A New Jersey governor who mobsters said was too ethical to be bribed and who authorized the law permitting gambling in Atlantic City has died. Brendan Byrne was 93.
His son Tom Byrne says he died Thursday at a home in Livingston where he had been living. The son says he suffered an infection that went into his lungs and “was too weak to fight.”
Byrne built his reputation as a crusading prosecutor and held numerous governmental positions during more than 30 years of public service.
The Democrat won his first term as governor in 1973. His campaign was helped by an FBI surveillance tape that showed mobsters discussing how he was so ethical they couldn’t bribe him.
In 1976, he authorized a referendum that led to the approval of legalized gambling in Atlantic City.