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From soup to Superman to the Super Bowl-winning Giants, the Garden State’s impact on contemporary culture is clearly evident in the 2012 class of New Jersey Hall of Fame inductees, announced today.
The 11 new inductees include John Dorrance (1873-1930), the inventor of condensed soup for what became the Campbell Soup Company; actor Christopher Reeve (1952-2004), a longtime Princeton resident best remembered for his screen portral of Superman, but also an advocate for people with spinal cord injuries; and Wellington T. Mara (1916-1926), who brought the football Giants to New Jersey in 1976.
Along with Reeve, other inductees in the Arts & Entertainment field are New Brunswick-born actor/producer Michael Douglas; jazz singer Sarah Vaughan (1924-1990), who grew up in Newark; and the E Street Band, the legendary backing group for Bruce Springsteen. (Springsteen was inducted in the Hall’s first class, in 2008.)
Other inductees are publishing giant Samuel I. Newhouse (1895-1979), whose Advance Publications owns the Star-Ledger; legendary western figure and Nutley native Annie Oakley (1860-1926); author and Princeton writing professor Joyce Carol Oates; Olympic gold medalist and professional football star Milt Campbell of Plainfield; and Jersey City’s Bob Hurley, the legendary basketball coach at St. Anthony High School.
This year’s class will be inducted at a red-carpet ceremony June 9 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on March 1.
The latest honorees were announced by Governor Chris Christie at a media event today in Trenton. At the ceremony, Hall of Fame officials also unveiled the latest plans for a mobile Hall of Fame museum, including designs provided pro bono by architect Michael Graves, himself a Hall of Fame member.
Inductees are based on a public vote from among nominees chosen by the Hall of Fame’s Voting Academy.