Howard Kupperman, former mayor of Longport

Howard Kupperman
Howard Kupperman
Posted: February 10, 2014

Howard Kupperman, 82, mayor of Longport, N.J., from 1983 through 1992, died of cancer Tuesday, Feb. 4, at his home in Tarpon Springs, Fla.

He was a member of the Longport Board of Commissioners from 1966 to 1992 and, among other accomplishments, was known for having a smiling face painted on the municipal water tower, his wife, Lina Jane, said in a phone interview.

During his one term in the New Jersey Assembly in the 1970s, he was the Republican sponsor of legislation that led to the legalization of casino gambling in Atlantic City, his wife said.

Steven P. Perskie, later the Democratic Senate majority leader, was his party's sponsor of that Assembly legislation.

Born in Atlantic City, Mr. Kupperman graduated from Pleasantville High School in 1948 and earned a bachelor's in economics in 1952 at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

During the Korean conflict, he was an Air Force navigator stationed in Japan, from where he flew combat missions, his wife said. His unit earned several presidential citations, she said.

Mr. Kupperman graduated from Rutgers Law School in 1961 and maintained a private practice in Atlantic City.

For a time, he was a state inheritance-tax supervisor in Atlantic County, his wife said.

In 1989, the Republican Mr. Kupperman supported the Democrat James Florio in his successful gubernatorial race against Republican Jim Courter.

"I don't think Jim Courter has his finger on the pulse," Mr. Kupperman said at the time.

In 1990, Florio named Mr. Kupperman a judge in the Workers' Compensation Court of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

In 1994, he left that post and his New Jersey career, his wife said, "when we went to St. Thomas" for year-round residence.

Besides his wife, Mr. Kupperman is survived by son David, daughters Wendy Ruden and Carolyn Kupperman, a sister, and a grandson.

Services were set for 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9, at the Williams Funeral Home, 242 N. Church Ave., Chilhowie, Va. 24319.

Donations may be sent to Suncoast Hospice, 5771 Roosevelt Blvd., Clearwater, Fla. 33760.

Condolences may be offered to the family at the funeral home address above.

610-313-8134 @WNaedele

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