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Identifier: MC 996

Dean A. Gallo Congressional Papers


  • 1982-1994, bulk 1984-1994

Scope and Content Note

The Congressional papers of Dean Anderson Gallo document his career as a United States Representative from the 11th District in northern New Jersey (primarily Morris and western Essex counties) spanning the years from 1984 to 1994. The collection is composed of correspondence, memos, speeches, reports, press releases, appointment books and schedules, as well as printed material such as newspaper clippings, newsletters and campaign literature. Photographs, audiotapes and a large number of videotapes are also included.

Gallo's papers contain information relating to many aspects of United States public policy, especially in the areas of health care, trade (particularly those concerning small business) and the environment (especially Superfund cleanup initiatives and legislation to mandate double hulls on oil tankers). Material relating to these issues can be found in the BILLS FILES.

Additional documentation of Gallo's legislative activities can be found in BRIEFING MEMOS, among which are notes and fact sheets on current issues and pending legislation, as well as internal memos to Gallo's staff summarizing his positions and activities. The LEGISLATIVE PROFILES detail Gallo's sponsored and cosponsored bills and the VOTING RECORD ["LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY GUIDE"] summarizes Gallo's voting record from 1985 to 1993. The LEGISLATIVE UPDATES AND SUMMARIES were created to be used by his three district offices and thus also provide an overview of his legislative activities. The WHIP CHECKS AND ORGANIZATIONAL LISTS date from 1987 to 1988 (the 100th Congress) and indicate which way Gallo planned to vote on particular issues.

Gallo's views on issues and specific bills are found in several locations in the collection. Various PRESS RELEASES are relevant, as are many of Gallo's CONGRESSIONAL RECORD REMARKS. Issues relating exclusively to New Jersey's 11th District are documented in the CONSTITUENT NEWSLETTERS. The CAMPAIGN FILES also contain summaries of Gallo's political concerns and positions throughout his career.

The PRESS CLIPPINGS date chiefly from the 1990s and further document Gallo's political activities and opinions. These articles are grouped together under subject headings assigned by his staff; the headings also serve to provide insight into subjects of interest to Gallo. Additional press clippings are interfiled throughout the collection.

Chiefly New Jersey-related, the PROJECT AND ISSUE FILES include documentation of some of Gallo's cosponsored measures and non-legislative activities with particular emphasis on small business concerns and health care. Other non-legislative projects that are particularly well represented are documented by the PICATINNY ARSENAL FILES that relate to Gallo's successful efforts in preventing the closure of Picatinny Arsenal (Rockaway Township, New Jersey) and the SOVIET "REFUSNIK" FILES that pertain to his attempts to assist persecuted Jewish citizens in emigrating from the Soviet Union to be reunited with their New Jersey families.

Five additional series comprise the remainder of the papers. The SPEECHES were given at various public events in Gallo's home district and often include supplemental material in the form of memos, news clippings and press releases. The TRAVEL FILES consist of documentation of Gallo's involvement in foreign affairs through his trips to Israel, Central America, the Soviet Union and South Africa. The PHOTOGRAPHS are largely from Gallo's trips to foreign countries, with Central America and Israel the most represented. Among the other events documented in this series is a 1992 tour of Superfund sites in New Jersey. Among the AUDIO AND VIDEO TAPE RECORDINGS are statements made by Gallo on the House floor and interviews, debates and appearances on television shows, including Ask Congress, Congressional Conversations and Caucus New Jersey. Some campaign promotions are also represented in this series. The BIOGRAPHICAL FILES consist solely of material about Gallo's retirement from Congress and his subsequent death from cancer in 1994.


20.4 Cubic Feet (20 record center cartons, 1 manuscript box)

Physical Location

Stored offsite. Advance notice of at least two working days required to consult this collection.

Language of Materials

Bulk in English; at least one item in Russian; a few printed items in Spanish


Dean A. Gallo was a realtor in Morris County, New Jersey. After serving successively in elective offices at the local, county and state levels, he was elected to Congress as a Republican to serve a district that was centered in Morris County. Winning re-election four times, Gallo served New Jersey's 11th Congressional District from January 1985 through his death in November 1994. His Congressional papers (including audio-visual materials and some photographs) span the entire period that he was in office. The papers document Gallo's activities, his positions on issues, his legislative actions and initiatives, his election campaigns, his Congressional travels, and, to a lesser extent, the activities of his Washington office. Among the topics represented are environmental protection, the continuation of Picatinny Arsenal as a functioning military base and the plight of Soviet Refusniks.

Biographical Chronology

On November 23rd, Dean Anderson Gallo is born in Hackensack, New Jersey. (Subsequently grows up in Parsippany-Troy Hills Township, Morris County, New Jersey.)
Graduates from Boonton High School, Boonton, New Jersey.
Plays minor-league baseball for Brooklyn Dodgers organization.
Marries first wife, Anne Schwenker, with whom he later has two children: Robert and Susan.
Forms real estate partnership with Alex DeCroce, later a New Jersey Assemblyman.
Receives the Jaycee's "Outstanding Young Man of the Year" award.
Concerned over increasing urbanization of the Parsippany-Troy Hills area, and its lack of athletic fields and parks, joins the local recreation committee. In order to obtain more assistance for recreation programs, runs successfully as a Republican for the Parsippany-Troy Hills township council, thus beginning his political career.
Serves as township Council Vice-President.
Serves as Council President. Also seeks and wins a seat on the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
Appointed Freeholder Director of Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
Defeats Democrat John J. Sinsimer for seat in the General Assembly in the (then) 24th Legislative District. Serves on the Joint Appropriations Committee and the Assembly Ways and Means Committee. (Is subsequently reelected to four additional terms.)
Elected Assistant Minority Leader of New Jersey State Assembly.
Named "Legislator of the Year" by the New Jersey Association of Counties.
Elected State Assembly Minority Leader. Also named "Legislator of the Year" by the National Republican Legislators Association.
Defeats eleven-term incumbent Joseph G. Minish (D-New Jersey) for seat in the United States House of Representatives from the state's 11th Congressional District.
Introduces H.R. 2969, which forms the basis of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act of 1986. Serves as Co-Chair of Congressional Caucus on Soviet Jewry. In April, travels to Central America (Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua) to evaluate the political situation and whether or not the United States should aid the Contra rebels in Nicaragua.
Serves as a Republican Freshman Whip in the House; also serves on Public Works and Transportation Committee and Small Business Committee. During this period, also divorces his wife Anne.
In May, travels to Soviet Union to meet with Soviet Jews who have been repeatedly denied exit visas ("refusniks"). In November, defeats Democrat Frank Askin to win election to a second term.
Appointed Eastern Regional Republican Whip, a position he holds for the remainder of his Congressional career.
Continues to serve on Public Works and Transportation Committee, as well as its Water Resources Subcommittee, Public Buildings and Grounds Subcommittee and Surface Transportation Subcommittee. Also continues to serve on Small Business Committee and joins its Exports, Tourism and Special Problems Subcommittee and Procurement, Innovation and Minority Enterprise Development Subcommittee. Heads the Small Business Export Opportunity Task Force.
In November, defeats Democrat John C. Shaw to win reelection to a third term.
Following Exxon Valdez oil-spill incident (March 24, 1989), introduces H.R. 2609, requiring installation of double hulls on all newly constructed oil tankers, but the bill dies in committee. Then introduces House Amendment 334, which mandates double hulls as part of H.R. 1465, an oil pollution-related bill introduced by another Representative. The bill, with Gallo's amendment, becomes the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. His H.R. 584 is also incorporated into H.R. 3520, which becomes the Hazardous Materials Transportation Uniform Safety Act of 1990.
Serves on House Appropriations Committee, as well as its District of Columbia Subcommittee and Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs Subcommittee. Also serves on Budget Committee.
From February to March, travels to South Africa as part of a Joint Congressional Delegation to evaluate that country's progress in reforming its government. In November, defeats Democrat Michael Gordon to win reelection to a fourth term.
In April, is appointed to Executive Committee of the Environment and Energy Study Conference.
Continues to serve on Appropriations Committee and its District of Columbia Subcommittee; also joins the Energy and Water Development Subcommittee.
When diagnosed with prostate cancer, only informs his immediate family and a few close friends. In November, defeats Democrat Ona Spiridellis to win reelection to a fifth term.
Persuades Department of Defense not to close Picatinny Arsenal (Morris County) under the Defense Base Realignment and Closure Act, arguing that the site is an important research facility.
Continues to serve on Appropriations Committee. Also serves on Energy and Water Development Subcommittee and Veterans Administration, Housing and Urban Development and Independent Agencies Subcommittee. Is selected as Co-Chair of the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition.
In March, undergoes hip replacement surgery; his cancer, which had gone into remission following treatment, reappears shortly after the operation. In August, announces that he will retire from office at the end of his term. In September, marries fiancée Betty Schmidt at a private ceremony in the hospital. Dies of cancer on November 5th at St. Clare's-Riverside Hospital in Denville, New Jersey, at the age of 58.
Inventory to the Dean A. Gallo Congressional Papers MC 996
Edited Full Draft
David Kuzma
February 2013
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.
Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University received an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.