New Jersey Democratic powerbroker and Cooper University Hospital board chairman George Norcross is donating $5 million to the hospital.

Norcross and his wife Sandra made the pledge public on Thursday and presented the first payment of $1 million.

It's the first donation in the hospital's $50 million capital drive. The hospital is planning two major developments next year: Construction on a cancer institute expected to cost $80 million to $100 million, and the opening of a new medical school being run with Rowan University.

The gift comes one day after the Delaware River Port Authority committed $6 million in money raised through bridge tolls to the cancer institute.

Norcross is an insurance executive who is influential in the state's Democratic Party though he holds no formal title in it.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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