In Memoriam: Dr. David Rebovich

On the five year anniversary of the death of Prof. David Rebovich, we remember our friend and former director of the Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider University, later renamed in his honor.

The New Jersey politics expert died on this day in 2007 after suffering a heart attack while teaching class at Rider.

He was 58.

Dr. Rebovich possessed a unique ability to mesh political theory and street level observation to produce a lasting legacy for anyone curious about politics in New Jersey.

When he died, politicians, fellow political experts, students and family members all mourned, and to this day, continue to feel the loss of a friend and mentor.

Those who knew him remembered Dr. Rebovich as an expert but down-to-earth and self-effacing Perth Amboy-raised original – “Reb,” an academic who could talk Plato’s Cave just as casually as break down local politics at Fred and Pete’s Deli on Route 33 in his beloved hometown of Hamilton.

In many ways he epitomized Hamilton, that Central Jersey crossroads for political animals of all stripes.  

Dr. Rebovich earned a BA from Johns Hopkins University and an MA and PhD from Rutgers University in political science. He played the back court on the basketball team at Perth Amboy High School and at Johns Hopkins University.

Fairness defined him as a professor, commentator and writer, according to those who knew and worked with him, including us at PolitickerNJ.com.

“He expected total integrity out of public figures and he never chose sides,” his younger brother Kurt Rebovich of Perth Amboy said of Dr. Rebovich in PolitickerNJ.com’s obituary.

As long as there is a classroom in which to learn, a book to read, a diner to read it in, a race to win, and a vote to cast, Dr. Rebovich, you are not forgotten.

Thank you.

"Sit down and shut up!"
—Gov. Chris Christie, to a Hurricane Sandy heckler