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Community Oversight Board


John was born in his grandparents’ home on Summer Avenue in North Newark. He graduated from St. Michael’s Catholic Grammar School and High School. He married his high school sweetheart Madelyn Patricia Canavan Gerow. He joined the Newark Fire Department January 1, 1952.

John J. Gerow has over 5 decades as a Union member and labor leader.

On July 1, 1992 John retired from the Newark Fire Department after serving over 40 years. John was Vice President of the Newark Firemen’s Union for three years (1979-1982). He was elected President of the Firemen’s Union in June of 1982 until June of 1992. John was appointed to the New Jersey State Fire Commission by Governor Jim Florio in 1990.

In November of 1992 Teamster Local 97 hired John as a public employee representative. Six years later he was elected President/Principal Officer of Local 97, a position he still holds. He also serves as a Trustee of Joint Council 73 and a Trustee of the Teamster Local 97 Benefits Fund. Teamster Local 97 is the largest Teamster Local in the State of New Jersey.

John has six children, three daughters and three sons. He has been married to his wife Linda for over 19 years. He served in the US Marine Corp from September 1946 until September 1948.

He was appointed to the University Hospital Community Oversight Board on July 18, 2013 for a term that will expire July 1, 2018.