This April 13 marks Dr. Conti’s 126th birthday. Sadly, Dr. Conti succumbed to a heart attack on October 1, 1973. It would be a fitting tribute to designate a portion of Fourth Street in honor of Dr. Michael Conti on his birthday.
Some 47 years ago, a group of concerned citizens within Jersey City commenced a petition drive to name P.S. Number 5 and a portion of Fourth Street in honor of Dr. Michael Conti. Subsequently, a delegation presented the petition with over 2,000 signatures to Councilman Peter Zampella and Council President Dominick Pugliese.
Even though Mayor Paul Jordan had designated P.S. Number 5 to be named in honor of Dr. Conti, it was under the Cucci administration, a little over a decade later, that Number 5 officially became the Dr. Michael Conti School.
I consider myself extremely fortunate to personally have known Dr. Conti. However, the petition drive of 1974 remains incomplete. Many had worked very hard on that worthwhile endeavor; and, sadly, many of those folks are no longer with us.
It would be a great honor, a lasting tribute to Dr. Conti and to all those who worked on – and supported – this effort, to bring the petition drive of 1974 to successful completion and closure.
That being said; I, on behalf of the Dante Alighieri Society, respectfully ask, once again, that a portion of Fourth Street, between Jersey Avenue and Coles Street, be designated “Doctor Michael Conti Way.” The Dante Alighieri Society and I request that a set of plaques be placed on the corners of Fourth Street and Jersey Avenue and Fourth Street and Coles Street with the name “Doctor Michael Conti Way” inscribed on them.
Dr. Conti was Jersey City’s greatest humanitarian “country doctor.” He had his practice on Fourth Street for half a century.
Dr. Conti was a humble man; he was a laudable credit to the solemn Hippocratic Oath. He was a true philanthropist. Dr. Conti gave exceptional medical care to everyone at a very reasonable price. If the patient was unable to pay the modest fee for the medical treatment, the good doctor would simply smile and say, “Next time.”
Dr. Conti was a genuine 20th century Renaissance man. He firmly believed that all mankind is generally good. Dr. Conti’s love for his fellow human being was so strong and unyielding that despite the times he was brutally attacked and robbed, he continued to make late night house calls until he was well over 70 years old – to include house calls into some of the most socially and economically challenged sections and neighborhoods in Jersey City.
Dr. Conti is one of this city’s greatest heroes. He is a very positive role model for the youth of our city to emulate. Consequently, Dr. Conti truly merits additional public recognition – “Doctor Michael Conti Way” – for the outstanding medical care he had provided to the people of Jersey City for over 50 years.
Albert J. Cupo
President, Dante Alighieri Society, Jersey City