Cooper Health CEO, Wife Found Dead After Fire

Detectives investigating circumstances surrounding deaths.

cooper ceo

The head of the Camden-based Cooper Health System was found dead, along with his wife, at their home Sunday, following a fire at their home in Somerset County, N.J. John Sheridan was 72; his wife Joyce was 69.

The Courier-Post reports:

“Detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding the deaths,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement. It noted the probe included personnel from the Major Crimes Unit and the Arson Task Force.

The statement offered few details, but said “a post-mortem examination is scheduled … to determine the cause and manner of Mr. and Mrs. Sheridan’s deaths.”

“It is hard to overstate how great a loss John’s death is to his family, friends, co-workers and Cooper,” Cooper Health System Board of Trustees Chairman George E. Norcross III said in a statement. “He was a friend, a mentor and a role model.”

Sheridan Jr. became Senior Executive Vice President of Cooper in July 2005 and was appointed President and CEO of the health care system in February 2008.

He is credited with transforming the organization during his tenure, overseeing the construction and expansion of the Cooper University Hospital Roberts Pavilion, as well as the creation of the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, New Jersey’s first new medical school in three decades.


Camden Mayor Dana Redd called their deaths “shocking and saddening” in a released statement.

“They will both be profoundly missed by the entire Camden community,” Redd wrote. “I have personally known John Sheridan since 2001. We worked closely as Cooper enhanced their campus and during the early planning stages of the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. John’s leadership and friendship is a loss for so many including myself. On behalf of the City of Camden and our residents, I send our deepest condolence. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with his colleagues and family.

Gov. Chris Christie
said he was “shocked and deeply saddened” by the Sheridans’ deaths. “John was an outstanding public servant, a leader in the healthcare industry and a true New Jersey treasure,” Christie said in a statement. “Joyce was an outstanding teacher, wife and mother.”