Fort Lee, New Jersey
|Fort Lee, New Jersey|
|Borough of Fort Lee|
Map highlighting Fort Lee's location within Bergen County. Inset: Bergen County's location within New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Fort Lee, New Jersey
|Incorporated||March 29, 1904|
|Named for||Fort Lee / General Charles Lee|
|• Mayor||Mark Sokolich (D, term ends December 31, 2015)|
|• Administrator||Peggy E. Thomas|
|• Clerk||Neil Grant|
|• Total||2.888 sq mi (7.478 km2)|
|• Land||2.541 sq mi (6.581 km2)|
|• Water||0.347 sq mi (0.898 km2) 12.00%|
342nd of 566 in state
29th of 70 in county
|Elevation||289 ft (88 m)|
|Population (2010 Census)|
|• Estimate (2014)||37,026|
67th of 566 in state
3rd of 70 in county
|• Density||13,910.9/sq mi (5,371.0/km2)|
|• Density rank||
16th of 566 in state
5th of 70 in county
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0885223|
Fort Lee is a Hudson River from the Manhattan borough of New York City. Named for the site of an early American Revolutionary War military encampment, it later became the birthplace of the American film industry.
- Geography 1
- Colonial era 2.1
- Formation 2.2
- America's first motion picture industry 2.3
- Birthplace of subliminal advertising 2.4
- George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal 2.5
- 2010 Census 3.1
- 2000 Census 3.2
- Local government 4.1
- Federal, state and county representation 4.2
- Politics 4.3
Emergency services and public safety 5
- Police 5.1
- Emergency medical services 5.2
- Fire department 5.3
- Private schools 6.1
- Weekend supplementary education 6.2
- Economy 7
- Roads and highways 8.1
- Public transportation 8.2
- Climate 9
- In media 10
- Notable people 11
- Bergen County Shakespeare Festival 12
- See also 13
- Sources 14
- References 15
- External links 16
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 2.888 square miles (7.478 km2), including 2.541 square miles (6.581 km2) of land and 0.347 square miles (0.898 km2) of water (12.00%).
The borough is situated atop the escarpment of the GWB Plaza leading to the George Washington Bridge.
Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the borough include Coytesville, Palisade and Taylorville.
The borough borders Cliffside Park, Edgewater, Englewood, Englewood Cliffs, Leonia, Palisades Park, Ridgefield. and the Washington Heights neighborhood of Upper Manhattan. Given its evolving cosmopolitan ambiance and adjacent proximity to Manhattan, Fort Lee is one of Northern New Jersey's Hudson Waterfront communities that has been called New York City's Sixth Borough,
Fort Lee is named for General Mount Constitution overlooking Burdett's Landing, in defense of New York City. It was during Washington's retreat in November 1776 (beginning along a road which is now Main Street) that Thomas Paine composed his pamphlet, The American Crisis, which began with the recognized phrase, "These are the times that try men's souls." These events are recalled at Monument Park and Fort Lee Historic Park.
Fort Lee was formed by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 29, 1904, from the remaining portions of Ridgefield Township. With the creation of Fort Lee, Ridgefield Township became defunct and was dissolved as of March 29, 1904. The Fort Lee Police Department was formed under borough ordinance on August 9, 1904, and originally consisted of six marshals.
America's first motion picture industry
The history of cinema in the United States can trace its roots to the East Coast where, at one time, Fort Lee was the motion picture capital of America. The industry got its start at the end of the 19th century with the construction of Thomas Edison's "Black Maria", the first motion picture studio in West Orange, New Jersey. New Jersey offered land at costs considerably less than New York City, and the cities and towns on the North River (Hudson River) and Hudson Palisades benefited greatly as a result of the phenomenal growth of the film industry at the turn of the 20th century.
Film-making began attracting both capital and an innovative workforce, and when the American Méliès (Star Films), World Film Company, Biograph Studios, Fox Film Corporation, Pathé Frères, Metro Pictures Corporation, Victor Film Company, and Selznick Pictures Corporation were all making pictures in Fort Lee. Such notables as Mary Pickford got their start at Biograph Studios.
With the offshoot businesses that sprang up to service, the film studios, for nearly two decades Fort Lee experienced unrivaled prosperity. However, just as the development of Fort Lee production facilities were gaining strength, Nestor Studios of Bayonne, New Jersey, built the first studio in Hollywood in 1911. Nestor Studios, owned by David and William Horsley, later merged with Universal Studios; and William Horsley's other company, Hollywood Film Laboratory, is now the oldest existing company in Hollywood, now called the Hollywood Digital Laboratory. California's more hospitable and cost-effective climate led to the eventual shift of virtually all filmmaking to the West Coast by the 1930s. At the time, Thomas Edison owned almost all the patents relevant to motion picture production and movie producers on the East Coast acting independently of Edison's Motion Picture Patents Company were often sued or enjoined by Edison and his agents, while movie makers working on the West Coast could work independently of Edison's control.
Television and film in New Jersey remains an important industry. Since 2000, the Fort Lee Film Commission has been charged with celebrating the history of film in Fort Lee, as well as attracting film and television production companies to the borough.
Birthplace of subliminal advertising
In 1957, market researcher James Vicary claimed that quickly flashing messages on a movie screen, in Fort Lee, had influenced people to purchase more food and drinks. Vicary coined the term subliminal advertising and formed the Subliminal Projection Company based on a six-week test. Vicary claimed that during the presentation of the movie Picnic he used a tachistoscope to project the words "Drink Coca-Cola" and "Hungry? Eat popcorn" for 1/3000 of a second at five-second intervals. Vicary asserted that during the test, sales of popcorn and Coke in that New Jersey theater increased 57.8% and 18.1% respectively.
In 1962, Vicary admitted to lying about the experiment and falsifying the results, the story itself being a marketing ploy. An identical experiment conducted by Henry Link showed no increase in cola or popcorn sales. The claim that the small cinema handled 45,699 visitors in six weeks has led people to believe that Vicary actually did not conduct his experiment at all.
George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal
- Borough of Fort Lee web site
- Fort Lee Police Department
- Fort Lee Volunteer Fire Department
- Fort Lee Volunteer Ambulance Corps
- Fort Lee School District
- Fort Lee School District's 2012–13 School Report Card from the New Jersey Department of Education
- School Data for the Fort Lee School District, National Center for Education Statistics
- Fort Lee Online community web site
- Fort Lee Film Commission web site
- An enlarged view of road jurisdiction at the Fort Lee approaches to the George Washington Bridge
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- Rose, Lisa."100 years ago, Fort Lee was the first town to bask in movie magic", The Star-Ledger, April 29, 2012. Accessed December 7, 2013. "Back in 1912, when Hollywood had more cattle than cameras, Fort Lee was the center of the cinematic universe. Icons from the silent era like Mary Pickford, Lionel Barrymore and Lillian Gish crossed the Hudson River via ferry to emote on Fort Lee back lots."
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- Fort Lee Film Commission. Fort Lee: Birthplace of the Motion Picture Industry, p. 115. Arcadia Publishing, 2006. ISBN 9780738545011. Accessed August 31, 2015. "The most interesting film shot in Fort Lee in the modern era was Goodfellas (Warner Brothers, 1990). Director Martin Scorsese, who is a leading film scholar, knows the history of film in Fort Lee and shot key scenes of this film blocks away from locations used by D. W. Griffith in the first classic gangster film, The Musketeers of Pig Alley (Biograph, 1912)."
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- Kellow, Brian. The Bennetts: An Acting Family, pp. 34-35. University Press of Kentucky, 2004. ISBN 9780813123295. Accessed August 31, 2015.
- via Associated Press. "Joan Bennett dead at 80", The Daily News (Kentucky), December 6, 1990. Accessed June 30, 2012. "The actress, born in Fort Lee, N.J., made her 1928 debut in the Broadway play Jarnegan."
- Levin, Jay. "Grammy winner M. Berniker", The Record (Bergen County), September 23, 2008. Accessed December 6, 2013. "Former Fort Lee resident Michael Berniker won nine Grammys and worked with Barbra Streisand, Perry Como, Johnny Mathis and Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme, to name a few, during four decades as a record producer."
- Saxon, Wolfgang. "Balfour Brickner, Activist Reform Rabbi, Dies at 78", The New York Times, September 1, 2005. Accessed October 13, 2013. "Rabbi Balfour Brickner, a voice of Reform Judaism on issues like race and abortion and the rabbi emeritus of the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in Manhattan, died on Monday at Mount Sinai Hospital. He was 78 and lived in Fort Lee, N.J., and Stockbridge, Mass."
- Staff. "Ft. Lee's Dr. Brothers to be honored", The Record (Bergen County), December 3, 2006. "But right now, she's getting ready for a photo shoot at her spacious Fort Lee co-op."
- Fox, Margalit. "Dr. Joyce Brothers, On-Air Psychologist Who Made TV House Calls, Dies at 85", The New York Times, May 13, 2013. Accessed October 13, 2013. "Joyce Brothers, a former academic psychologist who, long before Drs. Ruth, Phil and Laura, was counseling millions over the airwaves, died on Monday at her home in Fort Lee, N.J. She was 85."
- Comedian Charlie Callas Dead At 86, NY1 News, January 29, 2011. "NY1 VIDEO: One-time Fort Lee resident and American comedian Charlie Callas died Wednesday."
- "It's not easy being pink: Cameron Giles, better known as Cam'ron, triggered the pink fad. Now he wants to change color and cash in as a trendsetter", Taipei Times, October 18, 2004. Accessed May 13, 2007. "In a gated condominium community in Fort Lee, New Jersey, the dense shrubbery suggests a botanical garden more than a residential one.... That is how you can tell the house of Cameron Giles. For the better part of two years, pink has been the dominant color in the life of Giles, a rapper who performs as Cam'ron."
- The Last Adman, New York (magazine), April 8, 2002. "When I started to get friendly with Jay, he couldn't explain either, at least not with any clear logic, how he went from being a Jewish kid from the Bronx and Fort Lee, New Jersey, to ending up in the agency business."
- Spelling, Ian. "From Bulls & Bears to Bergen: Fox Business Network anchor Liz Claman loves coming home to Edgewater", (201) magazine, October 2009. Accessed October 12, 2009. "I love Edgewater. I lived in Fort Lee and jogged into the Edgewater Colony, and I thought 'One day, I'd love to live here.'"
- Goldstein, Richard. "Haskell Cohen, 86, Publicist; Created N.B.A. All-Star Game", The New York Times, July 3, 2000. Accessed December 5, 2013. "Haskell Cohen, a longtime publicity director for the National Basketball Association, who helped create the league's All-Star Game – a once-modest affair that has become an annual weekend spectacle – died last Wednesday at his home in Fort Lee, N.J."
- Pareles, Jon. "Celia Cruz, Petite Powerhouse of Latin Music, Dies at 77", The New York Times, July 17, 2003. Accessed July 8, 2014. "Celia Cruz, the Cuban singer who became the queen of Latin music, died yesterday at her home in Fort Lee, N.J."
- Critics Say His Mouth Needs Washing, but Morton Downey's Talk Show Is a Screaming Hit, People Magazine, April 11, 1988. ""I'm me," says Mort endearingly, as he sits in his Fort Lee, N.J., condo, sipping coffee and stubbing out the sixth of 80 cigarettes he will smoke this day."
- Pettinger, Pete. Bill Evans: How My Heart Sings, pp. 274, 284. Yale University Press, 2002. ISBN 9780300097276. Accessed September 7, 2014.
- Wilson, John S. "Bill Evans, Jazz Pianist Praised For Lyricism and Structure, Dies; 'In Touch With His Feelings' Trouble With Scales", The New York Times, September 17, 1980. Accessed June 30, 2009. "Mr. Evans, who lived in Fort Lee, N.J., toured in Europe this summer."
- Kraushar, Jonathan P. "Bergen: Comics' Haven", The New York Times, March 21, 1976. Accessed December 17, 2012. "In the view of Phil Foster, a star of the television comedy Laverne and Shirley, there is no such thing as New Jersey humor. If it exists, said Mr. Foster, who lives in Fort Lee, it is like Staten Island humor – that is, simplay a question of speaking slower."(subscription required)
- "Comedian buys home; Buddy Hackett New Owner of Anastasia House in Fort Lee", The New York Times, August 30, 1958. "Buddy Hackett is the owner of Albert Anastasia's Spanish stucco home on the edge of the Palisades in Fort Lee."
- Barboza, Craigh. "Friend Or foe?", USA Weekend, January 28, 2001. "Jay-Z, himself, has a two-floor penthouse in Fort Lee, N.J., with a view of Manhattan."
- Ross, Barbara; Singleton, Don; Santiago, Roberto; and Marzulli, John. "Jay-Z accused of knifing rival at party", Daily News (New York), December 4, 1999. Accessed January 5, 2012. "all, Jay-Z, 29, who now lives in Fort Lee, N.J., was charged with two counts of first-degree assault and two counts of second-degree assault. Posner set a return date for Jan. 31."
- Harvin, Al. "An Offseason Game; New Jersey Sports", The New York Times, January 12, 1973. Accessed November 16, 2008. "Some of the other Jersey residents on the team, according to Davis, are Bob Tucker, the New York Giants' tight end from Lincroft; Phil Villapiano, Oakland Raider linebacker from Ocean Township, and Ron Johnson, Giant running back, now a resident of Fort Lee."
- Sciolino, Elaine. "Beneath the turban: A special report.; Mullah Who Charmed Iran Is Struggling to Change It", The New York Times, February 1, 1998. Accessed July 8, 2014. "Still, the Khatami children were encouraged to earn their own money, said Ali Khatami, 44, the President's brother, a businessman who lived in Fort Lee, N.J., for a year and a half while he was getting his master's degree in industrial engineering."
- Aushenker, Michael. "Super Sunday tallies up a record $5,165,961 in contributions for United Jewish Fund", The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, March 3, 2000. Accessed December 7, 2013. "Levine, who was present at the opening of Valley Alliance's Milken Gym, told The Journal that Super Sunday reminded him of the community spirit of his home town – Fort Lee, New Jersey."
- Meyers, Tom. "From the Archives: A Main Street Marquee and a Mogul – Fort Lee and the MGM Connection; Fort Lee's Metro Theatre on Main Street and the MGM Connection", FortLeePatch, March 2, 2013. Accessed December 6, 2013. "According to Fort Lee VFW Commander Jim Viola, the Fort Lee Theatre name changed in the 1930s to the Metro. This was to honor a Fort Lee boy who made good in Hollywood, Eddie Mannix."
- Sullivan, Joseph F. "D. Bennett Mazur, a Professor And New Jersey Legislator, 69", The New York Times, October 13, 1994. Accessed February 14, 2012. "He began his political career as a tenant activist after moving to Fort Lee a few years after the war. He served on the Bergen County Board of Freeholders from 1965 to 1967 and again from 1975 to 1980 before winning his first election to the State Assembly the following year."
- Czerwinski, Mark J. "Nice and Tough -- Whalers' Mcguire Upbeat Yet Upfront", The Record (Bergen County), January 30, 2003. Accessed July 8, 2014.
- Salemi, Vicki. 'Glorifying Jersey; A noted Hollywood screenwriter uses her Jersey roots to help inform her storytelling.", New Jersey Monthly, December 13, 2010. Accessed December 6, 2013. "'It’s definitely part of who I am,' says the Los Angeles-based scribe, who was born in France and moved with her family to Fort Lee when she was 6 months old."
- Kitman, Marvin. The Man Who Would Not Shut Up: The Rise of Bill O'Reilly, p. 13. Macmillan, 2008. ISBN 9780312385866. Accessed December 6, 2013. ""Billy," as he was called to differentiate Bill Junior from Bill Senior, spent his first two years in a crowded apartment across the river in Fort Lee, New Jersey."
- Collins, Glenn. "George Price, 93, Cartoonist of Oddities, Dies", The New York Times, January 14, 1995. Accessed December 6, 2013. "Mr. Price was born on June 9, 1901, in Coytesville, N.J., in the borough of Fort Lee."
- LaGorce, Tammy. "Finding Emo", The New York Times, August 14, 2005. Accessed December 6, 2013. "'We came back, because as label owners we couldn't be away from it,' said Mr. Reines, who is from Fort Lee."
- Strauss, Robert. "In person; In a Club Full of Comics, The King Is Also a Jester", The New York Times, December 11, 2005. Accessed June 30, 2012. "Three or four times a week, Mr. Roman travels into Manhattan from his house in Fort Lee, where he has lived for six years, and holds court in one of the dining rooms at the Friars Club, formerly a doctor's town house on East 55th Street."
- Kim, Jennifer. "Fort Lee man continues film legacy", Fort Lee Suburbanite, October 16, 2009. Accessed September 26, 2011. "Though Rosario's profile in the film industry is steadily rising and Hollywood is on his horizon, he hasn't forgotten about his birthplace in Fort Lee. 'The cool thing about living in Fort Lee is living so close to New York City,' said Rosario."
- Biography at the Wayback Machine (archived March 1, 2008), Murray Sabrin. Accessed December 6, 2013. "He lives with his wife of 39 years, Florence, in Ft. Lee, New Jersey."
- Semmendinger, Paul and Ryan. "August Semmendinger Manufacturer of Photographic Apparatus", Historic Camera History Librarium, June 17, 2012. Accessed June 15, 2015. "By this point, August Semmendinger had moved to Fort Lee, in the county of Bergen and State of New Jersey."
- Goldstein, Richard. "Eva Shain, 81, a Pioneering Boxing Judge", The New York Times, August 23, 1999. Accessed December 6, 2013. "Eva Shain, the first woman to serve as a judge at a heavyweight championship boxing match when she was assigned to the Muhammad Ali-Earnie Shavers bout at Madison Square Garden in 1977, died Thursday at Englewood (N.J.) Hospital and Medical Center. Mrs. Shain, who lived in Fort Lee, N.J., was 81."
- Araton, Harvey. "Sports of The Times; Golden Windfall for the Russians", The New York Times, February 17, 2002. Accessed February 14, 2012. "At 25, Anton Sikharulidze is already a citizen of the world, more than familiar with the culture of the West. He lived in Fort Lee, N.J., for two years, trained in Hackensack."
- Friedman, Roger. "Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie Likely Guests at Cannes", Fox News, March 22, 2007. Accessed July 8, 2014. "Phoebe and Valerie lived in a small apartment in Fort Lee."
- Borden, Sam. "Soriano 'Tired' Of Trade Talk", Daily News (New York), June 17, 2006. Accessed July 8, 2014. "The Yankees have made inquiries about Soriano's availability but have been turned off by the Nationals' requests for top pitching prospect Phil Hughes or Chien-Ming Wang. Soriano, who still maintains the Fort Lee, N.J., apartment he had during his tenure in the Bronx, seemed lukewarm about the possibility of returning to the Yankees."
- Darryl Strawberry leaves hospital after cancer surgery, CNN.com, October 16, 1998. "He will convalesce at his home in Fort Lee, New Jersey."
- Ramirez, Anthony. "Lyle Stuart, Publisher of Renegade Titles, Dies at 83", The New York Times, June 26, 2006. Accessed November 4, 2007. "He was 83 and lived in Fort Lee, N.J."
- James Alward Van Fleet, Arlington National Cemetery. Accessed December 6, 2013 ."Van Fleet was born in Coytesville, New Jersey, March 19, 1892, but raised in Florida and adopted it as his home."
- Chen, Albert. "Chien-Ming Wang Has A Secret", Sports Illustrated, April 15, 2008. Accessed February 14, 2012. "During the baseball season Chien-Ming and his wife, Chia-Ling, whom he met in his first year of college and married in December 2003, live in a modest three-bedroom house in Fort Lee, N.J."
- Shkolnikova, Svetlana. "Fort Lee natives win big at Academy Awards", Fort Lee Suburbanite, March 16, 2012. Accessed July 8, 2014. "Glen Zipper stands with his fellow crewmembers for the football documentary 'Undefeated,' which took the Oscar for Best Documentary at this year's Academy Awards. He and his brother Ralph grew up in Fort Lee, and worked together on the film. Glen, who worked as a criminal prosecutor in Hudson County for three years."
- Ciccarelli, Jon. "Hudson Shakespeare Company venues".
- Municipal Incorporations of the State of New Jersey (according to Counties) prepared by the Division of Local Government, Department of the Treasury (New Jersey); December 1, 1958.
- Clayton, W. Woodford; and Nelson, William. History of Bergen and Passaic Counties, New Jersey, with Biographical Sketches of Many of its Pioneers and Prominent Men. Philadelphia: Everts and Peck, 1882.
- Harvey, Cornelius Burnham (ed.), Genealogical History of Hudson and Bergen Counties, New Jersey. New York: New Jersey Genealogical Publishing Co., 1900.
- Van Valen, James M. History of Bergen County, New Jersey. New York: New Jersey Publishing and Engraving Co., 1900.
- Westervelt, Frances A. (Frances Augusta), 1858–1942, History of Bergen County, New Jersey, 1630–1923, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1923.
- Fort Lee lane closure controversy
- List of tallest buildings in Fort Lee
- Koreatown, Palisades Park
- List of U.S. cities with significant Korean-American populations
Since 2007, the Hudson Shakespeare Company has brought their Shakespeare in the Park touring shows to Fort Lee in "Shakespeare Tuesdays". The group now performs regularly at Monument Park (1588 Palisade Avenue, next to the Fort Lee Museum) with 2 Tuesday shows per month for each month of the summer. The festival also tours similar dates in Hackensack.
Bergen County Shakespeare Festival
- Vito Albanese (born 1918), politician who represented Bergen County in the New Jersey General Assembly from 1966 to 1968.
- Albert Anastasia (1902–1957), Mafia boss.
- Mickey Appleman (born 1946), professional poker player.
- Allan Arkush (born 1948), film director and television producer known for Rock and Roll High School and the NBC series Heroes.
- Barbara Bennett (1906–1959), silent screen actress and literary representative.
- Constance Bennett (1904–1965), stage and film actress.
- Joan Bennett (1910–1990), stage and film actress.
- Mike Berniker (1935–2008), record producer.
- Balfour Brickner (1926–2005), rabbi emeritus of the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in Manhattan.
- Dr. Joyce Brothers (1927–2013), psychologist, television personality.
- Charlie Callas (1924–2011), comedian and actor.
- Cam'ron (born 1976), rapper.
- Jay Chiat (1931–2002), advertising agency executive.
- Liz Claman (born 1963), Fox Business Network anchor.
- Haskell Cohen (1914–2000), public relations director of National Basketball Association from 1950 to 1969, known as creator of NBA All-Star Game.
- Émile Cohl (1857–1938), French caricaturist, cartoonist, and animator.
- Celia Cruz (1925–2003), Cuban-born salsa singer.
- Morton Downey, Jr. (1932–2001), singer, songwriter, radio and TV personality. host.
- Bill Evans (1929–1980), jazz pianist and composer.
- Phil Foster (1913–1985), comedian and actor, played Frank De Fazio in Laverne & Shirley.
- Buddy Hackett (1924–2003), comedian and actor.
- Jay-Z (born 1969), rapper.
- Ron Johnson (born 1947), former NFL running back for the Cleveland Browns and New York Giants.
- Ali Khatami (born 1953), former Iranian Presidential Chief of Staff.
- Samm Levine (born 1982), actor on Freaks and Geeks.
- Eddie Mannix (1891–1963), film studio executive at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
- D. Bennett Mazur (c. 1925–1994), member of the New Jersey General Assembly.
- Pierre McGuire (born 1961), ice hockey analyst and former NHL coach and scout.
- Aline Brosh McKenna (born 1967), screenwriter who wrote the scripts for The Devil Wears Prada and 27 Dresses.
- Bill O'Reilly (born 1949), television host, author, syndicated columnist and political commentator, host of The O'Reilly Factor on Fox News Channel.
- The New Yorker.
- Richard Reines, recording industry executive, co-owner of Drive-Thru Records.
- Freddie Roman (born 1937), comedian, New York Friars' Club notable.
- Joe Rosario (born 1959), actor, writer, director.
- Murray Sabrin (born 1946), college professor and Libertarian Party / Republican Party politician.
- August Semmendinger (1820-1885), photographic inventor.
- Eva Shain (c. 1918–1999), boxing judge, one of first female judges in New York, first woman to judge a heavyweight championship bout (1977 fight between Muhammad Ali and Earnie Shavers).
- Anton Sikharulidze (born 1976), Olympic gold medal-winning pairs figure skater.
- Phoebe Snow (1950–2011), singer.
- Alfonso Soriano (born 1976), outfielder who plays for the New York Yankees.
- Darryl Strawberry (born 1962), Major League Baseball outfielder who played for New York Mets, New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers.
- Lyle Stuart (1922–2006), independent publisher of controversial books.
- James Van Fleet (1892–1992), United States Army general.
- Chien-Ming Wang (born 1980), pitcher for the Washington Nationals.
- Glen Zipper (born 1974), writer, film producer and former New Jersey assistant state prosecutor known for the Academy Award-winning film Undefeated.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Fort Lee include:
- The borough was mentioned in "Weekend Update" segments involving fictional consumer affairs reporter Roseanne Roseannadanna, played by Gilda Radner, who almost always began reading letters by saying, "A Mr. Richard Feder from Fort Lee, New Jersey, writes in and says...." Feder was the brother-in-law of Saturday Night Live writer and segment co-creator Alan Zweibel and an actual Fort Lee resident until he moved to West Nyack, New York in 1981.
- In the 1984 film, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, the character played by Jeff Goldblum (Dr. Sidney Zweibel/New Jersey) introduces himself as being from Fort Lee.
- In Desperately Seeking Susan, the main character Roberta (played by Rosanna Arquette) is from Fort Lee. A key thematic element of the film is the contrast between Roberta's life in New Jersey and her desire to experience Susan's lifestyle in New York City.
- Martin Scorsese directed several scenes of Goodfellas in Fort Lee.
- Chabad of Fort Lee, a synagogue, was used as the filming location for the Queens, New York residence of Detective Elliot Stabler on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
- In late March 2011, a group of teenagers reported that they had been detained by the Fort Lee Police Department who left them in a police van parked for 14 hours overnight at headquarters. The detainees, who said that they had no food, water or access to bathrooms during that time, were released after passers-by heard their screams. In December 2013, $120,000 was awarded to each of three of the teens as settlement of a lawsuit that alleged that they had been unlawfully detained and that police officers had used racial epithets.
- On March 2, 2012, The show Morning Joe on MSNBC aired live from Fort Lee High School. Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski joined Gov. Chris Christie, Rev. Al Sharpton, Michelle Rhee, Harold Ford Jr., Howard Dean, Interim Superintendent of Fort Lee Schools (Steven Engravalle) and other invited guests to discuss New Jersey's education reform.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Fort Lee has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
Fort Lee is served by the GWB Plaza, a busy crossroads at the northern end of the borough.
As of May 2010, the borough had a total of 51.12 miles (82.27 km) of roadways, of which 35.44 miles (57.04 km) were maintained by the municipality, 6.20 miles (9.98 km) by Bergen County and 6.22 miles (10.01 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 3.26 miles (5.25 km) by the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.
Roads and highways
Companies based in Fort Lee include Bank of New Jersey and the American Bank Note Company.
The Japanese Weekend School of New Jersey (ニュージャージー補習授業校), a two Japanese day schools in the New York City area.
Weekend supplementary education
Private schools in the area include Christ the Teacher (PK–8, 314 students), First Step Day Care Center (PK, 101 students), Fort Lee Education Center (7–12, 78 students), Fort Lee Montessori Pre-School (PK, 49 students), Fort Lee Youth Center Playgroup (PK, 30 students), Futures Best Nursery Academy (PK, 98 students), Green House Preschool and Kindergarten (PK–K, 125 students), Happy Kids Pre-School (PK, 75 students), Hooks Lane School (PK, 54 students), Les Enfants Day Care Center (PK, 60 students), Palisades Pre-School (PK, 108 students), Rainbow School DC (PK, 88 students), and Small World Montessori School (PK, 51 students). Christ the Teacher Interparochial School operates under the supervision of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark.
Public school students from the borough, and all of Bergen County, are eligible to attend the secondary education programs offered by the Bergen County Technical Schools, which include the Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, and the Bergen Tech campus in Teterboro or Paramus. The district offers programs on a shared-time or full-time basis, with admission based on a selective application process and tuition covered by the student's home school district.
During the 2010–11 school year, School #3 was awarded the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education, the highest award an American school can receive, one of only ten schools statewide to be honored. The school was one of three in Bergen County honored that year.
The Fort Lee School District serves public school students in pre-Kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2011-12 school year, the district's six schools had an enrollment of 3,661 students and 266.6 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.73:1. Schools in the district (with 2011-12 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are four elementary schools – School 1 (grades PreK–6; 640 students), School 2 (K–6; 429), School 3 (K–6; 533) and School 4 (K–6; 511) – Lewis F. Cole Middle School (7&8; 552) and Fort Lee High School (9–12; 996).
|Engine company||Truck company||Special unit||Address|
|Engine 1, Engine 5||146 Main Street|
|Engine 2||Rescue 2, Squad 2||Lemoine Avenue|
|Engine 3||Truck 1, Truck 2||557 Main Street|
|Engine 4, Engine 6||S.S.U. 1, S.S.U. 2||4 Brinkerhoff Avenue|
Fort Lee is protected around the clock by the volunteer firefighters of the Fort Lee Fire Department, which was founded in 1888 when the borough was still a part of Ridgefield Township and operates out of four fire stations. The Fort Lee Fire Department operates a fire apparatus fleet of six engines, two trucks, one rescue, one squad, two support services units, two support vans, a mobile air unit, four command vehicles and six fire prevention units. The Fort Lee Fire Department's volunteer fire companies respond to, on average, approximately 1,800 emergency calls annually.
The Fort Lee Volunteer Ambulance Corps, founded in 1971, provides Palisades Interstate Parkway. One of the largest EMS agencies in the surrounding area, the Fort Lee Volunteer Ambulance Corps operates a fleet of four medium-duty ambulances, one first responder vehicle, and two command vehicles from its headquarters on the corner of Main Street and Anderson Avenue. In 2011, the agency purchased a new state-of-the-art ambulance, designated FLA-1, in order to begin retiring some of its aging ambulances. The agency plans to purchase a second ambulance sometime in 2013. With approximately 50 active members, the corps operates 24 hours a day on weekends and from 7 PM to 6 AM on weekdays, with paid borough employees staffing the ambulances during the day on weekdays. The Fort Lee Volunteer Ambulance Corps responds to approximately 3,400 emergency medical calls annually. The corps is a member agency of the East Bergen Ambulance Association (EBAA) with a standing mutual aid agreement with surrounding East Bergen boroughs.
Emergency medical services
Emergency services and public safety
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 55.3% of the vote (3,735 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 43.5% (2,941 votes), and other candidates with 1.2% (78 votes), among the 6,992 ballots cast by the borough's 18,356 registered voters (238 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 38.1%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 5,187 ballots cast (58.8% vs. 48.0% countywide), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 3,191 votes (36.2% vs. 45.8%), Independent Chris Daggett with 287 votes (3.3% vs. 4.7%) and other candidates with 38 votes (0.4% vs. 0.5%), among the 8,817 ballots cast by the borough's 18,854 registered voters, yielding a 46.8% turnout (vs. 50.0% in the county).
 In the
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 18,382 registered voters in Fort Lee, of which 7,537 (41.0% vs. 31.7% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 2,487 (13.5% vs. 21.1%) were registered as Republicans and 8,350 (45.4% vs. 47.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 8 voters registered to other parties. Among the borough's 2010 Census population, 52.0% (vs. 57.1% in Bergen County) were registered to vote, including 62.6% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 73.7% countywide).
).Cresskill and Surrogate Michael R. Dressler (D,  Sheriff Michael Saudino (R)),Northvale Countywide constitutional officials are County Clerk John S. Hogan (D,  (D, 2015; Franklin Lakes).Tracy Silna Zur and , 2015; serving the unexpired term of office that had been occupied by James Tedesco before he was sworn in as County Executive)Montvale Thomas J. Sullivan Jr., (D, )Franklin Lakes Maura R. DeNicola (R, 2016; ),Fair Lawn (D, 2017; David L. Ganz ),River Edge, 2016; R Chairman Pro Tempore John A. Felice ()North Arlington Vice Chairman Steve Tanelli (D, 2015; ),Fort Lee (D, 2017; Joan Voss Bergen County's Freeholders are Freeholder Chairwoman 
The 37th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Loretta Weinberg (D, Teaneck) and in the General Assembly by Valerie Huttle (D, Englewood) and Gordon M. Johnson (D, Englewood). The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).
New Jersey's Ninth Congressional District is represented by Bill Pascrell (D, Paterson). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (D, Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (D, Paramus, 2019).
Fort Lee is located in the 9th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 37th state legislative district. Prior to the 2011 reapportionment following the 2010 Census, Fort Lee had been in the 38th state legislative district.
Federal, state and county representation
As of 2015, the Mayor of Fort Lee is Democrat Mark J. Sokolich, whose term of office ends December 31, 2015. Members of the Borough Council are Council President Harvey Sohmer (D, 2015), Joseph L. Cervieri, Jr. (D, 2015), Ila Kasofsky (D, 2016), Armand Pohan (D, 2017), Michael Sargenti (D, 2017) and Peter J. Suh (D, 2016).
Fort Lee is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government. The government consists of a Mayor and a Borough Council comprising six council members, with all positions elected at-large on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council consists of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year in a three-year cycle. The Borough form of government used by Fort Lee, the most common system used in the state, is a "weak mayor / strong council" government in which council members act as the legislative body with the mayor presiding at meetings and voting only in the event of a tie. The mayor can veto ordinances subject to an override by a two-thirds majority vote of the council. The mayor makes committee and liaison assignments for council members, and most appointments are made by the mayor with the advice and consent of the council.
As of the 2000 Census, 17.18% of Fort Lee's residents identified themselves as being of Korean ancestry, which was the fifth highest in the United States and third highest of any municipality in New Jersey; behind neighboring Palisades Park (36.38%) and Leonia (17.24%) – for all places with 1,000 or more residents identifying their ancestry. In the same census, 5.56% of Fort Lee's residents identified themselves as being of Chinese ancestry, and 6.09% of Fort Lee's residents identified themselves as being of Japanese ancestry, the highest of any municipality in New Jersey for all places with 1,000 or more residents identifying their ancestry. In the 2010 Census, 23.5% of residents (8,318 individuals) identified themselves as being of Korean ancestry, 7.5% (2,653) as Chinese and 3.7% (1,302) as Japanese.
The median income for a household in the borough was $58,161, and the median income for a family was $72,140. Males had a median income of $54,730 versus $41,783 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $37,899. About 5.7% of families and 7.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.9% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over.
In the borough the age distribution of the population shows 17.5% under the age of 18, 5.1% from 18 to 24, 32.6% from 25 to 44, 24.7% from 45 to 64, and 20.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 87.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.1 males.
There were 16,544 households out of which 22.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.7% were married couples living together, 7.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.2% were non-families. 39.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.14 and the average family size was 2.88.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 35,461 people, 16,544 households, and 9,396 families residing in the borough. The population density was 14,001.7 people per square mile (5,411.7/km2). There were 17,446 housing units at an average density of 6,888.5 per square mile (2,662.4/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 62.75% White, 31.43% Asian, 1.73% African American, 0.07% Native American, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 1.69% from other races, and 2.26% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.87% of the population.
The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $72,341 (with a margin of error of +/- $4,502) and the median family income was $86,489 (+/- $11,977). Males had a median income of $66,015 (+/- $3,526) versus $55,511 (+/- $3,404) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $44,996 (+/- $2,903). About 5.5% of families and 7.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.1% of those under age 18 and 9.0% of those age 65 or over.
In the borough, 17.0% of the population were under the age of 18, 5.3% from 18 to 24, 28.1% from 25 to 44, 27.7% from 45 to 64, and 21.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44.7 years. For every 100 females there were 86.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.8 males.
There were 16,371 households, of which 21.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.6% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.8% were non-families. 38.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16 and the average family size was 2.89. Same-sex couples headed 127 households in 2010, an increase from the 65 counted in 2000.
At the 2010 United States Census, there were 35,345 people, 16,371 households, and 9,364 families residing in the borough. The population density was 13,910.9 per square mile (5,371.0/km2). There were 17,818 housing units at an average density of 7,012.7 per square mile (2,707.6/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 53.49% (18,905) White, 2.75% (973) Black or African American, 0.14% (50) Native American, 38.44% (13,587) Asian, 0.02% (7) Pacific Islander, 3.08% (1,090) from other races, and 2.07% (733) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 10.97% (3,877) of the population. Korean Americans accounted for 23.5% of the 2010 population.
There were 1,119 Fort Lee residents who filed claims to recover lost money from the Madoff investment scandal, the most from any ZIP code.
In March 2011 about 2,500 Japanese-Americans were living in Edgewater and Fort Lee, the largest concentration of Japanese-Americans in New Jersey.
At the turn of the 21st century, Fort Lee saw a large Korean migration which has converted much of the town into a large Koreatown, in that many traditional Korean stores and restaurants may be seen in Fort Lee, and the hangul letters of the Korean alphabet are as common as signs in English in parts of the downtown area. This Koreatown is separate from the similar Korean enclave in the adjacent town of Palisades Park. The rapid increase of the Korean population has seen the decline of many other immigrant communities once centered in Fort Lee, notably the Greek and Italian communities, once quite large but now all but extinct. A sizable Russian immigrant community has also sprung up in recent years.
One of the reasons suggested for these actions was to punish Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, a Democrat, for not supporting the Republican Chris Christie in the 2013 New Jersey gubernatorial election. Another theory was that Christie or his aides sought to punish New Jersey Senate majority leader, Loretta Weinberg, who represented the New Jersey district containing Fort Lee, as retribution for the Democrats' blocking of Christie's reappointment of a New Jersey Supreme Court justice. Christie withdrew his appointee consideration and delivered a speech referring to New Jersey Senate Democrats as "animals" just one day before emails were sent by Christie's aides to the Port Authority requesting the lane closures.