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Newark Historian Clement Price Dies

Rutgers Professor and Newark Historian Clement Price on the NJTV News set in February. Price died Wednesday at the age of 69 after suffering a stroke over the weekend.

Rutgers University Professor and Newark Historian Clement Price died Wednesday at the age of 69 after having a stroke over the weekend.

Rutgers-Newark Chancellor Nancy Cantor confirmed the death in an email to students, faculty and staff. She said, “It is impossible at this moment to imagine this world, let alone our university or our community, without him. He is a primary reason why so many of us at Rutgers University-Newark are here.”

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka reacted to Price’s death this afternoon. “I believe I can speak for the entire city of Newark when we say that we are in sadness, shock and mourning upon hearing of the death of Rutgers University-Newark Professor Clement Alexander Price today. Not only was he a dear friend to me, he was a friend to all of Newark. His great intelligence, his vast learning, his eloquence and most of all, his unbelievable personal warmth, made him one of our city’s most titanic, respected and beloved figures,” Baraka said in a statement. “He empowered and energized everyone he met and touched with his warmth and wisdom, and we were proud to return that warmth and wisdom by appointing him as Newark’s first African-American City Historian. Our celebrations of Newark’s 350th Anniversary in 2016 will be a tribute to his love of Newark and his vision of its greatness as our nation’s third-oldest city. He defined the transformation we are making to turn Newark into a city we can all believe in. Our prayers go out to his wife, Mary Sue Sweeney Price, and his entire family.”

Senate President Steve Sweeney reacted to the loss, saying in a statement, “I am saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Clement Price. He was an amazing man whose knowledge of Newark was surpassed only by his love of the city. His contributions to our state as a teacher and historian, in particular, his award winning work on black history and New Jersey history, are unparalleled. We have lost one of the great ones. My condolences go out to his family and loved ones.”

Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo also released a statement on Price’s passing, saying, “We are all saddened by the passing of Clement Price. A scholar, Clem’s knowledge of Newark was extensive and we relied greatly on his knowledge of our past. His insight made the history of our city and county come alive and always put into perspective from where the city had come and to where it was going. Always a gentleman and willing to help, we know that when others write Newark’s history, they will include a chapter about our friend, Clement Price. We extend our deepest condolences and sympathy to his family.”

Sen. Teresa Ruiz commented on Price’s death. Her statement read, “Dr. Clement Price was a man whose name was synonymous with Newark history and who was beloved by everyone. He was a historian, an author, a teacher, a promoter of all of our city’s greatness and a friend to so many. He knew intimately the history of Newark and the importance of sharing it with the world. We are all privileged to have known him and to have learned from him. His contributions will forever be etched in this city’s history. My condolences to his loved ones. My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.”