Rutgers Student Leader Edward Romano Passes Away at Age 21

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Edward Romano, a student leader notable for his active role as the President of Rutgers University Democrats, passed away on September 30.

The cause of death remains unknown.  His heart stopped beating at some point prior to that morning.

Ed Romano was at the start of his senior year at Rutgers, majoring in History and Political Science.

He had a distinguished role as the leader of the largest political organization at the university for two consecutive years, and was an intern with the Middlesex County Democratic Committee.

Romano was also the leader of the History and Political Science discussion section at a special interest residence hall called Demarest, both during and after being a resident in the dorm.

“We laughed about so many things. Ed was one of the only people I knew who could genuinely laugh and mean it. He was just in my dorm room Sunday night. I cannot believe he is gone,” wrote fellow Demarest resident Elijah Reiss.

"He was one-of-a-kind and I will miss his smiling face in the lounge of Demarest in the late hours, debating wars that happened 2 centuries ago."

Romano was known by fellow students and friends alike as a bright and compassionate mentor and leader who went to great extents to be involved as a progressive in the democratic process.

He was known for his determination to act in spite of the many obstacles he faced in life, and for having a keenness to share the knowledge he gained through years he spent in intellectual pursuits.

He expressed his ideals and world view in his day-to-day experience according to his classmates, who have made clear how much they cherish having lived and worked with him.

“I still remember meeting Ed Romano my junior year. We had a PoliSci class together and I was blown away by how much more knowledgeable he was then me. Not just about politics, but everything,” stated Rutgers graduate Connor Stapleton.

"Ed was wise beyond his years and spoke with passion and conviction. When you talked to him you could tell that this was someone who saw the best in people. He was someone who not only wanted to make the world a better place but went about making it happen. He was a genuinely kind person, the sort of person that you consider yourself lucky to have known

An opinion piece on PolitickerNJ written by an anonymous author mentioned how Romano had the capacity to express his well-read love of the political process in a way that overcomes “cav[ing] in to the notion that life here must be mean and narrow and lacking in historical context, cynical, and without the fire of inspiration.”

He was widely known for his ability to be so driven and heavily involved in his leadership roles, yet manage to have a role as an open, approachable person that anyone could spend hours in conversation with.

“Anyone who knew Ed, knew him as hysterical, intelligent, full of promise, and always fun to be around. I'll treasure our conversations about nonsense party politics and foreign affairs until five in the morning, I'll miss walking to Pj's with you and Connor Stapleton at one in the morning, I'll miss the intellectual and passionate debates we'd have, where I learned so much from you,” wrote fellow student Peter Kharmandarian.

Countless people, friends, family, and those who Ed Romano had never even met have suffered, suddenly and without warning, the loss of a kind and compassionate individual who strived to better the world around him both within the democratic process and in day-to-day life.

A memorial service for Romano was held on Friday, October 2, at the Eagleton Institute at the Cook/Douglass campus of Rutgers University.  It included a documentary about Franklin D. Roosevelt, Romano's greatest inspiration.

If you wish to support Edward Romano's family, donations are being accepted online at this link.