He graduated from Barringer High School in Newark in 1949 and received his bachelor"s degree in political science from Seton Hall University in 1954. Adubato attended Rutgers Law School, but did not complete his degree. While teaching, he obtained a master’s degree in education from Seton Hall University in 1960 and completed the coursework for a doctorate in education.
He has 4 siblings. They have three children, Steve Junior., Theresa and Michele. He began his career in education as a history and government teacher in the Newark public school system, where he taught for 15 years. Adubato was awarded an honorary doctorate from Kean University on May 11, 2010.
In 1962, Adubato ran for office as a Democratic District Leader in Newark"s North Ward, to which he was elected.
In 1968 he was elected as North Ward Democratic party chairman. Adubato served on the executive board of the Newark Teachers" Union and worked as their legislative representative and he was a consultant to the New Jersey chancellor of higher education.
In 1970, he founded The North Ward Educational and Cultural Center in a small office on the second floor of a storefront on Bloomfield Avenue in Newark. The name was later changed to The North Ward Center.
In 1973, The North Ward Center purchased the Clark Mansion, which previously housed the Prospect Country and Day School, a financially troubled private school that could not restore nor maintain the historical integrity of the facility.
In 1997, The North Ward Center founded the Robert Treat Academy Charter School, one of the first charter schools authorized by the New Jersey Department of Education. The school has 450 students in grades K-8. In 2008, Robert Treat was named a Blue Ribbon school by the United States Department of Education.
In August 2009, Robert Treat opened a second campus in the former Saint Mary"s school on the campus of the Newark Abbey.
In August 2009, Adubato stepped down as executive director He was succeeded by Adrianne Davis, who retired from her post as Clerk of Essex County, New Jersey.
He remains active in the organization as its chief fundraiser. Historian Terry Golway has referred to Adubato as "the legendary boss of Newark’s North Ward.".