11 Things You Didn’t Know About New Senate President Stan Rosenberg

As a top legislative leader from western Massachusetts, Rosenberg is a true rarity.

stan rosenberg

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1. As a top legislative leader from western Massachusetts—he lives in Amherst—Rosenberg is a true rarity.

2. But actually he grew up in Malden and Revere. Here’s what his classmates at Revere High School wrote about him in his yearbook: “Known and liked by all… always participates in some group or club… very active in the R.H.S. Band…his ingenuity, dependability and wit make him a born leader.”

3. It’s widely known that he wanted to succeed John Olver in Congress, for whom he’d worked in the early 1980s, and whose state Senate seat he took over when Olver became a U.S. representative. Ironically, as cochair of the redistricting committee, Rosenberg crushed his own dream by eliminating Olver’s district in 2012.

4. Unlike convicted House Speaker Tom Finneran, Rosenberg managed to lead two redistricting efforts—after the 2000 and 2010 censuses—without being indicted or investigated by law enforcement.

5. He played tuba in the UMass marching band.

6. He’s the longest-serving member of the state Senate—first elected in 1991 after four years as a state representative.

7. He is, somewhat surprisingly, the only openly gay man in the state legislature. He came out publicly in 2009, when he was nearing his 60th birthday.

8. He started a lunch-truck business while a sophomore at UMass, expanded to two locations, and ultimately sold the business.

9. His upbringing in foster care, and a battle with cancer a few years ago, have given him a firsthand look at some of the systems that people deal with in difficult circumstances.

10. He does much of his wheeling and dealing at Carrie Nation on Beacon Street, but when he wants to cut loose, he goes to Tiffani Faison’s Sweet Cheeks on Boylston.

11. His much younger partner, Bryon Hefner, is credited with helping Rosenberg get comfortable with his sexuality. Unfortunately, Hefner’s tendency to throw his weight around and speak out of turn has also caused Rosenberg some unwanted media attention.