Richard J. Connors, 1927-2022

John Beekman's picture

I've just learned of the passing of Dr. Richard J. Connors III last June. Connors taught Political Science and History at Seton Hall University during a career spanning 40 years, where he was founding director of the Dept. of Political Science.

In the course of researching the dissertation that became his first book, "A Cycle of Power," Connors worked with J. Owen Grundy here in Jersey City as that former political gadfly, recently returned from "exile" in Greenwich Village, was starting on his role as Jersey City's preeminent local historian. Grundy provided Connors with a series of questions that became the basis for an article in NJ Studies on "Politics and Economics in Frank Hague's Jersey CIty."

I addition to these two key works in the study of Jersey City, Connors wrote about WWI, the State Constitutions, and topics related to Monmouth County.

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Professor Connors was an incomparable New Jersey historian, whose pioneering research on Jersey City mayor Frank Hague set the bar for all those endeavoring to understand the state's experience with machine politics. Every student of his work is indebted to his excellent scholarship. My copy of his brilliantly researched Cycle of Power is worn and frayed from constant use.