Doctors consider the prospects for Cliffside Park Mayor Gerald “Gerry” Calabrese’s very good for surviving a mild stroke he sustained yesterday while in Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, a spokesman told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
“Because he was in the hospital for an unrelated minor issue, the doctors caught the stroke very early,” spokesman Bill Maer said, “so we expect good results.”
That the stroke was caught so quickly dramatically limits any possible short- or long-term issues, Maer added.
The longest-serving mayor in state history, Calabrese was resting comfortably and communicating with his family, he said. There’s no timetable yet for his return home.
In his absence, his son, Council President Thomas Calabrese is serving as mayor, the same as when his father takes vacation or has to go out of town on business.
Calabrese was hospitalized for pneumonia in February — two weeks after his 88th birthday — and had been working from home, Maer said.
A former Bergen County freeholder and county Democratic party boss, Calabrese has been the eastern Bergen borough’s mayor for more than 50 years.
He boasts an enormous list of accomplishments, but few may know that he played two seasons with the Syracuse Nationals after becoming the 23rd overall pick in the 1950 NBA draft.
During the 1951-52 seasons, the 6-foot-1 point guard averaged nearly five points and a both an assist and a half and rebound a half.
The Nationals, who won a title in 1955, moved to Philadelphia and became the 76ers after the 1962-63 season.
Calabrese, who led Cliffside Park High School to a state championship, was an All-American at St. John’s University ( PHOTO ABOVE ).
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