Gusciora was born in Passaic, New Jersey and attended public schools in Jamesburg, New Jersey, graduating from Jamesburg High School in 1978. He received a B.A. from The Catholic University of America in Politics / International Relations and was awarded a J.D. in 1988 from the Seton Hall University School of Law. He was, for much of his adult life, a resident of Princeton Borough.
While an Assemblyman, he challenged Congressman Chris Smith in 2000, losing in the solidly Republican 4th district. In 2003, Gusciora lost a race for the Democratic nomination for Mayor of the Borough of Princeton to eventual winner Joseph O’Neill.
Gusciora has been the Deputy Majority Leader since 2008, and was the Assembly's Assistant Minority Leader from 1998-2001. He currently serves as Chairman of the Assembly Regulatory Oversight, Federal Relations, and Reform Committee, and is a member of the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance and Assembly Labor Committees. He is a former Chairman of the Environment and Solid Waste Committee.
Gusciora authored the "Paramount Safety" Law that changed the legal standard in child custody cases to protect the health and well being of the child when abuse has occurred. He is the author of a law that streamlines services for people with developmental disabilities through the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education. He is also the original prime sponsor of legislation that would allow patients to sue HMOs for malpractice and the "Senior Gold Prescription Discount Act," which expanded the state’s prescription drug program for seniors.
The redistricting plan adopted following the 2010 U.S. Census moved Gusciora's hometown of Princeton Borough out of the 15th district and into the heavily-Republican 16th. Gusciora immediately announced that he would put his Princeton home on the market and move to Trenton, some 12 miles (19 km) away. Trenton was the largest city in the old 15th district and will remain the largest city in the newly configured 15th district.
Each of the forty districts in the New Jersey Legislature has one representative in the New Jersey Senate and two members in the New Jersey General Assembly. The other representatives from the 15th District for the 2014–2015 Legislative Session are:Senator Shirley Turner (D)
Assemblywoman Elizabeth Maher Muoio (D)
Gusciora is a supporter of gay rights and same-sex marriage. In December 2006, he publicly acknowledged his homosexuality, thereby becoming the first ever openly gay member of the New Jersey Legislature. In January 2012, he was joined by Assemblyman Tim Eustace, the openly gay mayor of Maywood, who was elected to the General Assembly from the 38th District.
On Governor Chris Christie's opposition to a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the state, Gusciora stated "Govs. Lester Maddox and George Wallace would have found allies in Chris Christie over efforts by the Justice Department to end segregation in the South," and "[Christie] would have been happy to have a referendum on civil rights rather than fighting and dying in the streets of the South." Christie responded, "What I said was I’m sure that civil rights advocates would have liked to have this as another option but it was not available to them, yet you have numbnuts like Reed Gusciora who put out a statement comparing me to George Wallace and Lester Maddox." The two would amend their differences leading to the rumor that Christie might appoint Gusciora to a judgeship on the Mercer County Superior Court.