Ceremony Will Also Honor September 11 First Responders Who Have Sickened and Passed Away as 2021 Unsung Heroes

NEWARK, N.J. – The virtual red carpet is ready to welcome some of New Jersey’s best and brightest!Danny DeVito is set to host the 13th annual New Jersey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, with special appearances by President George W. Bush, Governor Phil Murphy and First Lady Tammy Snyder-Murphy, Chelsea Handler, Patti LaBelle, Quincy Jones, Keith Richards, Robin Roberts, Judith Light, Al Leiter, Nona Hendryx, and many more guest surprises!

The one-hour ceremony will premiere at 7 p.m.Saturday, October 16 on My9NJ and on the Hall of Fame’s YouTube channel and Facebook page, with re-airings on Sunday, October 17Saturday, October 23 and Sunday, October 24. It will also air on NJ PBS at 8 p.m. October 20, as well as on October 22 and October 23. This year’s class showcases the depth and variety of talent of the Garden State, ranging from founding father Alexander Hamilton to Baseball Hall of Famer Monte Irvin. Other inductees include singer Mary Chapin Carpenter, dynamic businesswoman Louise Scott, famed photographer Dorothea Lange, and the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

The ceremony will also pay tribute to the late Sarah Dash, who passed away on September 20, 2021 before she was to be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year.

And as the nation marked 20 years since the devastating September 11 attacks, the Hall of Fame is proud to announce that this year’s Unsung Heroes are the thousands of first responders who have suffered complications and passed away due to their service. 

The New Jersey Hall of Fame Class of 2021 is:

Arts & Letters

Dorothea Lange*, Hoboken, documentary photographer 

Anne Morrow Lindbergh*, Englewood, author and aviator

Performing Arts

George Benson, Englewood, jazz guitarist, singer, and songwriter

Sarah Dash*, Trenton, co-founder of Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles

Mary Chapin Carpenter**, Princeton, country music singer


Madeline McWhinney Dale*, Middletown, first female officer/vice-president of the Federal Reserve Bank 

Madame Louise Scott*, Newark, founder of Scott School of Beauty Culture & chain of beauty salons

Paul Volcker*, Cape May, 12th Chair of the Federal Reserve 

Sara Spencer Washington*, Atlantic City, founder of Apex News and Hair Company 


Val Ackerman, Pennington, first president of the Women’s National Basketball Association

Monte Irvin*, Orange, left and right fielder in the Negro leagues and Major League Baseball who played with the Newark Eagles, New York Giants and Chicago Cubs

Public Service

Margaret Bancroft*, Haddonfield, founder of Bancroft, nonprofit serving individuals with disabilities

Alexander Hamilton*, Elizabeth, founding father and first secretary of the treasury

David Mixner, Elmer, political activist and author

William Paterson*, South Branch, signer of the U.S. Constitution, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and 2nd Governor of New Jersey

Gustave F. Perna, Rockaway, U.S. Army four-star general/COO of the federal COVID-19 response 

Antonin Scalia*, Trenton, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1986 until his death in 2016

*Being honored posthumously.

**Previous inductee, but being formally inducted this year.

The 17 inductees in the five categories were chosen out of 50 nominees after a public vote during the month of May.