynch, Sr.
President of the New Jersey Senate
Succeeded by
Edwin B. Forsythe