The life and times of Joe Bruno

Joe Bruno's long life and career began not far from the State Capitol he served in for so long.

He was born in Glens Falls to a paper mill worker and grew up in a six room apartment. Bruno became a boxer to ward off bullies and fell in love with his wife, Barbara when they were just teenagers.

They married and had four children.

His life took him to Rensselaer County after he got a business degree from Skidmore and served in the Korean War.

In Rensselaer county he was elected to the State Senate in 1976. In 1995, upon the election of George Pataki, Bruno became the Majority Leader with the Governor's blessing.  

His crowning achievement is perhaps his greatest honor, UAlbany's Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics.

Bruno also secured funding for countless projects, including the Albany International Airport, the Rensselaer train station, and the rehabilitation job at SPAC.

He is also credited with rescuing the City of Troy and its school district from economic ruin.

With Governor Pataki, Bruno provided more than $1 billion in taxpayer incentives to lure Advanced Micro Devices to the Luther Forest Technology Campus, the project now run by GlobalFoundries.

Bruno's troubles began when Governor Eliot Spitzer took office. Proving to be his biggest political rival, Spitzer used the State Police to reconstruct Bruno's travel records in what would become known as “Troopergate”.

Bruno got the last laugh when Spitzer got caught in a prostitution ring and Bruno's Democratic friend David Paterson took office. But by then a federal grand jury had begun to investigate Bruno's business dealings – something he announced himself.

 “I am guilty of nothing,” he told the press at the time, “so why would it impact my ability to do anything?”

Joe Bruno's life was in for some dramatic changes then.

His wife died in January, 2008, after 57 years of marriage.

Then in June 2008, after 32 years in office, Bruno announced he would not seek reelection to the State Senate. After the announcement, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said an era ends with Joe Bruno leaving.

Shortly after his retirement Bruno was indicted on federal corruption charges and convicted in December 2009.

A judge will now decide one of the final chapters of Bruno's life when he is sentenced Thursday afternoon

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