Former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey was born on August 6th, 1957 in Jersey City. He would ascend to the state’s highest office only to resign when admitting to an extra-marital homosexual affair.

He was an accomplished man, getting his bachelor’s degree from Columbia, and his law degree from Georgetown, as well as a master’s degree from Harvard. He served at various times in the New Jersey Assembly, the State Senate, and as mayor of Woodbridge before running for governor twice, losing a close race to incumbent Christie Whitman in 1997 before winning in 2001.

After taking office in 2002, he named an Israeli national, Golan Cipel as his homeland security advisor, despite Cipel’s lack of experience or qualifications; Cipel couldn’t get a federal security clearance since he wasn’t a US citizen. McGreevey met Cipel in Israel three weeks after he had proposed to his future wife, Dina and had started an affair with him. McGreevey had Cipel step down in August of 2002. Two years later, it was Cipel’s threat of a sexual harassment lawsuit that prompted the governor to resign, making his famous “I am a gay American” speech.

Following his resignation, he engaged in a messy public divorce from Dina and dropped out of public life for a while. In 2007, he got a master’s degree in divinity from the General Theological Seminary in Manhattan. He has primarily worked in the field of prisoner re-entry since then, heading up the New Jersey Reentry Corporation, a non-profit.

He currently lives in Plainfield.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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