New Jersey Hall of Fame nominees announced

April 9, 2013 2:00:35 PM PDT
From an award-winning pop singer to a former president who may be best known as the namesake of a rest stop on the Turnpike, the 51 people nominated to be inducted into New Jersey's Hall of Fame are a diverse group.

The public has until May 3 to make their choices among five categories online at

The nominees announced Tuesday include singer Whitney Houston; actors Alan Alda, Joe Pesci and Brook Shields; Super Bowl-winning New York Giants coach Bill Parcells and President Grover Cleveland.

A look at the New Jersey Hall of Fame Class of 2013 nominees by category:


For deceased New Jerseyans whose contributions transcend one specific category.

- Aaron Burr. Newark (1756-1836). Attended Princeton University, served in Revolutionary War Army and was vice president under Thomas Jefferson.

- Alice Guy Blache. Fort Lee, Mahwah (1873-1968). French filmmaker who became the first female director in the motion picture industry; helped make Fort Lee the first film capital of America.

- Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Tenafly (1850-1902). Activist, abolitionist and a leading figure in the early woman's right movement.

- Grover Cleveland. Caldwell (1837-1908). The only president to serve two nonconsecutive terms, still praised by historians for honesty, independence and good character.

- Irene Hill-Smith. Woodbury (1926-2011). Led the NAACP, marched with Dr. Martin Luther King and was instrumental in the passage of the Civil Rights legislation. She also served governors and presidents.

-Joyce Kilmer. New Brunswick (1886-1918). Journalist and poet who wrote the short poem "Trees" before joining the National Guard and was killed by a sniper during World War II.

- Molly Pitcher. Trenton, Monmouth (1754-1832). Fought alongside her husband in Revolutionary War, carrying pitchers of clean water to soldiers during the Battle of Monmouth.

- Richard Stockton. Princeton (1730-1781). The first person from New Jersey to sign the Declaration of Independence, he was a state Supreme Court justice and New Jersey's representative in the Continental Congress.

- Sarah Spencer Washington. Atlantic City (1889-1953). A celebrated business executive in the black community who became a millionaire after founding Apex News & Hair Company and Apex Rest for the elderly.

- Thomas Paine. Bordentown (1737-1809). A great thinker born in England, he immigrated to the colonies in 1774 where he was an author, pamphleteer, revolutionary and leading intellectual in pre-Revolutionary War efforts.

- William Paterson. Bordentown (1737-1809). Somerset, Princeton, Trenton (1745-1806). After graduating from Princeton he became the first attorney general of New Jersey. Later he represented New Jersey in the U.S. Senate, became governor and served as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.


Open to scientists, business leaders, inventors, leaders in medicine, entrepreneurs and philanthropists.

- Alice Waters. Chatham (1944- ). Chef who champions locally grown fresh ingredients and has attracted national attention for promoting food education in schools. She also is an advocate for a stimulus package that tries to give every public school student free breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack.

- Bobbi Brown. Montclair (1957- ) Celebrated make-up artist who launched her own product line in the early 1990s and built a highly successful corporation.

- David Sarnoff. Princeton, Camden (1891-1971). "The father of electronic communications" formed the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) and the Radio Corporation of America (RCA).

- Dorothea Lynde Dix. Trenton (1802-1887). Activist who fought on behalf of the insane. Created the first mental asylums in the country after lobbying state legislatures and the U.S. Congress.

- Dr. James Still. Moorestown (1812-1882). Known as "the black doctor of the Pinelands," he used herbs and botanical remedies he devised to treat large numbers of patients, despite having no formal training as a physician.

- Fairleigh S. Dickinson (1866-1948). Former colonel, founded Becton Dickinson and was benefactor of the school now named for him, Fairleigh Dickinson University.

- John Roebling. Trenton (1806-1869). A German-born civil engineer, he originated the wire rope suspension bridge design, the same design he used to build the Brooklyn Bridge.

- Mary G. Roebling. Trenton (1905-1994). Broke the glass ceiling for women in business, particularly in banking and financial services. Was the first female governor of the American Stock Exchange.

- Paul Volcker. Teaneck (1927- ). A leading economist who chaired the Federal Reserve under Presidents Carter and Reagan.

-Raymond G. Chambers. Newark (1942- ). Businessman, philanthropist and humanitarian who currently serves as the United Nations secretary-general's special envoy for Malaria. Founding chairman of NJPAC.

Arts & Entertainment

For musicians, singers, songwriters, actors and actresses, artists, dancers and those who work in related fields.

- Alan Alda. Leonia (1936- ). Actor, director and screenwriter best known for his role as "Hawkeye Pierce" in the TV series "MASH," for which he was nominated for 21 Emmy Awards and won five.

- Brooke Shields. Haworth (1965- ). Actress and model best known for her roles in movies such as "Pretty Baby" and "The Blue Lagoon" and TV shows "Suddenly Susan" and "That 70s Show."

- Dionne Warwick. East Orange (1940- ). The Grammy-award winning singer ranks second, behind Aretha Franklin, as the most popular female vocalist ever, with 56 chart singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

- Dizzy Gillespie. Englewood (1917-1993). Renowned jazz trumpet player, bandleader, singer, composer and teacher. Pioneered Afro-Cuban jazz and won several Grammy Awards.

- Eddie Murphy. Englewood (1961- ). Comedian who rose to fame on "Saturday Night Live" and went on to star in films including as "Beverly Hills Cop," ''Trading Places," ''Coming to America" and "Shrek." He also starred in "Dreamgirls," for which he won a Golden Globe Award and earned an Academy Award nomination.

- Ernie Kovacs. Trenton (1919-1962). Often referred to as "Television's Original Genius," the comedian pioneered the ad lib routine and had several comedy shows and specials before dying in a car accident at the height of his fame.

- Joe Pesci. Newark (1943- ) Won an Academy Award for his role in "Goodfellas" and appeared in many other top films such as "Casino," ''My Cousin Vinny" and "Home Alone."

- Joe Piscopo. Passaic (1951- ). Comedian, actor, musician, singer and true Jersey guy.

- Nathan Lane. Jersey City (1956- ). Veteran stage and screen actor best known for his work in "The Lion King" and "Stuart Little" movies and Broadway productions including "Guys and Dolls" and "The Producers."

- Whitney Houston. East Orange (1963 - 2012). An actress, producer and singer who topped the charts and dominated the Grammys in the 1980s and 1990s.


For athletes, coaches and others in sports:

- Bill Parcells. Englewood (1941- ). The former head coach of the New York Giants, New York Jets and New England Patriots, he has won three Super Bowls and is now the Miami Dolphins' executive vice president of football operations.

- Carol Blazejowski. Elizabeth, Nutley (1956- ). Three-time All-American basketball player for Montclair State University who played in the now-defunct Women's Pro Basketball League. She later became president and general manager of the WNBA's New York Liberty team in 2008.

- Dick Button. Englewood (1929- ) Two-time Olympic figure skating champion who won seven straight U.S. championships and five consecutive world titles.

-Jersey Joe Walcott. Merchantville (1914-1994). Boxer who broke the world record for oldest man to win the world's heavyweight title at 37.

- Joetta Clark Diggs. East Orange (1962- ). Track and field athlete who is a four-time Olympian, six-time U.S. Indoor Champion and five-time U.S. National Champion in the 800 meter race.

- Mary Decker Slaney. Bunnvale (1958- ). Distance runner who holds seven American records and was the first woman ever to break the 4:20 mark for the mile.

- Rick Barry. Elizabeth (1944- ). Basketball player who is the only player to ever lead the NCAA, ABA and NBA in scoring for an individual season. Ranked as one of the 50 Greatest Players in History by the NBA.

- Roosevelt "Rosey" Grier. Roselle (1932- ). Playing for Penn State University, he earned a place in the NCAA's 100th anniversary list of 100 influential student-athletes and was a part of the Los Angeles Rams' "Fearsome Foursome."

- Sonny Werblin East Rutherford, Piscataway (1907-1991). Builder and manager of the Meadowlands Sports Complex and owner of the New York Jets and chairman of Madison Square Garden.

- Willis Reed. Newark (1942- ). Basketball player who led the New York Knicks to two championships and was named MVP.


Catchall category for educators, military leaders, writers, poets, scholars, artists and others.

-Brian Williams. Ridgewood, Monmouth (1959- ). Succeeded Tom Brokaw as anchor of NBC Nightly News and also serves as managing editor of the program.

- Connie Chung. Middletown (1946- ). Renowned journalist who has hosted 20/20 and the CBS Evening News, she is the second woman to co-anchor a major network's national news broadcast.

- Doris Duke. Hillsborough (1912-1993). Heiress, horticulturalist and art collector who became a philanthropist. She supported wildlife refuge, environmental conservation, historic preservation, medical research and child welfare.

- Dorothy Parker. Long Branch (1893-1967). Acclaimed writer and founding member of the Algonquin Round table, she was nominated for two Academy Awards for screenwriting.

- Gov. Tom Kean Sr. Bedminster (1935- ). New Jersey's 48th governor, he also chaired the national 9/11 Commission and was longtime president of Drew University.

-John McPhee. Princeton (1931- ). Pulitzer Prize winning nonfiction writer who leads a writing seminar at his alma matter, Princeton University.

- L. Seward Johnson. Newark (1930- ). Grandson of Robert Wood Johnson, he's the co-founder of Johnson & Johnson and artist best known for his life-size bronze statues that depict people engaging in day-to-day activities.

- Milton Friedman. Rahway (1912-2006). Nobel Prize-winning economist is among the most influential and honored in his field.

- Norman Mailer. Long Branch (1923-2007). Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and National Book Award receiver who was founding publisher of The Village Voice. He also adapted, produced and directed a number of movies.

-Peter Rodino. Newark (1909-2005). A congressman for 40 years who also chaired the House Judiciary Committee as it oversaw the hearing and subsequent impeachment of President Richard Nixon after the Watergate scandal.