November 22 – Happy Birthday David Pietrusza

David PietruszaToday’s Birthday Celebrant is without a doubt the most skilled and successful author historian ever to hail from Amsterdam, NY. He was born here on November 22, 1949. His first home was an apartment over his Uncle’s bar and grill, which used to be located on the corner of Church and Reid Streets, smack in the Center of Amsterdam’s vibrant and politically powerful Polish district. The building was later demolished to make room for the Amsterdam Federal Savings Bank.

Pietrusza graduated with honors from Amsterdam High School in 1967 and then went on to earn Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in American history from the University of Albany. He took a job with New York State’s Office of General Services, joined the Adirondack Players and became deeply involved in local Republican politics. A staunch Conservative politically, in 1974 Pietrusza was named an associate of the “New Guard” magazine in Washington, DC, the official publication of the Young Americans for Freedom, which at the time claimed to be this nation’s largest conservative youth organization. He and his long-time friend Bob Going did a huge amount of groundwork for the Montgomery County Republican Party throughout the 1970’s and dominated the Mario Villa-appointed Charter Revision Committee that was formed at the beginning of the next decade. Pietrusza then undertook a successful campaign to get elected Alderman of the City’s strongly Democratic Fourth Ward in 1985. He would serve just one term in that office and his inside-out knowledge of the City Charter made him a stickler for detail during his time at City Hall. He certainly had a bright future available to him in Amsterdam politics but it was time for him to begin focusing on what he was born to do…

You can read more about this prolific historian in the new book “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays.”

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