View Full Version : About the New Jersey Hall of Fame

06-05-2006, 11:18 PM
I've finally gotten the okay to announce this and I know many of you will be excited about this and so I hope you will be very active in this forum and spread the word. This forum is a discussion on the proposed New Jersey Hall of Fame (http://www.NJHallOfFame.com). AboutNewJersey.com is one of the members of the New Jersey Hall of Fame Academy Members (http://www.njhalloffame.com/factsheet.htm). It will be the academy members job to vote on the inductees and to help guide the hall of fame's development.

There will be several categories, such as Sports, Arts & Entertainment, Historical, Enterprise and General. It will be our responsibility to narrow each category down to five inductees. The voting will then go to the general public who will be voting on this and choose the final winners through online voting.

This isn't just a fly by night thing. There is a 50,000 square ft state-of-art museum planned, UPN 9 will be covering the award ceremony, and a huge media event is planned. To give you some background this was established through an act of the NJ legislature, but initially it was only going to be a NJ Sports Hall of Fame. After much thought, it wa decided why only honor sports? However, in that bill it states that the museum would be placed in the Meadowlands. That may change and I am actually trying to get it moved to a more central location. Right now there is talk of it being part of Xanadu. My idea is to either have it in Trenton, Toms River, or my latest location I came up with tonight was Jackson around Great Adventure. I think around Great Adventure would be a perfect spot. So where do you think would be a good location? They are looking for a location where it gets a lot of visitors. My feeling on a more central location is so neither southern nor northern New Jersey feels slighted by the location and so people from either end of the state can easily go see it. As I said repeatedly on this board, we have to start reconnecting the state.

I won't be able to talk much about what is happening with the voting and who I am voting for, but I wll be asking your opinions on things.

So who do you think deserves to be inducted into the NJ Hall of Fame and why?

What are your thoughts on this?

Here is an article from July 2005

Who should be in N.J. Hall of Fame?
Burlington County Times

New Jersey may be best known outside its borders as the land of turnpike exits, but those who live here know the Garden State has produced more than pollution and political corruption.

Most people elsewhere know that Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra and Jon Bon Jovi are New Jersey boys, but how many also know that actor Jack Nicholson, Washington former Redskins quarterback Joe Theisman and President Grover Cleveland also called the Garden State home?

Burlington County alone was once home to Olympic and track star Carl Lewis, football star Franco Harris, Colonial-era revolutionist Thomas Paine and actress Calista Flockhart of "Ally McBeal" fame.

Recognizing these and other high achievers from New Jersey is the idea behind legislation to create a New Jersey Hall of Fame at the Meadowlands.

Before anyone cracks a joke, know this: Your elected lawmakers are serious about this one.

Both houses of the state Legislature have approved a bill creating the new hall, which would supplement or augment the existing New Jersey Sports Hall of Fame at the Meadowlands with one that also recognizes high achievers in the arts, music, literature, science, business, religion, athletics, the military, and government.

Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey has not signed the bill. A spokesman said Codey supports the measure, which he voted for in the Senate, but that there is no timetable on him signing the bill.

Space for the hall is even being reserved at the Xanadu sports entertainment and shopping complex being built at the Meadowlands, and the bill appropriates $95,000 for startup expenses.

Which leaves one obvious question: Who should be inducted?

Any answer is pure speculation, but several Burlington County officials and residents were willing to weigh in about those with and without county ties.

The consensus opinion about the hall was that it's a good idea, especially given national propensity for New Jersey punch lines.

"Given that New Jersey is often maligned, I think it would be nice for people to know about all the contributions New Jersey residents have made," said Gail Sweet, director of the Burlington County Library system.

"There really are a lot of people from here that have done extraordinary things," she said while listing off the names of Alice Paul, Mary Roebling and Elizabeth White.

In case you didn't know, Alice Paul, born and raised in Mount Laurel, was a internationally renowned leader of the woman's rights movement.

Mary Roebling of Trenton was the first woman to head a major commercial bank and was the first female governor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Elizabeth White of Whitesbog, now Pemberton Township, helped develop the first cultivated blueberry.

Ask Burlington County Clerk Phil Haines about his choices for a state Hall of Fame and he'll bring up John Woolman, the Mount Holly Quaker who spoke out against slavery during the 1700s.

"Some would argue Woolman really started the emancipation movement," Haines said.

Other suggestions by Haines included: Clara Barton, the Bordentown City resident who helped found the American Red Cross; 19th century industrialist and inventor Hezekiah Smith of Eastampton; "Last of the Mohicans" author James Fennimore Cooper of Burlington City and Dr. James Still of Medford, an early black physician.

Burlington County College President Robert Messina pointed to a more contemporary contributor, former Burlington County Times Publisher Joe Browne for his work with the Burlington County Literacy Committee and county Chamber of Commerce.

"He's the type of person I would like to see in a hall of fame," Messina said, "not just people who are popular or who appear in newspaper headlines all the time, but real contributors."

Former county Clerk Edward Kelly suggested former Burlington City Mayor Herman Costello along with Henry Rowan, the Westampton industrialist who in 1992 pledged a $100 million donation to then Glassboro State College, which was renamed Rowan in his honor.

Many of these names were unfamiliar to county residents. Asked about the Hall of Fame, most people interviewed at the Burlington Center Mall selected entertainers or athletes.

Whitney Houston, she's from New Jersey right?" asked Pat Haywood of Willingboro at the mall. "Carl Lewis is from Willingboro, he should be on the list."

Willingboro resident Margrett Guy said she would vote for Codey.

"He really picked up for that guy McGreevey after he announced you-know-what," Guy said.

Perhaps the jokesters are right about us. In fact, several people couldn't name more than one deserving New Jerseyan.

"Frank Sinatra from Hoboken. He's the only person I can think of, other than my husband," said Mount Laurel resident Marie Vacanti. "It's sad isn't it."

06-06-2006, 07:49 AM
My vote is for downtown Newark, but then again that was probably predictable. My list of Hall of Famers:

Connie Francis N
Frankie Valli N
Bruce Springsteen
Jon Bon Jovi
Frank Sinatra
Walt Whitman
Shaquille O'Neal N
Whitney Houston N
Queen Latifah N
Sarah Vaughan N
Lou Costello
Bud Abott
Grover Cleveland
Danny DeVito
Allen Ginsberg N
Joe Pesci N
Paul Simon N
Thomas Edison N
John Travolta

People who were born in or lived in Newark I've marked with an "N."

06-06-2006, 02:42 PM
I'm sure I can come up with more if I think about it, but off the top of my head baseball players Derek Jeter and Al Leiter were born in Jersey. Jack Nicholson was too.

06-06-2006, 04:26 PM
I was watching news 12 during the winter and they were talking about the hall of fame . The website has been up and running for a while now also . Two of my nominations would be Zebulon Pike the man who Pikes Peak is named after,he was born in Somerset County N.J., another would be naval hero Capt. James Lawrence born in Burlington City N.J. he is the one who gave the navy its motto "Dont Give Up The Ship ".

06-06-2006, 05:56 PM
I was watching news 12 during the winter and they were talking about the hall of fame . The website has been up and running for a while now also .

Yeah, the website has been up for a while. My thoughts are that the website is a bit cold. I would like to see it redone to better reflect NJ and the museum - be more inviting.

Two of my nominations would be Zebulon Pike the man who Pikes Peak is named after,he was born in Somerset County N.J., another would be naval hero Capt. James Lawrence born in Burlington City N.J. he is the one who gave the navy its motto "Dont Give Up The Ship ".
There are various experts throughout NJ who came up with the initial names, it wil be the academy members responsible to narrow this list down. I'm not sure who will be on the list actually. I know there are some obvious ones - such as Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra, Molly Pitcher, Einstein, Edison, etc. One of the great things also is that one "living everyday" New Jerseyan will be honored each year. This can be a teacher, firefighter, policeman, or just a proud New Jerseyan such as myself. :) Although I am probably out of the running, since I'm involved with the project anyway.

06-06-2006, 05:59 PM
I just came up with 2 more they are Count Basie of Red Bank N.J. and long time Mahwah N.J. resident and the man who invented the electric guitar Les Paul . In the Star Ledger earlier this year he said he loves living in N.J. and that he likes the mountains up in north Jersey where he lives and he also likes the deer running through his back yard . He is 94 now, recently released his first rock album ,and plays at a club every Monday night in n.y.c. . I say get him in the hall while he is still alive .

06-06-2006, 06:05 PM
Just to let everyone know - I posted threads for each individual category. This will be easier for people to organize their selections and so their suggested names don't get lost in the posts. In this thread, we can talk about the general concept of the NJ Hall of Fame.

06-06-2006, 07:59 PM
My vote is for downtown Newark, but then again that was probably predictable.
Are you Queen Latifah in disguise? :p ;)

Jersey Warren
06-08-2006, 04:20 PM
Meryl Streep was born in Summit, and singer Rick Nelson ("Travelin' Man," "Garden Party") was born in the same hospital as I was: Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck.

Bruce Willis grew up in Penns Grove.

Publisher Malcolm Forbes was born in Englewood and went to Lawrenceville Academy and graduated from Princeton. He ran unsuccessfully for governor of New Jersey.

08-22-2006, 08:44 PM
Well the news is starting to get out about the NJ Hall of Fame. This was in today's Star Ledger (in the editorial/letter section).

Celebrating Jerseyans

The ‘‘Show Me’’ state has the Hall of Famous Missourians, including Walter Cronkite and Walt Disney. California has the California Hall of Fame, with Ronald Reagan and César Chávez (and Disney). Alabama has a state Music Hall of Fame, with talents ranging from Nat King Cole to Hank Williams to Wilson Pickett.

New Jersey doesn’t have its own state hall of fame, but the state is looking to rectify that over the next few years, first on the Internet and eventually — with enough private donations — in a brick-and-mortar building, probably at the Meadowlands. Wisely, no public dollars are being sought.

An advisory commission (www.njhalloffame.com) is organizing the first induction ceremony, planned for the fall of 2007. Citizens will be asked to vote for nominees on the Web starting in November.

A state hall of fame is a good idea. The land of the Jersey joke has never gotten proper credit for much of anything. There is no reason New Jersey shouldn’t tout its own hefty roster of notables, such as Thomas Edison, Woodrow Wilson and, of course, America’s true poet laureate, Bruce Springsteen.

The accomplishments of leading Jerseyans have added much to the nation’s, and the state’s, history. A hall of fame would help spread the word on their legacy.

11-03-2006, 09:54 AM
Right now there is a show on about the Hindenberg and it got me thinking - although this crossed my mind before - why restrict the NJ Hall of Fame to just people. There are so many historic events and inventions which took place in NJ. It would be great to make the Hall of Fame into a New Jersey museum which celebrates the people, events and inventions that influenced the world. I bet more than half of New Jerseyans have no idea that the Hindenberg disaster occurred in New Jersey or that Jaws is based on the 1916 Shark Attacks which occurred along the Jersey Shore. Most people don't know that Tenflon, Color Picture Tube, the Transistor were all invented in New Jersey.

People are important to NJ, but to trully educate people on the heritage and culture of New Jersey, it should include the events and inventions also.

What are other people's thoughts on this?

12-10-2006, 05:05 PM
On Tuesday I'll be attending a press conference announcing the nominees for the New Jersey Hall of Fame. I really have to start implementing a lot of the enhancements for AboutNewJersey.com since this will start generating a lot of publicity. I've been slacking lately and it isn't good. Summer will be here before I even know it!

BTW - once I have all the nominees, I'll be listing them here so people can discuss them.

12-11-2006, 08:38 PM
I was on The N.J. Hall of Fame website not too long ago and they had a place to order a free N.J. Hall of Fame bumper sticker. They sent it to me recently, but I will save it for my new truck I hope to get next year. I like the idea about the inventions and events being included also, maybe in a different wing of the building if possible. Its time we in New Jersey start bragging about ourselves! :D

08-29-2007, 09:50 AM
I think it is about time the people who are incharge of the Hall of Fame announce who made it in. They wanted us to vote and we did, now lets see the results.

08-29-2007, 10:14 AM
I think it is about time the people who are incharge of the Hall of Fame announce who made it in. They wanted us to vote and we did, now lets see the results.
I agree. They seem to be waiting on Corzine. I think the latest is to announce in the fall - when people would more likely pay attention. They were scheduled to announce it the week of Corzine's accident, but the press conference obviously had to be canceled. I know that the announcement will be made soon, just don't know when. I have a feeling in October, since the induction ceremony is supposed to take place in the Spring.

10-12-2007, 06:17 PM
Well on October 25th, the NJ Hall of Fame inductees will be announced by Governor Corzine. Due to his accident in May, the announcement had to be postponed. I'll be attending the press conference. It is open to the public and will be held at the NJ State House. i will be posting a banner soon. For more information go to http://www.NJHallOfFame.com

10-26-2007, 06:48 AM

Following is the inaugural class of the New Jersey Hall of Fame, announced at the State House on Thursday. Voters picked their favorites from a list of 25 nominees compiled by a panel that included academics, researchers, writers and business leaders.

Arts and Entertainment:
Bruce Springsteen, singer. Rumson resident.
Meryl Streep, actor. Raised in Bernardsville.
Frank Sinatra, singer/actor. Hoboken native.

Yogi Berra, baseball legend. Montclair resident.
Bill Bradley, former Knick and onetime U.S. senator. Montclair resident.
Vince Lombardi, football coach. Taught in Englewood.

Buzz Aldrin, astronaut. Montclair resident.
Robert Wood Johnson 2nd, J&J president and philanthropist. New Brunswick native.
Malcolm S. Forbes, publisher and philanthropist. Resided in Bedminster.

Toni Morrison, author. Princeton resident.
Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf Jr., military leader. Trenton native.
Harriet Tubman, abolitionist. Based in Cape May.

Clara Barton, teacher, nurse. Lived in Bordentown.
Albert Einstein, physicist. Resided in Princeton.
Thomas Edison, inventor. Based in Menlo Park and West Orange.
For more about the winners, go to NJHallofFame.com.

10-26-2007, 09:15 AM
Hey Dave - I was going to post about this yesterday. I was at the press conference and was very exciting. I hope more New Jerseyans will discover the many great people who come out of the state.

Here is an article which will appear on AboutNewJersey.com which was written by our Travel Writer - Betty Fleming.

In a press conference held on October 25, 2007 by Governor Jon Corzine, the governor released the names of the 2007 Inaugural Class of Inductees in the New Jersey Hall of Fame. Those citizens who have made significant contributions to enhance the image of the State of New Jersey were broken down into five categories: Members of the Arts and Entertainment world; Enterprise, Historical, General, and Sports industries.

“It’s not like a weak list” Governor Corzine laughingly commented from the podium, referring to the Hall of Fame’s First Inaugural Class which includes the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra and Meryl Streep, who were selected in the category of Arts and Entertainment.

In the category of sports, such notable figures include Yogi Berra, Bill Bradley, and Vince Lombardi, who, the governor noted, were selected for their character and leadership skills. He referred to the quote by Yogi Berra, “If you come to a fork in the road, take it,” encouraging the youth of today to “focus on the positive and aspire to be on the (Hall of Fame) list of tomorrow.”

The governor went on to announce the new inductees who epitomized outstanding achievement in the Enterprise category to include scientists, those in the medical field, business leaders, inventors, and philanthropists such as Buzz Aldrin, Malcolm Forbes, and Robert Wood Johnson II.

In announcing the deceased New Jerseyans who were chosen to represent the category of Historical inductees in no particular category, Governor Corzine noted the outstanding contributions of Albert Einstein, Clara Barton, and Thomas Edison.

In the General category that includes educators, military leaders, writers, poets, scholars, religious leaders, politicians and civil servants, the names of Harriet Tubman, General Norman Schwarzkop, Jr., and Toni Morrison, were representative of the “quality of our community at large” as quoted by Governor Corzine. He went on to conclude, “these inductees reflect the future of our government and the State of New Jersey.”

In recognizing the various members of the Voting Academy and the process involved in obtaining the final list of inductees, Board Member Chairman, Bart S. Oates, also former center for the NJ Giants 1986 and 1990 Super Bowl Champions, took the podium. New Jersey’s most prominent individuals and organizations were recognized as promoting the Hall of Fame as sponsors and donors and in the selection of the nominees. Over 30,000 votes (both on-line and by ballot) were tabulated by the consulting firm of J.H. Cohn, L.L.P.

It was announced by Don Jay Smith, Director of Communications, the Induction Ceremony for the 2007 New Jersey Hall of Fame would take place on Sunday, May 4, 2008, in a star-studded gala affair. Future announcements and progress in the proposed state-of-the-art museum to house the New Jersey Hall of Fame will be posted on the website, www.njhalloffame.com.

Senator Joseph Kyrillos (R-13th) of Middletown addressed the audience stating that “New Jersey needs an uplift—people are tough on us and we’re tough on ourselves. We need to point out our attributes, our great geographical location, and the knowledge that New Jersey is filled with talented and smart people.”

As part of the Mission Statement for the New Jersey Hall of Fame which states “the New Jersey Hall of Fame wishes to send a message to children that they can and should strive for excellence in and endeavor of their choosing,” a large group of students from Washington Township schools in Gloucester County were in attendance at the governor’s press conference and were introduced to the general public.

“We have so many talented and educated people in our Garden State and The New Jersey Hall of Fame will provide inspiration for all our young people” stated Joyce Powell, President of the (NJEA) New Jersey Education Association, who announced the two winners of the Essay Contest and who were being recognized for their achievements.

Brendon Cedeno, a 9th grader from Memorial High School in West New York, wrote an essay about nominating his brother, George, a Marine Helicopter Pilot, for the Hall of Fame. Brendon wrote about his brother, “He’s not a celebrity—he’s an average person who keeps people safe.” Jessica Cutler, a 8th grader from Millstone Middle School in Monmouth County, wrote about her grandmother, Rita Palumbo, whose bravery in the loss of her husband, 8-year old son, and sister in a fire, and who is now recuperating from cancer, chemotherapy and a broken hip, signifies Rita’s faith in God, her outlook of looking at life through a new perspective. Jessica cites her grandmother’s philosophy as “life is all about playing out her hand with kindness and generosity.”

How better to “Celebrate the Garden State” with recognition of its most celebrated citizens and those out of the ordinary such as Brendon’s brother and Jessica’s grandmother and offer them as role models to the future generations in this proud State of New Jersey.

07-19-2008, 01:48 PM
Well I meant to post this earlier. A few weeks ago I got a call from Don Smith asking if I would be willing to be one of the expert voting panelists for the New Jersey Hall of Fame. Of course I am very honored to serve. Basically what my role is is to vote for the top 25 names which gets submitted to the Voting Academy to vote on. I was previously on the voting academy - who then votes on what goes to public for voting.

I would like your help. As a expert panelist, I get to make suggestions for people who should be considered but are not currently on the list of nominees. I do have a series of people who I would like to see in the Hall of Fame - such as Queen Latifiha. Not only do I feel that the nominee has to have contributed in some capacity - but more specifically to New Jersey and be a proud New Jerseyan.

I have until July 24th to make my final selections, so please provide me with yoru thoughts and I will consider them. Remember, I am looking for proud New Jerseyans who made contributions.

Jersey Warren
09-16-2008, 10:58 AM
Here's a link to the story:



North Jersey Media Group

Who do you want to see in the Hall of Fame?
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
TRENTON -- The New Jersey Hall of Fame wants voters to choose its second class of inductees.

Thirty nominees from the fields of arts and entertainment, sports, history and enterprise were announced Tuesday.

The nominees include actor Jack Nicholson, singer Jon Bon Jovi, political activist Paul Robeson, basketball pro Shaquille O'Neal and writer F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Of those, 10 will be chosen.

Last year, the hall inducted 15 members into its inaugural class including Bruce Springsteen, Yogi Berra and Frank Sinatra.

The hall has a virtual home but no permanent physical location.

Votes will be accepted through Nov. 30.

Find this article at:

Copyright © North Jersey Media Group

10-15-2008, 08:38 PM

Just wanted to let people know more about a person in the general category
that was born in New Jersey, lived his whole life in New Jersey, he was a pediatrician as well as a poet laureate and died here at the age of 80.
He won the Pulitzer, by writing about this state and the people in it his
entire life. His name is Dr William Carlos Williams.

Please look for him in the general category and vote.

Thank you