Newark Power Broker Carl Sharif has Died

Carl-SharifCarl Sharif, the brainy, hard-nosed South Ward political power broker who helped launch Cory Booker’s career in local politics, has died.

Booker once called Mr. Sharif his “political sensei.”

A master builder of Newark political operations, Carl Sharif got his start in school board politics and as an administrative assistant to Mayor Ken Gibson, and most recently championed Booker’s ward and citywide races, his son Darrin Sharif’s successful 2010 Central Ward campaign, and last year’s Shavar Jeffries mayoral campaign.

He once advised Booker that the fledgling local politician needed to walk the Central Ward in its entirety in order to reach voters.

Mr. Sharif had been ill for many years but doggedly pressed on with his myriad political activities.

He was 72.

To see a 2008 interview with the iconic Newark politico, go here. To read about Booker’s challenge of Central Ward Councilman George Branch, go here.

U.S. Senator Booker issued a statement.

“Carl lived his life in a way that lent strength and wisdom to all those lucky enough to know him,” Booker said. “That makes his passing all the more difficult. Throughout my time in public service, when I needed support, inspiration and wisdom, I looked to Carl. He devoted himself wholly to the city and the people of Newark, and was met with reverence and love in return. To his family, friends, our city, and our state, Carl bestowed on us a legacy of not just a commitment to public service, but an unwavering faith in the inherent goodness of our community. I will miss him, I will cherish what he has taught me, and I will do my best to honor him through my life and work.”

Newark Power Broker Carl Sharif has Died