Shirley Northern Green

c. 1935-1983

Appointed director of the Division of Public Welfare in 1978 by Ken Gibson. Previously served as Rent Control Administrator from 1974 to 1978, and in the Business Administrator’s office before that.

She was forced to leave school at age 15 due to illness. In 1966, after a husband and three children she returned to school, graduating Caldwell College. This led Shirley to found Operation Drop In. This program recruited more than 600 adults to attend Central High. Shirley was chair of the Operation and director of the Operation Drop In Educational Center.

Green was coordinator of the Newark Evening High School Tutorial Program. She was a member of the Newark Branch of the NAACP, United Community Corporation, Central Ward Girls Club, Municipal Welfare Associations of America, Municipal and Career Women of Newark and the Human and Civil Rights Association of NJ. She volunteered for the Summer Vacation Projects and Operation Necessity.

Born in New York, lived in Newark by 1950. She was president of Caldwell College International Relations Club. In 1970, she was Newark’s Outstanding Young Woman of the Year.

1971, Newark News


Newark News photos

NJ Death Index

“Mrs. Shirley Green, City Welfare Director” Star Ledger Oct 14, 1983

“Mayor Gibson Picks New Welfare Director” Star Ledger Sept 3, 1978

“Sign Up Begins For Drop-In Class” Star Ledger Sept 7, 1971