NJ Hall of Fame Names 2021 Nominees; Public Vote Underway

For the Hall of Fame's Class of 2021, New Jerseyans can choose from nominees including the Jonas Brothers, Loretta Weinberg and Monte Irvin.

nj hall of fame

The New Jersey Hall of Fame recently announced its top 50 nominees for the Class of 2021. The public can vote at ChooseHeroes.com from now until May 31.

This year’s lineup of Garden State greats includes musicians Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye, writer/journalist Gay Talese, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Pulitzer Prize–winning writer Junot Diaz, pop band Jonas Brothers, New Jersey State Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, baseball player Monte Irvin, agricultural specialist Elizabeth Coleman White, and former New York Giants Lawrence Taylor, Phil Simms and Bill Parcells.

“New Jerseyans will truly have their work cut out for them in choosing among these incredible nominees,” said NJ Hall of Fame chairman Jon F. Hanson.

The nominees are divided into five categories: Arts & Letters, Enterprise, Performing Arts, Public Service and Sports. Those who receive the most votes in each category are automatically inducted. The results will be announced in June.

The 13th annual induction ceremony will take place in October. Like last year, it will be a virtual affair, with coverage on television, radio and social media.

See below for the full list of nominees:


  • 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 40 nonfiction and fiction titles
  • Junot Díaz, Pulitzer Prize–winning writer who focuses on the immigrant experience in America
  • Margaret Bourke-White, first American female war photojournalist


  • 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 was the 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


  • 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


  • 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 second Governor of New Jersey
  • David Mixner, political activist and author
  • Richard J. Hughes, 45th Governor of New Jersey and 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


  • 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 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

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.

For more information, visit www.njhalloffame.org.

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