From soup to Superman to the Super Bowl-winning Giants, the Garden State’s impact on contemporary America is evident in the 2012 class of New Jersey Hall of Fame inductees. The 11 new inductees will be honored June 9 with a red-carpet ceremony at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark.
The class of 2012 includes John Dorrance (1873-1930), the inventor of condensed soup for what became the Campbell’s Soup Company; actor Christopher Reeve (1952-2004), a longtime Princeton resident best remembered for his screen portrayal of Superman, but also an advocate for people with spinal cord injuries; and Wellington T. Mara (1916-2005), who brought the football Giants to New Jersey in 1976.
Along with Reeve, other inductees in the arts and 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.
Nominees are determined by the Hall of Fame’s Voting Academy and ultimately chosen in a public vote.