New Jersey Hall of Fame Announces 50 Nominees for 2016 Public Vote

Online Public Voting Ends November 27

| Source: NJ Hall of Fame

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Nov. 02, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF) has announced 50 nominees in five categories for its Class of 2016: Arts & Letters, Enterprise, Performing Arts, Public Service and Sports. Public voting is now underway online at The 9th class of inductees will be announced in December, and the formal induction ceremony will take place on Sunday, May 7, 2017 at the Asbury Park Convention Hall.

“Choosing just 50 nominees for the Public Vote has proven to be a challenge over the years. There are so many incredible New Jerseyans who have made their mark on our state, our country and the world,” said NJHOF Commission Chairman Bart Oates.

“This year marks our ninth official induction ceremony,” added Steve Edwards, President of the New Jersey Hall of Fame Foundation. “Each year the event has gotten bigger and better, and we’re looking forward to the best one yet in 2017.”

The public is encouraged to visit the NJ Hall of Fame website to cast their vote for a nominee in each of the five categories listed below. Full biographies of the nominees can be found at

Peter Benchley, author of Jaws; Anthony Bourdain, chef, author and TV personality; Carol Higgins Clark, author of Regan Reilly series; Stephen Crane, author of Red Badge of Courage; Connie Chung, journalist, news anchor and reporter on NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN and MSNBC; Joyce Kilmer, American journalist and poet, author of Trees; Fran Lebowitz, author and public speaker, known as the modern-day Dorothy Parker; John Nash, mathematician and fundamental contributor to game theory, differential geometry and the study of partial differential equations; Charles Osgood, host of CBS News Sunday Morning since 1994;  and George Segal, printer and sculptor associated with the Pop Art movement. 

James Burke, CEO of Johnson & Johnson; Doris Duke, heiress, horticulturalist and art collector; Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief of Forbes; Mark & Scott Kelly, the only siblings to have both traveled in space; Sam Halpern, President of Atlantic Realty and Holocaust survivor, author of Darkness and Hope; Woody Johnson, grandson of Robert Wood Johnson, businessman and philanthropist; Alfred Koeppe, former President and COO of Bell Atlantic and PSE&G, current President of the Newark Alliance; Henry Rowan, built the first induction furnace, benefactor of Rowan University; Arthur F. Ryan, first outsider to become CEO of Prudential Insurance; and Buddy Valastro, star of Cake Boss.

Jason Alexander, George Costanza in Seinfeld; David Copperfield, world famous illusionist; George Benson, Grammy award winning musician, known for his hit “On Broadway;” Connie Francis, singer, composer, actress, entertainer and publisher; Ed Harris, three-time nominee for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in Apollo 13, The Truman Show and The Hours; Wyclef Jean, Haitian rapper, musician and actor; Ray Liotta, actor known for his roles in Goodfellas and Field of Dreams; Kelly Ripa, played Hayley Vaughn Santos for 12 years on All my Children, co-host of Live! For the past 15 years; Nancy Sinatra, singer and actress, daughter of Frank Sinatra; and Kevin Spacey, two-time Academy Award winning actor, star of Netflix hit series House of Cards.

Aaron Burr, Continental Army officer, lawyer and politician; Milton Friedman, Nobel Prize winning economist, statistician and writer; Edith Savage Jennings, civil rights activist; Phillip Kearny, United States Army officer, commanded the First New Jersey Brigade; Clara Maass, died as a result of volunteering for medical experiments to study yellow fever, which led to a ban on using humans for medical experiments; Peace Pilgrim, non-denominational spiritual teacher, mystic, vegetarian activist and peace activist; Molly Pitcher, carried water to soldiers during the American Revolutionary War’s Battle of Monmouth, took over operation of her husbands cannon when he collapsed; Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, longest-serving justice currently on the Court; Richard Stockton, signer of the Declaration of Independence, Associate Justice of the State Supreme Court and namesake of Stockton University; and Paul Vlocker, Chairman of the Federal Reserve under Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, Chairman of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board under President Barack Obama.

Rick Barry, named one of the 50 Greatest Players in History by the NBA; Carol Blazejowski, Former President and General Manager of the WNBA New York Liberty; Dick Button, Olympic and five-time World Champion figure skater; Mary Decker, Olympic and World Championship track athlete; Rosey Grier, two-time NFL Pro Bowler; Orel Hershiser, three-time MLB All-Star, played primarily with the Los Angeles Dodgers; Carli Lloyd, professional soccer midfielder, two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA Women’s World Cup winner; Willis Reed, played for the New York Knicks for his entire NBA career, voted one of the 50 Greatest Players in History; Phil Simms, New York Giants star quarterback and MVP of Super Bowl XXI; and Chuck Wepner, the “Bayonne Brawler,” claimed he was the inspiration for the movie Rocky.

Contact: Emaleigh Kaithern, (609) 827-3935,