Bernard James Dwyer (January 24, 1921 – October 31, 1998) was an American Democratic Party politician, who served as a United States Representative from New Jersey from 1981 to 1993.

Bernard J. Dwyer
Bernard J. Dwyer.jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey
In office
January 3, 1981 – January 3, 1993
Preceded byEdward J. Patten
Succeeded byFrank Pallone
Constituency15th district (1981–83)
6th district (1983–93)
Member of the
New Jersey Senate
from the 18th district
In office
Mayor of Edison, New Jersey
In office
Personal details
Bernard James Dwyer

(1921-01-24)January 24, 1921
Perth Amboy, New Jersey, U.S.
DiedOctober 31, 1998(1998-10-31) (aged 77)
Edison, New Jersey, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Lilyan Sudzina
ChildrenPamela Dwyer Stockton
ParentsDaniel F. Dwyer
Alice Zehrer Dwyer
Alma materRutgers University-Newark
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Navy
Years of service1940–1945
Battles/warsWorld War II


Dwyer was born in Perth Amboy, Middlesex County, New Jersey, to Daniel F. and Alice (Zehrer) Dwyer. A Roman Catholic, he attended public schools, graduating from Perth Amboy High School in 1938.[1] He attended Rutgers University-Newark. He served in the United States Navy during World War II (1940–1945). He married Lilyan Sudzina in 1944. They had a daughter, Pamela Dwyer Stockton.

Dwyer was an insurance broker by profession. His political career began when he successfully ran for a seat on the Edison, New Jersey city council, serving 1958–1969. He was elected Mayor of Edison, New Jersey in 1969, serving a single term from 1970 to 1973. Dwyer served as a member of the New Jersey Senate, where he represented the 18th Legislative District (New Jersey) from 1974 to 1980.

He was elected to the United States House of Representatives, and served six terms (January 3, 1981 – January 3, 1993). He represented New Jersey's 15th congressional district during his first term, but redistricting after the 1980 Census, shifted him to the 6th district.

Dwyer was the last member of Congress who was also a survivor of the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor, when he retired in 1992.

Dwyer did not seek reelection in 1992, and retired in 1993. Redistricting after the 1990 Census had merged his district with that of fellow Democrat Frank Pallone.

His papers of 1981 to 1992, are stored at the Rutgers University Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives in New Brunswick, New Jersey. They include congressional office files consisting chiefly of documentation accumulated while he was a member of the United States House Committee on Appropriations.

A resident of Metuchen, New Jersey, Dwyer died at John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Edison, New Jersey on October 31, 1998, of a heart attack.[2] He was buried at St. Gertrude's Cemetery in Colonia, New Jersey.


  1. ^ Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey, Volume 203, Part 2, p. 1002. J.A. Fitzgerald, 1989. Accessed August 4, 2019. "Bernard J. Dwyer, Dem., Edison - Mr. Dwyer was born on Jan. 24, 1921, in Perth Amboy. He was graduated from Perth Amboy High School in 1938, and has taken courses in insurance at Rutgers University, Newark."
  2. ^ "B. J. Dwyer, New Jersey Congressman, 77". The New York Times. November 5, 1998. Retrieved 2011-09-30. Bernard James Dwyer, a former Representative from New Jersey, died Saturday in Edison, N.J., at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center, which he had served as a trustee. He was 77 and, a longtime Edison resident, had lived in Metuchen, N.J., for the last few years. The cause was a heart attack, his family said.

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U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Edward J. Patten
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 15th congressional district

Succeeded by
District eliminated
Preceded by
Edwin B. Forsythe
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 6th congressional district

Succeeded by
Frank Pallone