Class: 1943Inducted: 2016
Ben Danskin was a key figure in government service, public advocacy and business development in Monmouth County, New Jersey for more than 50 years. He was respected, admired and well-liked by colleagues, associates and former political rivals. His family and close friends are inspired by his wit, good nature, character, charisma and kindness.
Born and raised in Spring Lake, New Jersey, Ben and his older brother, Clyde, learned the importance of public service through their father's example. Their father, Benjamin S. Danskin, was a realtor with Horatio Clayton Real Estate and Insurance, which he later bought and named the Danskin Agency. Successful in business, Benjamin S. Danskin also succeeded in the public arena. He served as the Secretary of the State Division of Tax Appeals, President of the New Jersey Association of Tax Commissioners, and Deputy Director of Taxation, assisting in the creation of the state tax equalization program. Government service would become a family trait.
In September 1943, young Ben Danskin joined the Army as a Lieutenant and began training to become a B-25 bomber pilot. When World War II ended, Ben enrolled in the Dickinson College to pursue a degree in political science. He graduated in 1949 and moved back to Wall Township with his wife, Betty Joan Slockbower Danskin (also Class of ’43), who had been his high school sweetheart. Ben and Joan were married for more than 51 years and were the proud parents of three loving daughters: Cathy, Nancy, and Barbara.
Upon his return from the war, Ben immediately invested himself in his community and embarked upon a life-long commitment to distinguished public service. He joined his father at the Danskin Agency and was elected to the Wall Township Committee. At the age of 27, Ben was appointed as the Mayor of Wall Township, the youngest mayor in township history. In 1963, Ben Danskin was elected as a Monmouth County Freeholder and he served as such until 1969 when he was elected to a five-year term as the Monmouth County Clerk. He was appointed to his first three-year term as Monmouth County Treasurer in 1974. He was reappointed in 1977, replaced by a Democratic Freeholder majority in 1980, but reappointed to the treasurer's post in 1983, once the GOP regained the majority on the board. In December 2004, Ben Danskin stepped down from the position of Monmouth County Treasurer after 21 years of consecutive service. From 1969 to 1982, Ben Danskin led the Monmouth County Republican Committee as its Chairman, and remained influential in the party throughout his illustrious career. A genuine leader, Ben Danskin helped launch critical county initiatives and shape public policy through thoughtful, substantive persuasion, and was sought out for his wise counsel and advice.
Though he would never like it discussed, there are lasting tributes to Ben Danskin's hard work and public service. He is credited with a leading role in the establishment of Brookdale Community College, the creation of the Monmouth County Correctional Institution, and the expansion of the Monmouth County Park System, just to name a few. Ten of thousands of Monmouth residents continue to benefit from the programs Ben Danskin helped conceive and nurture during his years of public service.
On the business side, Ben counted his co-founding of Allaire Community Bank in 1996 as one of his most successful endeavors. The bank thrived and was recently bought out by Central Jersey Bank. Ben Danskin's public career is admirable not only for its demonstration of commitment and longevity but more so for the impact he has had on so many positive initiatives for the people of Monmouth County.
Quotation: "Watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves" William Lowndes,(1652-1724) Sec of Treasury Great Britain.