He had the makings of a powerful CEO: Strong, smart and, most of all, in control of everything.
Now if we can just look past the fact that Tony Soprano was a fictional character on the HBO series "The Sopranos" and his job could best be described as head of "The Family Business."
Those facts only helped actor James Gandolfini give New Jersey notoriety across the country and around the world.
We are saddened by his sudden and tragic death Wednesday in Rome and feel a sense of loss for the wife and children.
Gov. Chris Christie said Gandolfini was great for the state.
"It's an awful shock," the governor said in a statement. "James Gandolfini was a fine actor, a Rutgers alum and a true Jersey guy. I was a huge fan of his and the character he played so authentically, Tony Soprano. I have gotten to know Jimmy and many of the other actors in the 'Sopranos' cast, and I can say that each of them are an individual New Jersey treasure."
Gandolfini was remembered in boardrooms and legislative meetings around New Jersey today.
Annette Catino, president and CEO of QualCare Alliance Networks, in Piscataway, wasn't sure Tony Soprano's style of management would be a fit at her company.
"He's too much of a control freak for me," she joked.
In Trenton, State Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-Union) said he appreciated that Gandolfini was a devoted Rutgers University alumnus.
"I was not a 'Sopranos' fan, but I'm a Rutgers fan, and he was a big booster for Rutgers," Lesniak said. "No pun intended, but we lost a heavy hitter in the state."
The Star-Ledger had a complete look at James Gandolfini's life on and off the screen.
Below we offer two clips of him "at work" as New Jersey's most famous businessman.
Contributing: Beth Fitzgerald, Jared Kaltwasser