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William 'Bill' J. Pascrell, Jr.
Birthdate: Jan. 25, 1937
Birth Place: Paterson, NJ, United States
Residence: Paterson, NJ
First Elected: 1996
State: New Jersey
District: District 9
Undergraduate: Fordham University
Graduate: Fordham University
Bill Pascrell was born in Paterson, N.J., where he still resides. He attended Fordham University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in 1959 and a master's degree in 1961.
He served in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1961 to 1967, and he worked as a high school teacher from 1960 to 1974. He served as a public official in Paterson from 1974 to 1987. He also has served on boards of public works and education.
Pascrell was in the New Jersey Assembly from 1987 to 1997, and he was mayor of Paterson from 1990 to 1997. He was elected to the U.S. House in 1996.
Pascrell and his wife, Elsie, have three children.
Bill Pascrell, representing New Jersey's 9th Congressional District, survived a challenging primary in 2012 against another incumbent Democratic member of Congress.
The eight-term congressman got campaign help from former President Bill Clinton as he defeated Rep. Steve Rothman in a matchup that came about after New Jersey lost a seat to redistricting following the 2010 census.
His general-election opponent, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, is a Republican TV personality, author of the book "Kosher Sex" and a onetime spiritual adviser to Michael Jackson.
Bill Pascrell has maintained a focus during his long political career on his hometown of Paterson, where he is a former mayor. He is a moderate Democrat who has emerged as a vocal proponent for his party to shift toward the political center.
He has often used his voice _ rather than legislation _ to try to affect policy.
Pascrell joined with other members of New Jersey's congressional delegation in April 2012 in calling for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to suspend a round of toll hikes.
In 2011, he joined several other members of the House to ask Lowe's Cos. to stand up against religious intolerance and reverse a decision to pull ads from a reality TV show about American Muslims. Lowe's stood by its decision.
Pascrell and New York Sen. Charles Schumer spoke out in February 2009 about their concerns over a planned merger between Ticketmaster and Live Nation Inc. The pair also called for a federal investigation into Ticketmaster for sending Bruce Springsteen fans to its ticket-resale website, where the tickets cost much more.
He saw The Great Falls, a 77-waterfall in Paterson, named a national park in 2011. Pascrell had long lobbied for the designation.
Pascrell sought to make sure that New Jersey got its share of the $410 billion spending bill approved by Congress in early 2009. Despite sharp criticism by some over $7.7 billion of earmarks included in the spending bill, Pascrell was among those who felt the spending made sense, saying the projects would be helpful and for the common good.
Pascrell co-chaired a congressional task force on brain injuries sustained by U.S. troops in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Pascrell gained media attention as one of several public officials in the New Jersey area who lauded the efforts of Mohammad Qatanani, the spiritual leader of the Islamic Center of Passaic County. Qatanani was accused by some federal officials of having terrorist ties, and federal immigration officials sought to have him deported. But a judge ruled in September 2008 that he could obtain permanent U.S. residency.
Source: Associated Press
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