Before Prudential Center became a reality, a time when the building’s merits were heavily debated by local government, its construction was approved as part of a concerted effort to revitalize Newark. As arguably the city’s biggest booster, Dr. Clement A. Price supported the effort to build the state-of-the-art arena, with a vision of a brighter future for his adopted home.
“I see this as a continuation of Newark reintroducing itself to New Jersey and New Jersey getting over its long-standing fear and loathing of Newark,” said Price in a 2007 interview with the Associated Press.
Price, a Newark City Historian and professor of History at Rutgers University-Newark, passed away November 5 at the age of 69.
Like the Devils, Price didn’t start out in Newark. He was born in Washington D.C. and went to college at the University of Bridgeport, in Connecticut, before settling in Newark as a graduate student in the late 1960s. He earned his Ph.D. at Rutgers-Newark, where as a professor he earned numerous awards.
Price was a Rutgers Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor, chaired President Obama’s transition team for the National Endowment for the Humanities and served as vice chair of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.
Earlier this year Price was awarded the title City of Newark historian. His knowledge of the city was often described as encyclopedic. He also was the chairman of Newark’s 350th anniversary celebratory committee, where he would help plan for the city’s celebration in 2016.
In a statement before the U.S. House of Representatives on November 14th , Rep. Donald M. Payne Jr. said, “I will forever be grateful for his help and dedication to our shared beloved city. Newark is without a doubt a better place to live because of Dr. Clement Price.”