Dave Lieberfarb was born in Newark in 1948. He grew up in the Weequahic section and went to public schools. In the interview, he discusses his grandparents' Eastern European Jewish roots. On his father's side, the family business, Lieberfarb Jewelers, specialized in wedding rings. His father served as an Army radio operator in the Pacific Theater during World War II. He delves into his early love of baseball and the limited role that religion played in his childhood, describing himself as culturally Jewish.
From 1965 to 1969, he attended Rutgers College and joined the Targum sports staff. During college, he also worked as a stringer for the Newark Evening News. He details his experience writing for the Targum and recalls Rutgers sporting events, protest movements, campus culture and his time as a dorm preceptor. He articulates perceptions of the draft and his own experiences with the draft lottery during the Vietnam War.
Following college, he worked part time as a newspaper writer and taught in the Newark Public School System. He became involved in the Newark teachers strikes in 1970-'71 and served a ten-day jail sentence for picketing in 1971. While teaching, he earned his master's in education at the Rutgers Graduate School of Education.
He transitioned into full time work as a journalist, working at Dorf Feature Service, The Belleville Telegram and the Kearny Observer until getting a job on the copy desk at The Star-Ledger, where he worked for thirty years. He speaks about the technology available during his time in newspaper work, along with common practices and changes in journalism over the course of his career.
He appeared on the television game shows Three on a Match (1972), moderated by Bill Cullen, and History IQ (circa 2000). He continued to be involved in the Rutgers community after his retirement through alumni affairs, auditing courses and OLLI-RU. He also discusses 9/11, involvement in cultural, philanthropic and environmental organizations, including the Citizens' Climate Lobby, part-time work during retirement, and traveling to Japan.
The Rutgers Oral History Archives received an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State. In the 2021-2022 cycle, this grant assisted the ROHA staff in making this oral history available to you for your use.