Born on February 25, 1918 in West New York, at six years old Harold Martin moved with his family to Brooklyn, where his father ran a successful men’s clothing store. He graduated from New Utrecht High School in New York, and later attended the University of Missouri and the University of Arizona. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Rutgers University, as well as completing advanced course in government at the New School for Social Research. He served in the US Army form 1943 to 1946 assigned to counter-intelligence and the development of amphibious assault vehicles, being discharged with the rank of second lieutenant. He later was a research economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and an editor of a house publication of the Shell Oil Company prior to becoming a sales representative for 15 years in the electronics industry.
From 1963 to 1965, Martin was an account executive with the Wall Street firm of Shearson-Hammill. He also served on the board of directors of Delta Foils Co. of Paterson and Circuit Foil Corp. of Bordentown (later Yates Industries). He served on the Cresskill Planning Board and the Bergen County Planning Board, and was elected to the Bergen County Board of Freeholders in 1965. In 1973, he was elected to the first of three terms in the General Assembly, where he served on the Appropriations and Education Committees, as well as chairman of the Joint Senate and Assembly Committee on the public schools during the drafting of legislation the ultimately led to New Jersey school and tax reform program enacted in 1976 to respond to the State Supreme Court’s Robinson v. Cahill decision. He has previously served on the Board of Overseers of Rutgers University and, with his wife Reba, is the patron of the Harold and Reba Martin Government Fellowships at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers that supports students with interests in public service and politics. Assemblyman and Mrs. Martin are the parents of four children.
Interview on May 14, 2009 – Transcript available here (pdf)