30 Nominated for New Jersey Hall of Fame

Actors, authors, and ex-presidents on the ballot. Voting runs until November 20.

2009 inductee Jon Bon Jovi with Governor Corzine at last year's New Jersey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.
Photo by Tim Larsen.

This year’s class of nominees for the New Jersey Hall of Fame includes two former presidents, two Oscar winners, a Nobel Prize honoree, and a baseball Hall of Famer.

The nominees are vying for the honor of joining such stellar Jerseyans as the Boss, Ol’ Blue Eyes, Thomas Edison, and Yogi Berra on the Hall’s honor role of distinguished past and present Garden State residents.
Anyone can vote online for their favorites among the 30 nominees. The deadline to vote is November 20. Voters are eligible to win tickets to the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, to be held on May 2, 2010.

There are five categories of nominees. The historical category includes deceased individuals whose contributions may transcend any one category. This year’s nominees are President Grover Cleveland (Caldwell), Navy Admiral William Halsey (Elizabeth), founding father Thomas Paine (Bordentown), activist Alice Paul (Mt. Laurel/Moorestown), guitar pioneer Les Paul (Mahwah), and President Woodrow Wilson (Princeton).

The enterprise category includes scientists, business leaders, inventors, and entrepreneurs. The nominees: architect Michael Graves (Princeton), broadcasting pioneer David Sarnoff (Princeton, Camden, Harrison, Somerville, Moorestown), businesswoman Mary G. Roebling (Trenton), astronaut Wally Schirra (Oradell), economist Paul Volcker (Teaneck), and chef Alice Waters (Chatham).

The arts and entertainment category spans music, acting, art, and dance. Nominees are pianist/bandleader Count Basie (Red Bank), actor Danny DeVito (Neptune/Asbury Park), actor Jack Nicholson (Neptune), actor Susan Sarandon (Edison), singer Frankie Valli (Newark), and singer/songwriter Stevie Wonder (Alpine).

The sports category includes contributors from both on and off the field. This year’s nominees are baseball Hall of Famer Larry Doby (Paterson), basketball player and coach Anne Donovan (Ridgewood), New York Jets executive Leon Hess (Asbury Park), Olympian Carl Lewis (Willingboro), New York Giants owner Wellington Mara (East Rutherford), and football great Joe Theismann (New Brunswick).

Nominees in the general category are author Judy Blume (Elizabeth), U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan (Newark), heiress/philantrophist Doris Duke (Hillsborough), Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman (Rahway), political cartoonist Thomas Nast (Morristown), and author Philip Roth (Newark).

To arrive at the nominees, a panel of 30 experts from different fields creates a list of 25 individuals in each category. The Hall of Fame Voting Academy, made up of prominent New Jersey organizations, politicians, and businesses, then narrows the field to six individuals in each category.

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