Former City Councilman Tom Ognibene succumbed to spinal cancer on Monday. He was 71.
The Republican Ognibene was first elected to represent Council District 30—Middle Village, Maspeth, Glendale, Ridgewood, Richmond Hill, parts of Woodhaven and Forest Hills—in 1992, and was forced to relinquish his seat in 2001 due to term limits. He served as Council minority leader from 1994 through 2001.
Ognibene was also a proud veteran, having served in the U.S. Army from 1967 to 1970. The Middle Village native and resident went on to graduate from C.W. Post College and Brooklyn Law School. Ognibene was admitted to practice in the Federal Courts in the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, and in the Supreme Court of the United States.
For the last 33 years, Ognibene had been a member of the Board of Trustees of Christ the King Regional High School, eventually serving as vice chairman. He was also chairman of the Scholarship Committee.
“Christ the King is deeply saddened by the loss of our long time Board of Trustees Vice Chairman and Chairman of Christ the King’s Scholarship Committee, Thomas V. Ognibene. Mr. Ognibene was dedicated not only to the students and parents of the school, but also as a public servant during his years as a Member of the New York City Council and as the Minority Leader of the NYC Council. Mr. Ognibene was a dear friend and colleague and a constant inspiration to all at Christ the King. We offer our deepest condolences to his wife, Margaret, their children Eve and Guy and granddaughter, Alexis. He will be greatly missed.”
“Tom Ognibene was like a 2nd father to me and I am deeply saddened by his passing,” said City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park). “He was my pillar of strength and a most trusted friend. Undoubtedly, I would not have been elected to public office had it not been for Tom’s constant encouragement, help and guidance. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Margaret, his children Guy and Eve and his entire family.”
Ognibene also previously served as the executive vice chairman and executive director of the Queens County Republican Party.
“Tom was a tireless advocate for his constituents when he served in the Council, a valuable advisor to me during my congressional campaigns, and an integral part of the coalition that helped elect me chairman of the Queens Republican Party,” said Queens GOP Chairman Bob Turner. “Peggy and I offer our deepest condolences to his wife Margaret, his children Guy and Eve, and his entire family. I will miss his wise counsel and his friendship.”