Travolta, Martha Stewart among NJ Hall nominees

Actor John Travolta arrives to the 16th annual Women in Entertainment breakfast in Beverly Hills, Calif., Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2007. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)

November 16, 2010 2:53:07 PM PST
John Travolta, Martha Stewart and Tony Bennett are among 30 nominees to the New Jersey Hall of Fame Class of 2011.

Others include New York Giants owner Wellington Mara, skating champ Dick Button, former Govs. Brendan Byrne and Tom Kean and poet Allen Ginsberg, the Hall announced Tuesday.

Residents have until Jan. 3 to vote online at NJHallofFame.org for their favorites from the fields of history, entertainment, enterprise and sports. There's also a general category for educators, military leaders and politicians. The top vote-getters will be inducted into the Hall next spring. Winners will be announced early next year.

This will be the Hall's fourth class. Previous inductees include Bruce Springsteen, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and Yogi Berra.

Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Les Paul, Count Basie and Carl Lewis were inducted in May.

"Each year I think we could never have a more impressive list of nominees," said Don Jay Smith, the Hall's executive director.

"But this 2011 group shows the world once again that our state has produced a long list of remarkably talented individuals."

The state Hall of Fame was created to showcase the many New Jerseyans who have made contributions across a spectrum of disciplines and professions.

DeVito, who grew up in Neptune and now runs two production companies with the word Jersey in their titles, said in his induction speech in May that his roots come through in all his work.

"Jersey is not a place you leave behind - ever," he said.

"There's a Jersey gene."

He then teamed up with Springsteen on stage at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark for a rendition of the Boss' "Glory Days."

Rounding out the arts and entertainment category are Michael Douglas, Bruce Willis, Queen Latifah and jazz guitarist John "Bucky" Pizzarelli.

Sports nominees also include former NBA star Rick Barry, ex-Old Dominion basketball star and current Seton Hall women's coach Anne Donovan and football standouts Joe Theisman and Franco Harris, the first black Super Bowl MVP.

In the enterprise category are oil company founder and New York Jets owner Leon Hess, newspaper publisher Samuel I. Newhouse, banking executive Mary G. Roebling, NBC and RCA founder David Sarnoff, economist Paul Volker and Stewart.

Historical figures who have been nominated include World War II hero John Basilone, former Vice President Aaron Burr, former President Grover Cleveland, intellectual and revolutionary Thomas Paine, Revolutionary War heroine Molly Pitcher and abolitionist Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

In the general category, mystery writer Mary Higgins Clark, five-star Navy Admiral William "Bull" Halsey and furniture maker Gustav Stickley join Byrne, Kean and Ginsberg.

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