Alfred R. Pierce

Alfred R Pierce, Camden Mayor

ALFRED R. PIERCE is the son of Russell and Viola Pierce. He grew up in Camden and graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1939. Upon graduation from the College of South Jersey (known today as Rutgers-Camden) he enlisted in the United States Army Air Force, and served as a pilot on 51 missions in the African, Sicilian, and Italian campaigns.

Upon his discharge from the service in the fall of 1944, with the rank of captain, Alfred Pierce entered Dickinson Law School, where he was elected vice-president of his class and won scholastic honors on the dean’s list. He graduated from Dickinson in February of 1948 and served his legal clerkship with the firm of Carroll, Taylor, and Bischoff, and was admitted to the New Jersey bar the same year. He then took a position as an associate in the law firm of former Assistant Prosecutor Anthony Mitchell. During this period he also wed his wife Barbara, and moved to a house in East Camden at 603 North 34th Street. The 1956 New Jersey Bell Telephone Directory shows his address as 3215 Westfield Avenue. The 1959 edition lists him at 420 Hillside Avenue. He appears to have moved out of Camden after his term as mayor ended, although he did maintain a law office in the city for many years.

In January of 1950, Mayor George Brunner named Alfred Pierce to serve a three-year term on the Camden Board of Education, replacing Dr. Ethan A. Lang who had resigned. Dr. Lang was concurrently serving as City Comptroller and President of the School Board prior to his resignation. He later served as solicitor for the School Board of the City of Camden.

On August 4, 1959 Alfred Pierce became a charter member of the the Legal Eagles Association, now know as the Lawyer Pilots Bar Association, a group of lawyers who also were pilots. He also was a member of the Trimble Lodge, No. 117 Free and Accepted Masons, which has roots in Camden going back to the 19th century. He had also been active in the YMCA in Camden.

Unseating long-time Mayor George Brunner in 1959, Alfred Pierce was Mayor of the City of Camden until 1969, when he was succeeded by Joseph Nardi. He had run for the State Senate in 1967 and had been defeated by Republican candidate Frank Italiano.

A lot could be said about the Pierce administration. One accurate measure of Alfred Pierce’s performance as Mayor is that property values fell every year after 1960. Alfred Pierce passed away on September 14, 2005 in Moorestown, NJ. He was buried at Harleigh Cemetery in Camden.

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