topnav image
services a to z departments and agencies nj legislature nj judiciary faq
  • Special Initiatives
  • Contact the First Lady
 • My Own Story
 • Postpartum Depression
 • Resources
 • Mental Health Events
 • Public Library Literacy Program

About Mary Jo Codey

First Lady Mary Jo Codey is a devoted wife and mother, a gifted educator and counselor… and a staunch advocate for individuals whose lives are affected by mental illnesses and for those who have been stricken with breast cancer. A lifelong resident of New Jersey, Mrs. Codey has been married to Governor Richard Codey for 23 years.

Born in Glen Ridge, Mrs. Codey grew up in West Orange, where she and the Governor currently reside with their two sons, Kevin (20) and Christopher (16). After receiving her bachelor of arts degree in elementary education from Caldwell College, Mrs. Codey continued her pursuit of academic excellence, earning a master of arts degree in elementary education with certification as a Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant (LDTC) from Seton Hall University. She is currently an elementary school teacher at a private school in West Orange.

As a volunteer, Mary Jo Codey has contributed to a wide variety of causes in many differing capacities. Formerly active in Cub Scouts as a den mother and in her children’s school parent teacher associations, Mrs. Codey is presently an active member of the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA). She is also a former member of the board of directors of the Mental Health Association of Essex County, which honored both she and the Governor for their mental health advocacy efforts at the association’s annual spring gala in 1995. Mrs. Codey also pioneered and was the first facilitator for a postpartum depression support group that began at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in 1994 and continues to operate today.

Mary Jo Codey’s personal experiences with both clinical depression and breast cancer make her uniquely qualified to speak out on both of these serious health concerns. As New Jersey’s First Lady, she welcomes the opportunity to advocate on behalf of the Governor’s newly created Task Force on Mental Health and to spearhead the launching of a statewide fundraising campaign in support of breast cancer awareness. Mrs. Codey also served as Ambassador to the Governor’s Book Club last school year.

“I just want to take this opportunity and make a difference… I want to take all of the things that have happened in my life and all of the things that I have learned and put them to use helping others who might be in similar situations,” she says.


services a to z departments and agencies nj judiciary contact us privacy notice accessibility statement