NJ Transit's First Chairman
May 6, 1931 — August 19, 2018
Louis J. Gambaccini, 87, of Skillman, died at home on August 19.
Best known for creating NJ Transit, Gambaccini was a national public leader, revered for his vision and inspiring leadership
as a public transportation expert and public servant of the highest integrity and character. Most important, Lou was a beloved family man, professional, colleague, and friend.
Lou was born in New Haven, CT to Basilio and Pierina (Malerba) Gambaccini, Italian immigrants from Le Marche region of Italy. He graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1952, served in Korea, earning a bronze star and the combat infantryman badge, then earned a master’s degree in public
administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, which set the course of his professional life.
He spent 30 years at the Port Authority of NY & NJ, and was vice president and general manager of PATH. Governor Byrne asked him to serve as NJ DOT Commissioner (1978 – 1982.)
Lou became a highly respected figure, especially for creating NJ Transit, the nation’s largest public transit agency, and served as its founding chairman.
He later served eight years as the general manager of SEPTA. He ended his career as senior fellow emeritus at the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.
He is survived by his six children – Mark, Claire, Beth, Paul, Sue, and Jill – their spouses, ten grandchildren, his loving friend Mary Alice and his devoted
aide, Ibrahim. He is predeceased by his parents, sister and his beloved wife, Annette, to whom he was married 39 years.
Donations can be made to the Rutgers Foundation/Eagleton Institute, 191 Ryders Lane, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, or online at: www.eagleton.rutgers.
edu. Please specify gift is for the Louis J. Gambaccini Lecture Series. ■