Cary Booker, the father of Mayor Cory Booker, died Thursday morning in Las Vegas. He was 76 years old.
Booker had Parkinson’s disease and had recently suffered a stroke, according to published reports.
Born Dec. 10, 1936 to an unwed mother in North Carolina, Booker went on to become one of the first African-American executives at IBM. Carolyn Booker, his wife, also became one of the first black executives at the technology company. They were married for 49 years.
The Bookers eventually settled in Harrington Park in Bergen County, where Cory Booker grew up.
Cory Booker frequently referred to his father in public speeches, recounting how he overcame tremendous odds to make his mark in the corporate world. The mayor also described how his father frequently urged the younger Booker to remember Cary Booker's hardscrabble roots and to think of those who grew up in less fortunate circumstances.
“Many people in our city came to know and love Cary Booker. Mayor Booker's father was an inspiration to him, and someone the mayor has often credited with being a principal reason for him entering public service,” read a statement released by Newark City Hall Thursday.Booker, who is the Democratic candidate for US Senate in an election Oct. 16, has cancelled his remaining campaign events for the day, the statement also read.