NEW YORK Supermarket leader and former New Jersey state legislator Joseph Azzolina died Thursday night, according to published reports. He was 84.
Azzolina, who was president of Food Circus and Foodtown, died at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York of pancreatic cancer. A former Navy captain, Azzolina had several stints in both houses of the New Jersey state legislature between 1965 and 2006. Among his claims to fame was his successful effort to bring the battleship U.S.S. New Jersey to the state following the ship’s retirement, in 2001.
“He was a wonderful family man, a great friend to many, a successful and hardworking businessman, a dedicated statesman and a proud Navy captain,” Food Marketing Institute president and CEO Leslie Sarasin said. Azzolina served on the FMI’s board of directors for 17 years.
“He was always generous with his time and was happy to share his knowledge and experience as an independent operator,” Sarasin said.
Azzolina is survived by his wife, Roselyn, four sons and two daughters, according to reports.