Wednesday May 31, 2017

Former Oswego Mayor John T. Sullivan Jr. Inks Memoirs

Book signing slated in Port City on June 8

    What happens when a small-town mayor whose parochial school education, driving force wife, and insider’s view of Democratic Party politics create anecdotes that will make you laugh, cry, and remember your own childhood?


    It’s all in "Pee Not Your Pants!: Memoirs of a small-town mayor with big-time ideas" by John T. Sullivan, Jr., former mayor of Oswego who also served as former New York state Democratic co-chairman.


    Sullivan will hold a book signing from 5-7 p.m. June 8 at the Rivers End bookstore, 19 W. Bridge St., Oswego. A book signing will also be held from 7:30-9 p.m. June 9 at the Sackets Boathouse Restaurant & Bar, 214 W. Main St., Sackets Harbor.


    "John Sullivan is a wonderful raconteur,” says Greg Smith, a Eugene, Ore. psychologist who is also a close friend of the author. “This book is an enjoyable inside look at politics and government. But above all, it is an in-person look at what someone can accomplish when accompanied in life by his best friend who thinks the sky’s the limit.”


    Sullivan provides inside stories of small-town politics, as well as glimpses into the famous political names he has associated with — including his political journey from his college years as an intern for the late U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Told in an easy-going, almost Lake Wobegon-esque style, these stories chronicle Sullivan’s journey from his parochial school days in which nuns taught him the golden rule and why it’s a good idea to keep one’s seat from becoming soiled, through to his stewardship of the New York state Democratic party during the Clinton years.


    That advice came in handy as he went through life, as he relates in the book, while his career advanced as an educator, attorney, and then assistant attorney general under Governors Eliot Spitzer and Andrew Cuomo.


    However, perhaps the most poignant parts of the narrative focus on the love story between Sullivan and his wife, Charlotte, who proves the old cliché that “behind every successful man is a woman.”


    Life was not always easy for this couple that had four daughters in short succession. Throughout the complicated and intense bond between these two high school sweethearts, they overcame tragedy and celebrated triumphs. Charlotte passed away in 1999 following a two-year bout with cancer at the age of 54. This book examines the effect of her life on Sullivan’s career, as well as the chasm her death left in his heart and in the souls of their four daughters.


    Sullivan is not one to rest on his laurels. Following his retirement from New York state as a deputy Medicaid inspector general in the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General, he served briefly as a judge for the Department of Labor. He also traveled to Kansas to teach college-level political science for three years, during which time he contributed opinion pieces to local newspapers.


    The later chapters trace Sullivan’s emergence as a writer and political consultant on the state level. In addition to working on this book, he has written op-ed pieces for a number of newspapers, including The Albany Times-Union and The New York Post.


    The book is illustrated with photos of memorable events, including Charlotte and John Sullivan at the White House with Hillary and Bill Clinton, and a wide array of other photos chronicling various points in his career.


    The 267-page memoir covering Sullivan’s 40-year journey in government, politics, and history is available in print and electronic form from and Barnes and Noble.


    Sullivan is embarking on a promotional and book-signing tour through June.

Oswego County Business Magazine
Issue 158

Issue 158
October/November 2018

Cover Story


Nancy Fox

On The Job

What’s Your Must-Ask Job Interview Question?

Success Stories

The Good Guys Barbershop

My Turn

Free Speech in a An Era of Racist, Vulgar Comments



Economic Trends

The Impact of Manufacturing and Power Generation on Oswego County

Last Page

Shonna Sargent