- Associated Press - Monday, June 22, 2015

PHILLIPSBURG, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey man who spent several decades trying to have his composition recognized as the state’s official song has died.

Family members say Red Mascara - whose legal name was Joseph Rocco Mascari - died Saturday, several days after he suffered a stroke. He was 92.

Mascara composed “I’m from New Jersey” in the early 1960s and soon became a fixture in the statehouse, where he lobbied lawmakers to have it declared the state song. He came close on several occasions and in 1972 saw it get as far as the desk of Gov. William Cahill, who vetoed it.

Mascara’s 36-year-old granddaughter, Rebecca Lee, told The Star-Ledger that she will take up his cause, saying that “we may one day succeed in making his dream a reality.”

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