Newark NJ, April 19, 2023 – New Jerseyans will have an opportunity to highlight their heroes as the New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF) has announced its 50 nominees for the 2023 public vote in five categories: Arts & Letters, Enterprise, Performing Arts, Public Service, and Sports.

The public is invited to vote at from April 17 through Friday, May 19.

The final inductees will be announced in July, with the induction ceremony taking place in October. The 15th Annual New Jersey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is scheduled to occur at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ. The ceremony will also be streamed on multiple social media platforms to provide all citizens a chance to be a part of the event.

“We are honored to spotlight the wealth of successful and talented individuals in our state,” said Jon F. Hanson, Chairman of the NJHOF. “Each year we develop this list of remarkable nominees, we come away more inspired and influenced by the power of New Jerseyans.”

Full biographies of the nominees, as well as the ballot, can be found at



  • Amiri Baraka, a writer of poetry, drama, fiction, essays, and music criticism
  • Janet Evanovich, a writer with 17 of her last books appearing on the NY Times Bestseller List
  • Thomas Fleming, a best-selling historian, and novelist of such books as The Officers’ Wivesand Now We Are Enemies
  • Susan Hendricks, a former anchor for HLN and substitute anchor for CNN
  • John McPhee, a writer credited as one of the pioneers of creative nonfiction
  • George Segal, American painter & sculptor associated with the pop art movement & recipient of the United States National Medal of Arts in 1999
  • Col. John Stevens, III, a lawyer, engineer, and inventor who constructed the first U.S. steam locomotive
  • George A. Tice, a photographer whose work depicted a broad range of life, landscape, and urban environment mainly in New Jersey
  • Dr. George Theophilus Walker, a composer, pianist, and organist, and the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music
  • Edmund Wilson, a writer, literary critic, and journalist



  • Paul Cancro, founder and CEO of Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems Inc.
  • George Cooney, a creative innovator who has directed Clio award-winning campaigns
  • Dennis Foy, an influential and renowned chef
  • Lillian Gilbreth, a psychologist, industrial engineer, consultant, and educator
  • Janice Huff, chief meteorologist on WNBC
  • Denise Morrison, a business executive who served as president and CEO of Campbell Soup Company
  • Mario Perillo, a businessman and chairman of Perillo Tours, Inc.
  • Dr. Leon G. Smith, a well-known and respected infectious disease specialist
  • Finn Wentworth, an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and investor in major commercial real estate and sports ventures
  • Josh Weston, the former CEO of ADP and notable philanthropist



  • Anthony Bourdain, a celebrity chef, author, and travel documentarian
  • George Clinton, a musician, singer, bandleader, and record producer; most known for his work with the Parliament-Funkadelic collective
  • Brian De Palma, a director and screenwriter on films such as ScarfaceThe UntouchablesCarlito’s WayCarrie
  • Celeste Holm, a stage, film, and television actress who was recognized with an Academy Award for her performance in Elia Kazan’s Gentleman’s Agreement
  • Marilyn McCoo, a singer, actress, and television presenter, best known for being the lead female vocalist in the group the 5th Dimension
  • Tony Orlando, a singer whose career spans over 60 years, best known for his work as part of Tony Orlando and Dawn
  • Paul Rudd, an actor best known for roles in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron BurgundyI Love You ManThis is 40Ant Man, and more
  • Eva Marie Saint, an actress of film, theatre, radio, and television who was recognized with an Academy Award and a Primetime Emmy Award,
  • Phoebe Snow, a roots music singer-songwriter and guitarist, known for her hit 1974 and 1975 songs “San Francisco Bay Blues,” “Poetry Man,” and “Harpo’s Blues”
  • Joe Walsh, a guitarist, singer, and songwriter of three successful rock bands: James Gang, Eagles, and Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band


  • Steve Adubato, Sr., a politician and founder of the Robert Treat Academy Charter School in Newark
  • Dr. Jill Biden, First Lady of the United States
  • William Cahill, a politician, lawyer, and academic who served as the 46th governor of New Jersey from 1970 to 1974
  • Michael Chertoff, an attorney and the second U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security to serve under President George W. Bush
  • Charles Edison, son of Thomas Edison, was a politician, businessman, inventor, and animal behaviorist who served as the 42nd governor of New Jersey from 1941 to 1944
  • William Livingston, a politician and lawyer who served as the first governor of New Jersey
  • Peter W. Rodino, a politician who represented parts of Newark and surrounding counties for twenty terms from 1949 to 1989
  • George Shultz, an economist, businessman, diplomat, statesman, and one of only two persons to have held four different Cabinet-level posts
  • Richard Stockton, an American Founding Father, lawyer, jurist, legislator, and signer of the Declaration of Independence
  • Christine Todd Whitman, a politician and author who served as the 50th governor of New Jersey from 1994 to 2001



  • Tiki Barber, a former professional football player who was a running back for the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL) for ten seasons
  • Dick Button, former figure skater, two-time Olympic champion, and five-time consecutive World champion
  • Orel Hershiser, a former baseball pitcher who played 18 seasons in Major League Baseball from 1983 to 2000
  • Lou Lamoriello, a professional ice hockey executive who is the president of hockey operations and general manager for the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League
  • Jim Nantz, a sportscaster who has worked on telecasts of the National Football League, NCAA Division I men’s basketball, the NBA, and the PGA Tour for CBS Sports since the 1980s
  • Sal Paolantonio, a veteran NFL reporter for ESPN for shows, such as SportsCenter, NFL Live, Sunday NFL Countdown, and Monday Night Countdown
  • Drew Pearson, a professional football player who was a wide receiver in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys
  • Kathy Schachel, an inductee of the BMX Hall of Fame, with World, National, and European Championships
  • Paul Tagliabue, a lawyer who was the commissioner of the NFL from 1989 to 2006
  • Sue Wicks, a basketball player in the Women’s National Basketball Association, who played with the New York Liberty from 1997 to 2002

ABOUT THE NJHOF: Because everyone needs a hero, the New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF) honors citizens who have made invaluable contributions to society, the State of New Jersey, and the world beyond. Since 2008, the NJHOF has hosted 14 ceremonies for more than 200 notable individuals and groups in recognition of their induction into the Hall of Fame. The NJHOF endeavors to present school children with significant and impactful role models to show that they can, and should, strive for excellence. The NJHOF is thankful for the support of its many sponsors, without which none of our endeavors would be possible. For more information, go to

CONTACT: Alexander Neely,, (609) 789-3443