(Reuters) - A New Jersey hospital chief executive and his wife were found dead early Sunday following a fire in their home, law enforcement officials said.
John Sheridan Jr., 72, the CEO and president of Cooper University Health System, and his wife Joyce, 69, were found unresponsive in the second-floor bedroom of their Montgomery Township home around 6:15 a.m. local time, the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office said in a statement.
The cause of death, and the blaze, is under investigation, prosecutor's office spokesman Jack Bennett said.
Cooper University Health Care released a statement expressing sorrow for Sheridan's death.
"It is hard to overstate how great a loss John's death is to his family, friends, co-workers and Cooper," George E. Norcross, III, the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Cooper Health System said in a statement released by the hospital.
"He was a friend, a mentor and a role model," Norcross said.
Sheridan joined the hospital in 2005 and became president and CEO in 2008, the statement said.
Sheridan also had a long career in New Jersey state government, serving as transportation commissioner to former Governor Thomas Kean and on the transition team for current Republican Governor Chris Christie.
(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere in Seattle; Editing by Miral Fahmy)