2018 Kevin Coyne
Kevin Coyne, who worked at the Monmouth County Library in Freehold during his high school at college years, has been the town historian since 2000 in Freehold Borough, where he grew up hearing the stories of its past from his grandparents and his wide extended family. He has told some of those stories – and many others of local, county and state history – in his work as a reporter for the Asbury Park Press; The New York Times, for which he wrote the New Jersey column; and New Jersey Monthly magazine, where he has long been a contributing editor. He is the author of several books, including Marching Home: To War and Back with the Men of One American Town, about six World War II veterans from Freehold. Among the projects he has worked on as the borough historian is the town’s World War II memorial at Elks Point. When he served on the Borough Council, he helped establish the town’s Historic Preservation Commission, on which he still serves. He has also served on the board of the Monmouth County Historical Association and since 2000, has been an adjunct professor at the Columbia Journalism School. The questions he gets asked most come from students, about the Battle of Monmouth, the first shots of which were fired around the corner from where he lives now; and from visiting journalists and rock fans, about Bruce Springsteen, whose boyhood home was a dozen house away from his.