Former NJ Racing Commissioner Cannella Dies

Samuel M. Cannella, a former New Jersey racing commissioner, died Oct. 1.

Samuel M. Cannella, of Pine Brook, N.J., who served on the New Jersey Racing Commission, died Oct. 1 at age 78.

He was buried at the Restland Memorial Park in East Hanover, N.J.

A successful entrepreneur and real estate developer, Cannella was the owner and operator of Augsburger Tool & Die Co. and Accurate Molding & Manufacturing Corp. 

In addition to his service with the New Jersey Racing Commission, Cannella served in the National Guard and was a member of the Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, where he also served as past president. 

As a commissioner, he championed the idea of installing slot machines at New Jersey tracks in order to increase attendance and revenue but was met with strong resistance from Atlantic City interests.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Carmel, and two daughters.

Donations in memory of Cannella may be made to the Montville Township First Aid Squad, 137 Changebridge Rd., Montville, N.J. 07045.