A.
Charles
Corotis


ABRAHAM CHARLES COROTIS was born on January 29, 1907 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Benjamin and Dora Corotis. He was the oldest of two sons, brother Sidney coming along in 1909. The family was living in Philadelphia when the census was taken in 1910.

The 1920 Census, enumerated in January of that year, shows the Corotis family living at 100 Virginia Avenue in Haddon Township, New Jersey. Benjamin Corotis worked as a carpenter to support his family.

By 1928, A. Charles Corotis was working as a sportswriter for the Camden Courier-Post newspapers, and he remained with the Courier-Post as a reporter into the 1940s. To celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of Camden County, A. Charles Corotis and James M. O'Neill, who also wrote for the Courier-Post, authored the book Camden County Centennial, 1844-1944.

During this period he married Hazel McCluskey. The marriage produced three children, June, Bruce, and Ross Corotis.

A prolific writer as a reporter, columnist, and public relations agent, he was involved in a number of political campaigns as a publicity director. A. Charles Corotis at some point after 1946 acquired ownership of a weekly paper that had been published in Camden for many years, the Camden Argus. In 1955 a book of his collected writings from the Argus, It's All In The Game: A selected Collection of Gay Essays on Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Mnemosyne, Assayed from the Provocative Pages of New Jersey's Literate Review Weekly, The Argus, was published. Another book, Those thousand eyes: A sound selection of journalistic essays assayed from the Argus, New Jersey's literate review weekly, was published in 1957. He also published a number of other magazines and weekly newspapers, and authored numerous other pamphlets and articles.

During the 1950s he ran afoul of State Senator Joseph Cowgill, a Democrat from Camden. Cowgill sued Corotis for libel and won, effectively putting the Argus out of publication, destroying Corotis' business. A. Charles Corotis wrote a novel based on the above-mentioned events, entitled B. Bull Bastard, which was published in 1959, described as a "Searingly realistic novel demonstrates how far entrenched political corruption can go in blotting out the truth. It is a grim step-by-step revelation of a rigged miscarriage of justice...a reached judge a packed jury neutralized defense witnesses and the crushing penalty inflicted upon a self respecting editor who printed the truth".

Son Bruce Corotis, who worked as a photographer, passed away in February of 1972 at the age of 36.

Last a resident of Vincentown, New Jersey, A. Charles Corotis passed away in October of 1985, survived by his wife Hazel, daughter June, and son Dr. Ross Corotis. Mrs. Corotis joined her husband on March 26, 1991.


Camden Evening Courier - January 24, 1927
...continued...
...continued...
 
Ott Laxton - Grover Wearshing - Abe Corotis - Eddie Brandt - George Boone - Bart Sheehan
Jarry Cuneff- Joe Murray - Bill Johns - Joe Burns - Charley Sheets - Russ Ogden - Bill Copeland

Camden Evening Courier - December 24, 1927
Pennsauken, Blanked From Field In First Half, Falls Before Camden Club in County League Duel
...continued...
Ott Laxton - Grover Wearshing - Frank Hambleton - Charley Humes - Clarence Layer - Eddie Brandt
Joe Murray - Don Cragin - Johnny Chambers - Tom Tracy - Abe Corotis

Camden Courier-Post - January 31, 1928


Neil Deighan - Freddy Heimach - Joe Hyde - Lou Schaub - Joe Sheehan - Abe Corotis
Immaculate Conception


Camden Courier-Post - February 1, 1938

CITY REVENUES RISE $1,268,771.83 IN 1937 OVER PREVIOUS YEAR
Gross Receipts Tax Windfall Provides Half of Gains in Record-Breaking Total
MAYOR ISSUES REPORT

By A. CHARLES COROTIS

Camden City collected $1,268,771.83 more in current and delinquent taxes and miscellaneous revenues in 1937 than in 1936, it was revealed in an official report prepared by Comptroller Sidney P. McCord arid released yesterday by Mayor George E. Brunner.

Current tax collections increased from $3,951,300.99 to $4,153,493.71, a gain of $202,192.72, while receipts from tax title liens more than doubled as a result of the intensive liquidation campaign carried on by the department of revenue and finance through its certificate bureau, headed by Isadore H. Hermann.

Whereas revenue from liens amounted to only $229,027.99 in 1936, last years' collections from this source totaled $482,562.68. Delinquent tax collections were $14,667.23 and under 1936, due mainly to the improvement in current collections in 1936 as compared with prior years, which left less taxes outstanding at the end of the year of levy.

Cross-Receipts Levy Is Windfall

Contributing virtually half the record-breaking revenue increase was the windfall from gross-receipts taxes.

Against an anticipated $322,648.31 and 1936 receipts of $107,265.09, the city actually got $728,068.15. In addition it collected $284,939.46 in franchise taxes, compared with $185,008 for 1936.

These two gains followed the decision by the Court of Errors and Appeals holding State Tax Commissioner J. H. Thayer Martin without authority to disregard municipal assessments of utilities personal property and substitute his own figures, derived from its "unit-capacity-production" yardstick.

The largest advances in miscellaneous revenues, exclusive of these two sources, came from miscellaneous interest and costs. which jumped $79,558.83, and surplus from the water bureau, which jumped $65,999.21.

The water bureau, operated under Commissioner Frank J. Hartmann, turned over to the city treasury $253,804.24 as against a 1936 total of $187,805.03.

Water collections, aggregated $619,451.12, made up of $325,984.92 in current fiat rates, $206,431.53 in current meter, $52,213.36 in one-year delinquent flat-rates, $19,625.37 in one-year meters and $15,195.95 in miscellaneous revenue.

Other Sources Swell Revenue

The 1936 total was $570,919.01, broken down into $281,861.27, current flat; $198,972.68, current meter; $72,156.91 delinquent fiat and $17,928.15 miscellaneous.

Other sources of revenue which showed increases over 1936 were bank stock taxes, city clerk's office, city property, District Court, building bureau, treasurer's office, cemeteries, municipal markets and Convention Hall.

Accounts that decreased were the highway bureau, department of public safety, Recorder's Court, electrical bureau, health bureau, plumbing inspectors, radio station WCAM, South Jersey Port Commission and assessments.

Budget Estimates Far Exceeded

The Port Commission, which for years had returned only $50,000 of the $190,000 which the City annually appropriates to it, and from which Mayor Brunner received $66,750 in 1936, dropped back to $56,750 last year.

Actual receipts exceeded budget estimates of miscellaneous revenues last year by $694,003,06, of which surplus $405,419.84 came from gross receipts taxes while franchise taxes contributed $99,939.46. In 1936 the receipts were $108,062,27 above anticipations, marking the first time in many years that a deficit did not exist. A favorite trick of previous administrations was to inflate miscellaneous revenue estimates beyond all reasonable expectations to hold down tax levies and rates..


Camden Courier-Post * February 11, 1938

TAX TITLE LIENS NET $112,311 IN MONTH
Collections on Liquidations Set Record for City, Brunner Reports

By A. CHARLES COROTIS

Liquidation of tax title liens produced $112,311.70 for Camden's treasury during January, Mayor Brunner announced yesterday. The figure represents the greatest revenue from this source in any one month of the city's history, Brunner added.

In addition, the mayor revealed that $8500 was received last month from rentals on delinquent properties on which he has been named receiver in his capacity of revenue and finance director.

During all of 1937, receipts from municipally-owned liens totaled $482,562.68, while the 1936 total was $229,-027.99.

Brunner lauded Isadora H. Hermann, chief counsel of the tax lien department, for results he has produced in capitalizing on tax sale certificates.

Losses Reduced

The mayor further pointed out that losses formerly sustained by the city in disposing of certificates are being reduced through refusal of the commission to accept original offers and appraisals.

In this connection he cited two resolutions prepared for the meeting of the commissioners. One involves lots on the northwest corner of Baird and Maplewood avenues on which $1975.19 is due. A $500 offer was made for redemption. The commission in weekly caucus rejected the offer and set $1000 as the true market value of the land. The owner accepted the city's valuation and doubled his offer, Brunner said.

Municipal claims on 331 Royden street amount to $707.69. A $300 offer was rejected when the commissioners fixed $450 as the value. The offer was increased to $450, Brunner disclosed.

Thirty-one certificates were redeemed or assigned during January, and on only three of them did the city accept less than the face value of the liens, Brunner's announcement shows.

The largest item settled last month involved the Bridge Garage at Sixth and Linden streets. After months of negotiations between City Solicitor Firmin Michel and the Federal receivership-trusteeship on the property, settlement was made for the full principal amount of the delinquency, $86,890.23, plus $2911.80 in interest. The city waived approximately $10,000 interest.

The second largest account settled in January was the building formerly occupied by the South Camden Trust Company at 1800 Broadway. This was a compromise. In addition to waiving interest, the city reduced the principal from $11,824.31 to $10,000. The building had been idle for  years.

Interest and part of the principal was eliminated on two other certificates. The sum of $100 was accepted on a $982.93 claim on 415 Emerald street, and $400 to settle $3440.50 on 510 Elm street.

Eleven certificates on land in the vicinity of Eighth street and Atlantic avenue were redeemed at full value, $3095.95 plus $117.98 interest.

Other Redemptions

Other January redemptions, all in full, follow: 219 Linden street, $444.09 principal, $5.23 interest; 343 North Forty-first street, $1316.44 and $10.87; 547 South Sixth Street, $34.92 and $52.20; 1125 North Eighteenth street, $212.02 and $18.32; 1225 Hyde Park, $349.37 and $30.02; north side Howell 1820 feet west of Twenty-seventh, $166.37 and $11.65; north side Howell 1860 feet west of 
Twenty-seventh, $166.38 and $11.fe; 1590 Pierce avenue, $890.73 and $138.19; 1634 Broadway, $1077.80 and $129.22; 1496 South Ninth street, $1013.46 and $48.87; 820 Federal street, $966.45 and $8.45; 343 Cherry street, $176.35 and $25.84; 1133 Louis street, $242.20 and $13.44, and 1131 Louis street, $301.65 and $17.37.

The other two certificates were assigned, both for full claims. One, on 613 Walnut street, produced $350.43 plus $123.47 interest; the other, 1200 South Third street, $408.24 and $34.08 interest.

The grand total of redemptions and assignments for the month is $108,-603.05 principal and $3708.65 interest.

"Had these transactions been made under a contract, the cost to the city would have been $2325, or $75 each," Brunner said in a statement accompanying his announcement.

Praises Hermann Bureau

"As it is, they represent only part of the tremendous work of Mr. Hermann's department. Everything pertaining to liquidation of liens is done there. Deeds are acquired, searches are made, bills in foreclosure are filed, agreements to make monthly payments are drawn, resolutions are prepared, receiverships are obtained.

"The activity of that department has contributed greatly to the improved condition of the City of Camden."

Rentals from receiverships netted the city more than $100,000 last year, according to Louis Hoffman, clerk in charge of tax sales, whose department collects rents after Hermann obtains the receiverships in Chancery Court.

"Receipts from those properties average between $8000 and $9000 each month," Hoffman said. "During much of last year it was $11,000, before the Bridge Garage and some other large accounts were redeemed.".


Camden Courier-Post * February 16, 1938

SCHOOL BILL AVERTS RISE IN COUNTY TAX
Brunner Asks Support for A-122, Which Bars Interest on Scrip

By A. CHARLES COROTIS

Camden City will save $83,239.35 in interest on state school taxes if Assembly Bill 122, awaiting action in the Legislature, becomes law.

In addition, passage of the measure would permit Camden county to increase its appropriation of surplus revenue to eliminate the present $56,631.28 boost in the amount to be raised by taxation and prevent a threatened 2.6 cents tax rate rise.

In a statement yesterday urging the county's legislative delegation to support the bill Mayor Brunner, Camden director of revenue and finance, said another effect of its enactment would be to avert a judicial fight between the city and the State of New Jersey.

The bill, introduced by Assemblyman Farley, of Atlantic county last Wednesday, would amend the 1933 act permitting municipalities to pay 90 percent of their State school taxes in scrip and warrants, to obviate the necessity for paying interest on that 90 percent, even though the 10 percent retained by the State Department of Education was paid beyond the statutory 
deadline.

Farley Bill Vindicates McCord

Comptroller Sidney P. McCord, of Camden, has argued against payment, of interest on the 90 percent from the start, and has steadfastly refused to honor bills totaling $83,-39.35, presented periodically by the county. Brunner lauded McCord for his refusal to pay. He said the comptroller's action will represent a clear saving 'to the city if the Farley bill becomes law.

Meanwhile the county appropriated the sum in its 1937 budget under orders from State Auditor Waiter R. Darby, although Darby has railed since that counties need not budget interest on delinquent state taxes owed by municipalities.

The county never paid the money to the state because the city refused to pay the county, and Darby ordered it held in reserve pending settlement.

If A-122 is enacted the city automatically will be relieved and the reserve will be freed, available for general purposes once the Board of Freeholders acts to divert it back into the treasury.

Then enough of the $83,000 can be added to the tentative $400,000 appropriation of surplus revenue to hold the tax levy down to last year's level, without disturbing the $850,000 surplus remaining. 

Budget Meeting Tomorrow

The county budget is scheduled for introduction on first reading at a special freeholders' meeting tonight. Present plans call for approval with the higher levy and subsequent amendment before public hearing and adoption, providing the bill is passed.

That the measure will become law was predicted by legislators and observers. 

A vote was taken in the Republican majority caucus of the House yesterday, without a single dissenter. Farley sought immediate action to aid Atlantic City in preparation of its 1938 budget, but so much objection was voiced to consideration of bills on the day they were printed that the matter was held in abeyance.

The possibility exists that both houses may act next Monday under suspension of rules, considering the bill emergency legislation because of its effect on budgets.

According to the office of County Treasurer Edward J. Kelleher, Camden is the only municipality in the county affected by the measure.

All Interest Paid on 10 Percent

Camden, acting upon the advice of its comptroller, has refused to pay the claim. McCord insists the bill does not represent a legitimate obligation. He points out that of state school taxes paid by any district, only 10 percent goes to the state and the rest is apportioned among the municipalities of the county. Camden paid its 90 percent to the county with a warrant, on the basis of which the county issued its own warrants to the other municipalities, thereby making the funds available without imposing hardships on any districts.

All interest due on the 10 percent was paid, McCord pointed out. During a conference with Darby in Trenton last year McCord warned him that any attempt to compel inclusion of the appropriation in the budget would result in court action, and Mayor Brunner supported him.

Darby insisted the item would have to be budgeted, but a last-minute move by the Legislature deferred for a year certain drastic features of the new budget act and automatically permitted exclusion of the item.

Darby is expected to force the appropriation this year, however, and Camden is prepared to institute legal action. Passage of the Farley bill would clear the situation.

Scrip Practice Recalled

The bill's statement of purpose explains the matter clearly. It follows:

"In 1933 the school scrip act was passed. The purpose was to allow municipalities which could not meet their state school tax in cash to do so in scrip. There was a provision that each municipality might pay to the county treasurer its school taxes in scrip except the 10 percent to be retained by the state.

"Under the old law the full 100 percent would be paid to the State Treasurer in cash, he would retain 10 percent for state school purposes and the balance of 90 percent would be distributed among the various school districts entitled to; it.

"Under the provisions of the 1933 act the scrip was sent directly to the county treasurer, who in turn would distribute it to the school districts on warrants of the county school superintendent and transmit directly to the state treasurer, the 10 percent due to the state.

"In some instances the county treasurer, because of the financial inability of certain municipalities to pay the state school taxes in full when due, was late in transmitting to the state treasurer the 10 percent due the state. Because of uncertainty of the law covering this situation, the state treasurer is now demanding of the counties which were late in transmitting the state's 10 percent under the 1933 act and amendments thereof, interest on the full 100 percent and not on the 10 percent alone, even though the school districts making payment in scrip have delivered the school scrip in time, and also the receiving districts had received their school scrip in full and within time.

"There is no reason why the county treasurer, who is merely a disbursing agent, should be called upon to pay to the state any more than interest on the delinquency due the state, to wit: on 10 percent of the state school tax, especially in view of the fact Section .3 of Chapter 156 of the Laws of 1933 provides that 'the county shall be relieved of that part of its obligation to the state for 90 percent of the state school tax when the county treasurer shall have filed with the state treasurer receipts from the custodians of the several school districts.' ".


Camden Courier-Post * February 13, 1938

...continued...

Camden Courier-Post * January 2, 1940

WALSH BLOCKS COUP BY BAIRD IN FREEHOLDERS
Prevents Meeting and Halts Plan to Make Wood Director
PROCEEDINGS OFF TILL NEXT MONDAY
By A. CHARLES COROTIS

An attempted coup by David Baird in his drive to rebuild his fallen fences for the primary election next May was frustrated yesterday by one lone freeholder, and the baby member of the board, at that.

Edmund A. Walsh elected from Camden's Eighth Ward to fill the unexpired term of the late Ferdinand J. Larkin, foiled Baird's well laid plans when he refused to attend the annual organization meeting after the Republican League bloc of freeholders had been maneuvered into a position of agreeing to support James W. Wood, Baird satellite, for director..

A spokesman for the League group said the agreement was nullified, however, by yesterday's adjournment.

Walsh's loyalty to City Commissioner Mary W. Kobus, long-time political foe of Baird, had the effect of stalemating the 1940 organization, the last under the large board, since the Democrats, upon learning of the G.O.P. decision to support Wood, bolted the meeting room.

"Refused to Sell Out"

Walsh took the stand that to vote for Wood would be to sell out to Baird. Walsh was ready and willing to vote for any other Republican. At no time was he for a Democrat..

The 20 Republican freeholders present could have transacted business and elected Wood if they had gone into session, but Walsh's refusal to be a party to the Baird-Wood scheme left only 19 freeholders willing to meet, and that number is one short of the quorum required by law.

When shortly after 5:00 PM- five hours after the statutory time for reorganization- there was no indication that wither Walsh or the Democrats would return. Wood, J. Alfred Beck, president of the Republican league, and Maurice Bart, floor leader for the Democrats, conferred and agreed to adjourn until next Monday.

Price Furnishes Surprise

Walsh emphasized that he favors Republican organization of the board and agreed to support any Republican for director except Wood. These are the sentiments of Mrs. Kobus. Too, it was the stand of the Republican League until at yesterday's joint conference of the three G.O.P. factions the group headed by Raymond G. Price cast its lot with Wood. This in itself was a major surprise of the day, since Price and Edward J. Quinlan both elected with Kobus support had been considered anti-Baird-ites.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR . . .

A. Charles Corotis is a native of Philadelphia who has spent most of his life in southern New Jersey. He resides with his wife and three children in Moorestown, a pleasant residential community in Burlington County started by Friends and famed as the home of the Johnsons and the Dorrances, founders of the Victor talking machine and Campbell soups.

After a twenty-year apprenticeship in daily newspaper work, he went out on his own in public relations, and now, ten years later, has offices in Camden, Trenton and Newark and publishes a dozen trade magazines and public weeklies. His column "It's All in the Game" has appeared in daily and weekly papers in South Jersey for twenty years. He also has written numerous biographical and historical tracts and has been contributing editor to several magazines.

Four times in the past five years his writings on behalf of Americanism have won him awards by 

Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge. Public relations-wise, he has received citations from the National Association of Real Estate Boards and the National Association of Insurance Agents. His pamphlet subjects have ranged from Peter J. McGuire, father of Labor Day (The Life Story of a Forgotten Giant), written for the American Federation of Labor, to New Jersey versus Alcoholism, a treatise on a complex problem, compiled for the State.

Mr. Corotis has directed publicity in scores of election campaigns and public referenda, including those of New Jersey's former governor, Alfred E. Driscoll. Bipartisan politically, he took part in the campaigns of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower.


Trenton Evening Times - April 10, 1957


Camden Courier-Post * December 22, 1957

Joseph W. Cowgill - Abraham Charles Corotis - Leon Todd
I.F. Huntzinger - W. Orval Schalick - Argus

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