Linden was originally formed as a township on March 4, 1861, from portions of Elizabeth, Rahway and Union Township. Portions of the township were taken to form Cranford (March 14, 1871), Linden Borough (March 30, 1882) and Roselle (December 20, 1894). Linden was incorporated as a city by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on January 1, 1925, replacing both Linden Township and Linden Borough, based on the results of a referendum held on November 8, 1923.
There were 14,909 households of which 29.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.1% were married couples living together, 17.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.1% were non-families. 26.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.27.
In the city, 21.8% of the population were under the age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 28.0% from 25 to 44, 27.6% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.8 years. For every 100 females there were 91.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.7 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $55,859 (with a margin of error of +/- $2,529) and the median family income was $64,439 (+/- $4,027). Males had a median income of $45,890 (+/- $3,397) versus $39,288 (+/- $2,842) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $27,011 (+/- $1,161). About 5.9% of families and 7.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.1% of those under age 18 and 8.1% of those age 65 or over.
There were 15,052 households out of which 29.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.7% were married couples living together, 15.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.0% were non-families. 27.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.21.
In the city the population was spread out with 22.5% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 22.7% from 45 to 64, and 16.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 90.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $46,345, and the median income for a family was $54,903. Males had a median income of $39,457 versus $30,395 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,314. About 5.0% of families and 6.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.1% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over.
Linden, New Jersey (1974)
Linden is governed under the City form of government with a mayor and an 11-member City Council, of which 10 are elected from wards. The mayor and council president are elected at-large to four-year terms of office, while the other 10 members are elected from wards to three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with two or four seats up for election each year.
As of 2013[update], the Mayor of Linden is Richard J. Gerbounka (I, term of office ends December 31, 2014). Members of the City Council are:
John T. Gregorio, served as mayor of Linden for 30, nonconsecutive years until December 31, 2006, and was repeatedly tagged with scandal during his mayoral career, including one felony conviction, later pardoned, which forced him from office for two terms.
Union County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders, whose nine members are elected at-large to three-year terms of office on a staggered basis with three seats coming up for election each year, with an appointed County Manager overseeing the day-to-day operations of the county. At an annual reorganization meeting held in the beginning of January, the board selects a Chairman and Vice Chairman from among its members. As of 2014[update], Union County's Freeholders are Chairman Christopher Hudak (D, Linden, term ends December 31, 2014), Vice Chairman Mohamed S. Jalloh (D, Roselle, 2015), Bruce Bergen (D, Springfield Township, 2015), Linda Carter (D, Plainfield, 2016), Angel G. Estrada (D, Elizabeth, 2014), Sergio Granados (D, Elizabeth, 2016) Bette Jane Kowalski (D, Cranford, 2016), Alexander Mirabella (D, Fanwood, 2015) and Vernell Wright (D, Union, 2014). Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi (D, Union, 2015), Sheriff Ralph Froehlich (D, Union, 2016) and Surrogate James S. LaCorte (D, Springfield Township, 2014). The County Manager is Alfred Faella.
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 21,494 registered voters in Linden, of which 11,831 (55.0% vs. 41.8% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 1,319 (6.1% vs. 15.3%) were registered as Republicans and 8,339 (38.8% vs. 42.9%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 5 voters registered to other parties. Among the city's 2010 Census population, 53.1% (vs. 53.3% in Union County) were registered to vote, including 67.9% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 70.6% countywide).
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 11,213 votes here (73.3% vs. 66.0% countywide), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 3,814 votes (24.9% vs. 32.3%) and other candidates with 135 votes (0.9% vs. 0.8%), among the 15,303 ballots cast by the city's 22,753 registered voters, for a turnout of 67.3% (vs. 68.8% in Union County). In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 10,728 votes here (66.5% vs. 63.1% countywide), ahead of Republican John McCain with 5,037 votes (31.2% vs. 35.2%) and other candidates with 162 votes (1.0% vs. 0.9%), among the 16,142 ballots cast by the city's 22,266 registered voters, for a turnout of 72.5% (vs. 74.7% in Union County). In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 9,222 votes here (64.0% vs. 58.3% countywide), ahead of Republican George W. Bush with 4,966 votes (34.4% vs. 40.3%) and other candidates with 116 votes (0.8% vs. 0.7%), among the 14,419 ballots cast by the city's 20,596 registered voters, for a turnout of 70.0% (vs. 72.3% in the whole county).
In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 5,429 ballots cast (57.8% vs. 50.6% countywide), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 3,272 votes (34.8% vs. 41.7%), Independent Chris Daggett with 452 votes (4.8% vs. 5.9%) and other candidates with 98 votes (1.0% vs. 0.8%), among the 9,390 ballots cast by the city's 21,742 registered voters, yielding a 43.2% turnout (vs. 46.5% in the county).
In the mid-20th century, Linden was the headquarters for the Regal Records and De Luxe Records labels, as well as the budget record label Springboard International Records later in the century.
For many years, Linden was home to Linden Assembly, a General Motors manufacturing plant, which produced cars from 1937 through 2005. The plant produced Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Buick and other GM automobiles, but also produced planes during World War II. As of Spring of 2008 most of the plant has been torn down for redevelopment by Duke Realty Corporation, which purchased the 100 acres (40 ha) site for $76.5 million.
Linden, together with Rahway, is home to Merck & Co., one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies. In 2003, the pharmaceutical company celebrated 100 years in Rahway and Linden.
AND1 Mixtape Vol. 2
Linden was chosen as the primary filming location for Volume 2 of the streetball video series, AND1 Mixtapes. One of the original five streetballers to sign with AND1, Waliyy Dixon, a Linden native who also goes by the nickname "Main Event," helped host a night of basketball at 4th Ward Park that claimed attendance by 2,000 spectators.
^via Associated Press. "Booker is officially a U.S. senator after being sworn in", NJ.com, October 31, 2013. Accessed October 31, 2013. "Former Newark Mayor Cory Booker was sworn in as a Democratic senator from New Jersey today, taking the oath of office, exchanging hugs with Vice President Joe Biden and acknowledging the applause of friends and family members seated in the visitor's gallery that rings the chamber.... Booker, 44, was elected to fill out the term of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who died earlier this year."
^Friedman, Alexi. "Former GM plant is razed for Linden 'renaissance'", The Star-Ledger, August 31, 2008. Accessed July 23, 2012. "Demolition crews have finished clearing the massive site on the former General Motors assembly plant in Linden, making way for a planned industrial and retail park that Linden officials hope will play a key role in the city's renaissance.... After Indianapolis-based Duke Realty Corp. purchased the property from GM for $76.5 million, crews from the demolition firm Testa Corp. began dismantling the site in February. Razing the 2.7 million-square-foot automotive plant that encompassed 100 acres along Routes 1&9 -- and across from Linden Airport -- was supposed to take a year, but was completed earlier this month, far ahead of schedule."
^To Merck & Co., Inc. for 100 years of community investment and redevelopment., New Jersey Future, 2003. Accessed July 23, 2012. "Merck & Co., Inc. is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its research and manufacturing facility in the cities of Rahway and Linden, where it has grown considerably with the support of its civic partners.In the summer of 1903, a small manufacturing operation began on 150 acres of land 20 miles southwest of New York City in Rahway, New Jersey."
^Opinion. "One great moment in Linden's history", Home News Tribune, June 16, 2008. Accessed July 23, 2012. "Linden's newly created History Hall of Fame also will be housed at the museum; its first inductee, Tiffany Andrade of Linden, was this year's second runner-up for the title of Miss America USA."
^Pezzano, Chuck. "BOHN, DORIN-BALLARD REAP MORE ACCOLADES", The Record (Bergen County), February 24, 2002. Retrieved May 13, 2007. "Parker Bohn III of Jackson and Carolyn Dorin-Ballard of Linden were named honorary captains of the recently announced All-America teams in polls conducted by the American Bowling Congress and Women's International Bowling Congress."
^Wielgus, Jennifer. "Villanove product Nardi ready to hold court", Bucks County Courier Times, July 6, 2008. Accessed July 23, 2012. "His team bused all over Italy to play, with trips taking up to six hours through mountains and countryside - a far cry from Nardi's urban hometown of Linden, N.J."
^Staff. U.S. ambassador returns to Linden (Obsitnik '59), United States Naval Academy, May 6, 2009. Retrieved July 23, 2011. "Obsitnik shared his story of being born in Slovakia and moving to Linden as a child. He listed his addresses in Linden: his first house, at 308 East Elm St.; the house at 714 Roselle St. that his parents rented; and 308 East Curtis St., which his father built. From there, Obsitnik attended the Naval Academy and worked as an executive for IBM, Unisys and Litton Corp. Obsitnik graduated from Linden High School in 1955, and he recalled a few differences between the 1950s and today. Uniforms were one."
^About Frank, Frank J. Rambauskas Jr. official website. Retrieved July 23, 2011. "Originally from Linden, New Jersey, Frank now resides in San Antonio, Texas."
^Model, Eric. "Danny Stiles: The ‘Vicar of Vintage’ endures even after his passing", NewJerseyNewsroom.com, June 20, 2011. Accessed July 23, 2012. "Danny Stiles was born in 1923 and grew up in Newark and Linden during the Great Depression After graduating from high school in 1941, he enlisted for the Navy after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. After being honorably discharged due to an injured hip, Stiles went to college and held several jobs before starting his radio career."
^Becker, Arielle, Levin. "Ex-senator mourned in Linden", Home News Tribune, February 20, 2005. Retrieved July 23, 2011. "Union County Democratic Chairwoman Charlotte DeFilippo recalled the day 27 years ago when the 19-year-old Suliga walked into her office, wearing a suit and looking younger than his 19 years, and announced that he was running for the Linden school board."
^Russell, Suzanne C. "Unsolved killings probed", Asbury Park Press, August 19, 1999. Retrieved April 22, 2011. "LAW ENFORCEMENT officials today will resume their search of a Linden home owned by Robert Zarinsky, the man serving a life sentence for the 1969 killing of a 17-year-old Atlantic Highlands girl whose body was never found."