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NEW JERSEY HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCES 50 NOMINEES FOR 2021 PUBLIC VOTE

Newark NJ, May 5, 2021 New Jerseyans have another chance to choose their heroes as the New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF) announces its 50 nominees for the 2021 public vote in five categories: Arts & Letters, Enterprise, Performing Arts, Public Service, and Sports.

The public is invited to vote at ChooseHeroes.com from May 5th through Memorial Day. Those nominees receiving the most votes in each category are automatically inducted.

The final inductees will be announced in June, with the induction ceremony taking place in October. The 13th annual New Jersey Hall of Fame induction ceremony will once again be a virtual event as it was last year, in an abundance of caution amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. It will be broadcast on television, radio and social media platforms, bringing the event closer to the public.

“We are excited to once again highlight the depth and variety of the Garden State,” said Jon F. Hanson, chairman of the NJHOF. “New Jerseyans will truly have their work cut out for them in choosing among these incredible nominees.”

“The 50 nominees included in this year’s public vote reflect the best that New Jersey has to offer,” said Steve Edwards, president of the NJHOF. “We’re honored to carry on our longstanding tradition of promoting the many deserving role models in our great state and bring recognition to their amazing talent and work.”

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

ARTS & LETTERS

  • George Walker, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, pianist and organist
  • Gay Talese, writer and journalist
  • Alfred Stieglitz, photographer and modern art promoter
  • Dorothy Porter Wesley, librarian, bibliographer and curator
  • Anne Lindbergh, author and aviator
  • John F. Nash Jr., mathematician who made fundamental contributions to game theory, differential geometry, and the study of partial differential equations
  • Dorothea Lange, documentary photographer and photojournalist
  • Thomas Fleming, historian and author of over forty nonfiction and fiction titles
  • Junot Díaz, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer who focuses on the immigrant experience in America
  • Margaret Bourke-White, the first American female war photojournalist

ENTERPRISE

  • Paul A. Volcker Jr., 12th Chair of the Federal Reserve under Presidents Carter and Reagan
  • Sara Spencer Washington, founder of Apex News and Hair Company named one of the “Most Distinguished Businesswomen” at the 1939 New York World’s Fair 
  • Louise Scott-Roundtree, established successful chain of beauty salons in Newark and city’s first African-American female millionaire
  • Henry Rowan, engineer and philanthropist
  • Denise M. Morrison, former president and CEO of Campbell Soup Company 
  • The Mars family, owners of confectionery company Mars, Inc.
  • Madeline McWhinney Dale, first female officer and vice-president of the Federal Reserve Bank
  • Clive Cummis, founder of one of NJ’s largest law firms and influential Democratic fundraiser
  • Elizabeth Coleman White, agricultural specialist who developed the first cultivated blueberry
  • James E. Burke, former CEO of Johnson & Johnson 

PERFORMING ARTS

  • Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye: Smith is a singer-songwriter, musician, author and poet who was part of the New York City punk rock movement in the 1970s; Kaye is a musician, writer, record producer and guitarist for Smith from her band’s inception in 1974
  • Bebe Neuwirth, Emmy winning-actress, singer and dancer
  • Marilyn McCoo, lead female vocalist of The 5th Dimension
  • Buddy Hackett, actor and comedian
  • Lesley Gore, singer, songwriter, actress, and activist
  • Brian De Palma, film director and screenwriter
  • Sarah Dash, award-winning vocalist who co-founded Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles
  • David Copperfield, magician
  • The Jonas Brothers, popular pop band made up of brothers Kevin, Joe and Nick Jonas
  • George Benson, jazz guitarist, singer, and songwriter

PUBLIC SERVICE

  • Loretta Weinberg, New Jersey State Senate Majority Leader
  • Richard Stockton, lawyer, jurist, legislator and a signer of the Declaration of Independence
  • George P. Shultz, economist, diplomat, and businessman serving under three GOP presidents
  • Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1986 until his death in 2016
  • Gustave F. Perna, U.S. Army four-star general & CEO of the federal COVID-19 response for vaccine and therapeutics
  • William Paterson, signer of the U.S. Constitution, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and 2nd Governor of New Jersey
  • David Mixner, political activist and author
  • Richard J. Hughes, 45th Governor of New Jersey, Chief Justice of the NJ Supreme Court
  • Margaret Bancroft, founder of the Haddonfield Bancroft Training School for the multiply disabled
  • Alexander Hamilton, founding father and first secretary of the treasury

SPORTS

  • Lawrence Taylor “L.T.”, former linebacker for the New York Giants
  • Phil Simms, two-time Super Bowl champion and quarterback for the New York Giants
  • Bill Parcells, two-time Super Bowl head coach for the New York Giants
  • Heather Ann O’Reilly, three-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA Women’s World Cup winner for the U.S. women’s national soccer team
  • John J. McMullen, naval architect, businessman, marine engineer and former owner of the New Jersey Devils and Houston Astros
  • Ron Jaworski, former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback and NFL analyst
  • Monte Irvin, left and right fielder in the Negro leagues and Major League Baseball who played with the Newark Eagles, New York Giants and Chicago Cubs
  • Craig Biggio, seven-time National League (NL) All-Star second baseman, outfielder and catcher for the Houston Astros
  • Al Attles, longtime basketball player and coach for the Golden State Warriors
  • Valerie B. Ackerman, first president of the Women’s National Basketball Association

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 12 ceremonies for over 180 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 www.njhalloffame.org.

CONTACT: Natasha Alagarasan, natasha@princetonsc.com, 609-789-7818

Mourning the Passing of NJ Hall of Fame Member Steve Kalafer

Known equally for his business prowess and philanthropic endeavors, Steve Kalafer spent his life to help his fellow New Jerseyans and people in need.

Kalafer built one of the most respected and successful auto franchises in the country and was chairman of the Flemington Car and Truck Country Family of Brands.

He was also owner of the beloved Somerset Patriots baseball team of Bridgewater, which was recently named a Class AA affiliate of the New York Yankees. He was known for his incredible philanthropy, serving as co-chair of the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation, which helps victims of domestic violence, as well as treasurer of The Actor’s Fund, a non-profit group that provides emergency assistance and social services to those in the entertainment industry.

During his induction speech at the 2020 New Jersey Hall of Fame ceremony, he stressed the importance of giving back and making our community a better place to live and work.

“Our roles as entrepreneurs, as capital formation builders, as job builders is to make certain that every day, we go out to work so that the dreams of others can be met; to be entrepreneurial in the giving back business.”

Mourning the Passing of Jerry Barry: The First Head of the NJHOF Liaison Team

The New Jersey Hall of Fame and its family of supporters mourn the passing of one of our earliest supporters and the First Head of the NJHOF Liaison Team, Jerry Barry.

Jerry was one of a kind and universally loved by all that came into contact with him.

His contributions to the New Jersey Hall of Fame will never be forgotten.

Pictured: Board of Trustees President Steve Edwards alongside Jerry Barry at the 1st NJHOF Induction Ceremony.

New Jersey Hall of Fame Essay Contest Announced

Who belongs in the New Jersey Hall of Fame?

The New Jersey Hall of Fame, along with its lead sponsor, Hackensack Meridian Health, and the New Jersey Education Association, want your students to participate in the decision-making process. New Jersey public school students are invited to participate in the N.J. Hall of Fame Essay Contest. Students are asked to nominate potential inductees – living or dead – to the New Jersey Hall of Fame. Nominations can include famous people as well as ordinary citizens who do extraordinary things. Students should research or interview, if possible, the person they wish to nominate and write an essay no longer than 500 words.

Essays must be typed and double-spaced. The student must include his/her name, age, grade level as of April 1, 2021, address, phone number, parent/guardian’s name, school name, and school district. If the essay is a school project, the student should also include the name of the teacher who assigned the activity. Nominations must be postmarked by April 1, 2021, to be eligible. Send entries to NJ Hall of Fame Contest, Dawn Hiltner, 1411 S. 5th St., Philadelphia, PA 19147, or email dhiltner@njea.org with NJHOF Essay Contest in the subject line.

Entries will be divided into two age categories: Intermediate (grades 4 through 8) and High School (grades 9-12). Entries will be judged by a panel comprised of NJEA and New Jersey Hall of Fame representatives. Winners will be notified by June 1, 2021. The winning students will be invited to participate in the Annual New Jersey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony scheduled for October 2021, which will be televised on My9NJ.

The winning students’ nominations will be forwarded to the New Jersey Hall of Fame Academy for consideration in 2022. The Academy, comprised of 100 of New Jersey’s most prominent organizations, ethnic groups and media outlets, will review nominees and ultimately select Hall of Fame nominees to be put forth for the public vote in the fall. NJEA serves on the Voting Academy.

Legislation to create The New Jersey Hall of Fame passed unanimously in the in the Legislature and was signed into law by the governor in 2005. The New Jersey Hall of Fame has been created to honor our sons and daughters who have made invaluable contributions to society and the world beyond. The Hall of Fame seeks to send a message to children that they can and should strive for excellence in any endeavor of their choosing. By presenting significant and powerful role models, the Hall of Fame Museum, when built, will be a source of learning, inspiration and hope for all New Jersey children.

For more information about the New Jersey Hall of Fame, visit www.njhalloffame.org.

STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF NJ HALL OF FAME MEMBER ARTHUR E. IMPERATORE, SR.

Both a champion for revitalizing his New Jersey community and a creative entrepreneur with a pioneering spirit, Imperatore ignored skeptics who derided his vision of a mass transit system to achieve his dreams. Today, his ferry system has done much more than transport nearly 300 million people, having evacuated more than 150,000 people from Manhattan on 9/11 and rescued 143 people from Flight 1547 during the Miracle on the Hudson.

True to his NJHOF Induction Speech in 2017 when he reflected on telling God he had “a lot left to do,” Imperatore remained active in his roles as a businessman, philanthropist, veteran, and family-man until his passing on November 18, 2020.

New Jersey Hall of Fame Appoints First Executive Director

Jim Roberts selected to lead next phase and fundraising

NEWARK (September 10, 2020) – After an extensive search, the New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF) Board of Directors announces the appointment of  New Jersey native Jim Roberts to serve as the first Executive Director and lead the non-profit into its next phase of growth as it continues to inspire New Jersey citizens by upholding its native heroes.

“We wanted a proven leader in the world of non-profit management, someone who could help us reach our own potential,” says Jon F. Hanson, chairman of the NJHOF. “Jim has a successful history in non-profit organization management and he’s highly skilled in event management, media relations, philanthropy, and fundraising.”

Jim Roberts previously served as the Executive Director of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) New York City Chapter, one of the nation’s largest.  Prior to LLS, Roberts served as the Executive Director of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) for Northern New Jersey and Rockland/Orange Counties (NY). Roberts served as the President of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s New Jersey Metro Chapter, one of the largest chapters in the country. Roberts has also served as the Executive Director of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) northern New Jersey affiliate, which encompasses central and northern New Jersey, northeastern Pennsylvania, and Staten Island, NY, ADA’s fourth-largest market in the country. Prior to joining the ADA, Roberts served as Vice President of the Atlantic City LPG Benefit Association (ACLPGBA), which staged the widely popular ShopRite LPGA Classic, one of the top tournaments on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour. Roberts began his career at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (BCBSNJ) in 1984 and spent nearly 19 years at the state’s leading health insurer. 

Roberts has been honored to serve on various boards of directors, including Fairleigh Dickinson’s Center for Excellence in Leadership, Governance & Philanthropy, ADA’s Community Leadership Board, Special Olympics New Jersey, ACLPGBA, The First Tee of Greater Atlantic City and Integrity House.  He was also appointed to the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports where he was a leadership volunteer under NY Giants legendary linebacker and Council Executive Director Harry Carson.

“In these challenging times, we also wanted someone who shares our deep passion for inspiring our next generation to be their best,” says NJHOF President Steve Edwards. “I’ve known Jim for a long time, and I know he wants to see that everyone is inspired to achieve their own ‘Arete’: the Greek concept of realizing one’s full potential.”

The NJHOF engaged DHR International, a leading provider in executive search solutions, to handle the search.

New Jersey Hall of Fame announces its incoming class of inductees

NEWARK (August 5, 2020) – The New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF) has announced who the inductees are for the incoming Class of 2019-2020 – a who’s who of some of the Garden State’s best and brightest.

The 12th annual induction ceremony will be a 1-hour virtual pre-recorded ceremony that will take place on Sunday, October 18th, 2020, and will be broadcast on several television, radio and prominent social media platforms throughout New Jersey. The Class of 2019-2020’s Unsung Hero will be announced in early October.

“These Garden State heroes perfectly represent what makes our state great,” says Jon F. Hanson, chairman of the NJHOF. “It’s our privilege to honor these inductees for their outstanding contributions to our state.”


The New Jersey Hall of Fame Class of 2019-2020 is (with occupation, name, N.J. town):

Arts & Letters:Public Service:
Charles Addams*, Westfield, Cartoonist and creator of The Addams FamilyDr. Virginia Apgar*, Westfield, Anesthesiologist and inventor of the Apgar Score
Stephen Crane*, Newark, Author of The Red Badge of CourageSister Jane Brady, Paterson, Former president and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health
Joyce Kilmer*, New Brunswick, Journalist, literary critic and poet best known for “Trees”General Martin Dempsey, Bayonne, Former Army general and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, USA Basketball chair
Fran Lebowitz, Morristown, World-renowned author and public speakerAlfred Driscoll*, Haddonfield, 43rd Governor of New Jersey and president of Warner-Lambert
Mort Pye*, Tewksbury, 31-year editor of The Star-LedgerMilton Friedman*, Rahway, Noble Prize-winning economist
  
Enterprise:Sports:
The Borg Family, Hackensack, Former owners and publishers of The RecordRick Barry, Roselle Park, NBA player named one of 50 greatest in history
Linda Bowden, East Brunswick, N.J. regional president at PNC Bank and N.J. Chamber of Commerce board chairGerry Cooney, Fanwood, Two-time boxing heavyweight contender
Fairleigh Dickinson*, Rutherford, Co-Founder of Fortune 500 company Becton Dickinson, benefactor of Fairleigh Dickinson UniversityEli Manning, Summit, Former NY Giant quarterback and two-time Super Bowl MVP
Steve Kalafer, Flemington, Chairman of the Flemington Car and Truck Country Family of BrandsRobert Mulcahy, III, Mendham, Former athletic director of Rutgers University
Joseph Simunovich*, West New York, Former Hudson County freeholder director and chairman of the New Jersey Turnpike AuthorityVivian Stringer, Piscataway, Head coach of the Rutgers University women’s basketball team
Arts & Entertainment:
Danny Aiello*, Ramsey, Academy Award-nominated actor
John Amos, Newark, Roots and Good Times actor
Ed Harris, Tenafly, Multiple award-winning actor
Cissy Houston, Newark, Grammy Award-winning soul and gospel singer
Ernie Kovacs*, Trenton, Emmy Award-winning and influential comedian, actor and writer
The Nelson Family (Ozzie, Harriet, Ricky, David)*, Jersey City, Stars of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
Flip Wilson*, Jersey City, Grammy and Emmy Award-winning host of The Flip Wilson Show, comedian and actor

*-Being honored posthumously.

In the case of someone who has been selected for the Hall but not inducted due to not being able to attend a previous ceremony, the NJHOF may add to the list of inductees prior to the Oct. 18 ceremony.

ABOUT THE NJHOF: The Foundation for New Jersey Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization honoring citizens who have made invaluable contributions to society, the State of New Jersey and the world beyond. Since 2008, the NJHOF has hosted 10 ceremonies for over 140 notable individuals and groups in recognition of their induction into the Hall of Fame. The NJHOF endeavors to present schoolchildren 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 www.njhalloffame.org.

Tickets are now sold out for the 11th Annual Red Carpet Induction Ceremony

Tickets are now sold out for the New Jersey Hall of Fame’s 11th annual star-studded red carpet induction ceremony which will be held Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, from 7-9:30 pm at the Paramount Theatre on the famed Jersey Shore boardwalk.

Proceeds from the event, which will cap off the Hall’s capital campaign, are to benefit the NJHOF’s permanent museum at the American Dream complex in East Rutherford. Download FAQ’s about the ceremony and sponsorship opportunities here.

The New Jersey Hall of Fame 2018 Class is (with occupation, name, N.J. town):

  • ARTS AND LETTERS: Author Peter Benchley**, Pennington; sport columnist Jerry Izenberg, Neptune; “Game of Thrones” author George R. R. Martin, Bayonne; photographer Timothy White, Fort Lee.
  • ENTERPRISE: Businessman J. Fletcher Creamer Sr.**, Saddle River; businessmanF.M. Kirby II**, Harding; restaurateur, entrepreneur Tim McLoone, Little Silver; businesswoman Mary Roebling**, Trenton; businessman Arthur F. Ryan, Newark; businesswoman/TV personality Martha Stewart*, Nutley.
  • PERFORMING ARTS: Actor Jason Alexander, Livingston; musician Southside Johnny Lyon, Neptune; musicians The Smithereens (Jim Babjak, Dennis Diken, Mike Mesaros, and the late Pat DiNizio), Carteret, Scotch Plains.
  • PUBLIC SERVICE: Activist Elizabeth Allen**, Hoboken; physician, professor Victor Parsonnet, Newark.
  • SPORTS:  N.Y. Giant Harry Carson, Franklin Lakes; basketball player, coach Anne Donovan**, Ridgewood; gymnast Laurie Hernandez, Old Bridge; N.Y. Giant Bart Oates, Harding.

UNSUNG HERO: To be announced in early October.

*- Previously selected and being inducted in 2019. **-Being honored posthumously

All living inductees are scheduled to attend the ceremony at the Paramount, which is part of the Asbury Park Convention Hall complex. Announcement of musical performers for the star-studded induction is to be made in early October.

Watch the NJHOF’s 11th Annual Red Carpet Induction Ceremony Streamed Live on NJ.com

The New Jersey Hall of Fame is excited to announce that our media partner NJ.com will be live streaming the NJHOF’s 11th Annual Red Carpet Induction Ceremony beginning at 7:00pm on Sunday, October 27th, 2019. Now you won’t have to miss a single red carpet moment with your favorite New Jersey celebrities or a note of the star-studded musical acts that make the induction ceremony so memorable.

This year’s event honors 19 of New Jersey’s most distinguished citizens as they are officially inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame, the highest civilian honor bestowed by our state. Over 1500 inductees, special guests, sponsors, and members of the media will be in attendance for one of New Jersey’s premiere evenings.

N.J. Hall of Fame announces its incoming class of inductees

Hits $10M mark in fund-raising for permanent museum at the Meadowlands

Governor Phil Murphy recently announced who the inductees are for the incoming class of the New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF) – a who’s who of some of the Garden State’s best and brightest.

The class will be inducted Sunday, Oct. 27, during the 11th annual gala ceremony at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park. Tickets are to go on sale in early September.

“Even with our long and celebrated history – one of the original 13 colonies, the home of innovation, and where the first baseball and college football games were played – we continue to change the world,” said Governor Murphy. “New Jerseyans don’t rest on our laurels. We just keep reaching higher.”

The governor also thanked the Hall of Fame’s supporters and donors from a host of business, union, civic and philanthropic organizations during the announcement at Newark airport, which features several NJHOF displays.

During the ceremony, Hall of Fame chairman Jon F. Hanson announced that the NJHOF has reached $10 million in the fund-raising campaign for its permanent museum at the American Dream entertainment and retail complex in East Rutherford. The museum is scheduled to open in December 2020.

“I’m just so happy to see that here, in New Jersey, we’re recognizing people who either worked in New Jersey or were born in New Jersey,” says Jon F. Hanson, chairman of the NJHOF.

 NJHOF president Steve Edwards said he is looking forward to the Hall’s newest class being inducted Oct. 27.

“This is the highest civilian honor that can be bestowed upon one of our citizens,” said Steve Edwards, president of the NJHOF. “It’s going to be another great night for the New Jersey Hall of Fame and the state of New Jersey.”

The New Jersey Hall of Fame 2018 Class is (with occupation, name, N.J. town):

  • ARTS AND LETTERS: Author Peter Benchley**, Pennington; sport columnist Jerry Izenberg, Neptune; “Game of Thrones” author George R. R. Martin, Bayonne; photographer Timothy White, Fort Lee.
  • ENTERPRISE: BusinessmanJ. Fletcher Creamer Sr.**, Saddle River; businessmanF.M. Kirby II**, Harding; restaurateur, entrepreneur Tim McLoone, Little Silver; businesswoman Mary Roebling**, Trenton; businessman Arthur F. Ryan, Newark; businesswoman/TV personality Martha Stewart*, Nutley.
  • PERFORMING ARTS: Actor Jason Alexander, Livingston; musician Southside Johnny Lyon, Neptune; musicians The Smithereens (Jim Babjak, Dennis Diken, Mike Mesaros, and the late Pat DiNizio), Carteret, Scotch Plains.
  • PUBLIC SERVICE: Activist Elizabeth Allen**, Hoboken; physician, professor Victor Parsonnet, Newark.
  • SPORTS:  N.Y. Giant Harry Carson, Franklin Lakes; basketball player, coach Anne Donovan**, Ridgewood; gymnast Laurie Hernandez, Old Bridge; N.Y. Giant Bart Oates, Harding.

UNSUNG HERO: To be announced in early October.

*- Previously selected, and being inducted in 2019. **-Being honored posthumously

In the case of someone who has been selected for the Hall but not inducted due to he/she not being able to attend a previous ceremony, the NJHOF may add to the list of inductees prior to the Oct. 27 gala.