The New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF) will induct its class of 2021 in a one-hour, virtual televised ceremony broadcast on My9NJ on Saturday, October 16, Sunday, October 17, Saturday, October 23 and Sunday, October 24, as well as on NJ PBS, radio and prominent social media platforms, bringing the event closer than ever to the public. The Class of 2021’s Unsung Hero will be announced in early October.
The list showcases the depth and variety of talent of the Garden State, ranging from founding father Alexander Hamilton to punk rock icon Patti Smith and her longtime guitarist Lenny Kaye. Other inductees include dynamic businesswoman Louise Scott, famed photographer Dorothea Lange, Baseball Hall of Famer Monte Irvin and the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
The 23 inductees in the five categories were chosen out of 50 nominees after a public vote during the month of May.
“We asked New Jerseyans to help choose the next class of heroes and they delivered,” says Jon F. Hanson, chairman of the NJHOF. “We are honored to celebrate the lives and contributions of these notable New Jersey luminaries and greats.”
The annual induction ceremony had been open to the public and held at Asbury Park's Convention Center for the past several years until the Coronavirus pandemic forced it to go virtual last year. The 13th annual induction ceremony will once again be a virtual event, in an abundance of caution amidst the continuing pandemic.
The New Jersey Hall of Fame Class of 2021 is:
ARTS & LETTERS
Dorothea Lange*, Hoboken, documentary photographer
Anne Morrow Lindbergh*, Englewood, author and aviator
Madeline McWhinney Dale*, Middletown, first female officer/vice-president of the Federal Reserve Bank
Madam Louise Scott*, Newark, founder of Scott School of Beauty Culture & chain of beauty salons
Paul Volcker*,Teaneck, 12th Chair of the Federal Reserve
Sara Spencer Washington*, Atlantic City, founder of Apex News and Hair Company
George Benson, Englewood, jazz guitarist, singer, and songwriter
Sarah Dash, Trenton, award-winning vocalist who co-founded Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles
Lesley Gore*, Tenafly, singer, songwriter, actress, and activist
Patti Smith, Pitman/Deptford Township, & Lenny Kaye, New Brunswick, Legendary singer-songwriter and her longtime guitarist who were part of the New York City punk rock movement in the 1970s
Mary Chapin Carpenter**, Princeton, country music singer
Margaret Bancroft*, Haddonfield, founder of Bancroft, nonprofit serving individuals with disabilities
Alexander Hamilton*, Elizabeth, founding father and first secretary of the treasury
David Mixner, Elmer, political activist and author
William Paterson*, South Branch, signer of the U.S. Constitution, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and 2nd Governor of New Jersey
Gustave F. Perna, Rockaway, U.S. Army four-star general/COO of the federal COVID-19 response
Antonin Scalia*, Trenton, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1986 until his death in 2016
Val Ackerman, Pennington, first president of the Women’s National Basketball Association
Monte Irvin*, Orange, left and right fielder in the Negro leagues and Major League Baseball who played with the Newark Eagles, New York Giants and Chicago Cubs
*Being honored posthumously.
**Previous inductee, but being formally inducted this year.
In the case of someone who has been selected for the Hall in a previous year, but not inducted due to not being able to attend that year’s ceremony, the NJHOF may add to the current list of inductees for this year.
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 more than 180 notable individuals and groups in recognition of their induction into the Hall of Fame. The NJHOF endeavors to present school children with significant and impactful role models to show that they can, and should, strive for excellence.