John Michael Rozett

May 5, 1943 ~ July 19, 2020 (age 77)


John Michael Rozett

ALBANY – John Rozett of Albany, NY died on Sunday, July 19, 2020 of complications from lung cancer. John was born in New York City on May 5, 1943, the son of the late Dr. Oscar and Alice Rozett, and raised in Summit, NJ. He was predeceased by his brother, Peter Rozett.  John deeply loved his alma maters, Summit High School; Trinity College (Hartford, CT), from which he received a B.S. in biology; and the University of Michigan, where he received a Master’s degree and Ph.D. in American History. His dissertation was one of the very first quantitative studies of American voting behavior, and was influential for years to come. 

John had a lifelong love of politics, and volunteered on campaigns for, among others, George McGovern, Robert Kennedy, Ramsey Clark, and Jimmy Carter.  John moved to Albany in 1973 and spent over three decades tirelessly working for the State of New York, in the Department of Audit and Control, the Division of the Budget, the offices of Governors Hugh Carey and Mario Cuomo, and as a policy analyst in the Program and Development Group of the New York State Assembly.  His most well-known accomplishment during that time was writing the legislation that led to New York becoming one of the first states to charge deposits on returnable bottles – the so-called “Bottle Bill.”

John had a wide array of interests beyond politics, which he would talk passionately about with anyone who would listen, such as sports (and particularly the Yankees), folk music, golf, theater, and military history, and also enjoyed drinking fine wine, building model airplanes, collecting coins, and tinkering with vintage watches.  In everything he did, he gave himself over to the task at hand with a singular intensity of purpose.  He was particularly proud of his efforts to develop and promote the free youth soccer program in Albany in the 1980s and 1990s, and was a regular attendee at Albany HS soccer games long after his children had graduated.  Every year, he looked forward to attending the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, and reuniting with the many friends he had made there.

John was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather, who never missed a sporting event or theatrical performance, was always available to help at a moment’s notice, and loved nothing more than being silly with his grandchildren.  Among the countless lessons he imparted to his sons were a strong sense of social responsibility and the importance of humor.  He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Martha, a Professor Emerita of English at The University at Albany; his sons, Joshua of Brooklyn, NY, and Alexander (Jennifer Beach) of Chicago, IL; and three granddaughters, Clara, Brynn and Anna Rozett.

Arrangements are private

Those wishing to remember John in a special way may make a contribution in his memory to Caffé Lena in Saratoga Springs, or the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. 




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Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York
965 Albany Shaker Road, Latham NY 12110

Caffe Lena
47 Phila Street, Saratoga Springs NY 12866

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