By Michelle Sartor
The newest members of the New Jersey Hall of Fame were announced Friday at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton. Two actors, a sharpshooter, a media man, two musicians and three men involved in sports with ties to the Garden State will be some of those inducted into the Class of 2012 during a red carpet gala in June.
Eleven individuals were announced as members of the fifth New Jersey Hall of Fame class: media tycoon Samuel I. Newhouse, business leader John Dorrance, actors Christopher Reeve and Michael Douglas, jazz singer Sarah Vaughan, basketball coach Bob Hurley, athlete Milt Campbell, New York Giants owner Wellington Mara, writer Joyce Carol Oates, markswoman Annie Oakley and The E Street Band.
Newhouse of Bayonne and Dorrance of Cinnaminson were selected in the Enterprise category. Newhouse founded Advance Publications which now owns The Star-Ledger and magazines such as Vogue, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. Dorrance was a chemist who invented condensed soup and was president of the Campbell Soup Company for 16 years.
Four inductees are part of the Arts & Entertainment category. Actor Christopher Reeve of Princeton, most well known for his role as Superman, became a quadriplegic after a horseback riding accident. He founded the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation to help raise awareness and fight for those with spinal cord injuries. The E Street Band of Asbury Park is best known for its work with Bruce Springsteen. Band members include Clarence Clemons, Steve Van Zandt, Garry Tallent, Danny Federici, Vini Lopez, David Sancious, Max Weinberg, Roy Bittan, Nils Lofgren, Patti Scialfa and Ernest “Boom” Carter. Actor Michael Douglas of New Brunswick has won three Golden Globes and two Academy Awards. Jazz singer Sarah Vaughan of Newark won an Amateur Night performance at the Apollo Theater and was an opening act for Ella Fitzgerald. Vaughan won a Grammy and the National Endowment for the Arts’ Jazz Masters Award.
The lone inductee in the Historical category for the Class of 2012 is Annie Oakley of Nutley. The subject of the musical “Annie Get Your Gun,” Oakley was part of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show as a markswoman.
A coach, an athlete and a sports team owner are inductees in the Sports category. Bob Hurley of Jersey City is a basketball coach at St. Anthony High School who has gotten 26 state championships and more than 1,000 wins in his 39 years at the school. He was also inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010. Milt Campbell of Plainfield is a multi-sport athlete. He was the first African-American to win a gold medal for the decathlon in the Summer Olympics in 1956. Campbell also played football for the Cleveland Browns and the Montreal Alouettes and was inducted into the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Hall of Fame. Wellington T. Mara was the owner of the New York Giants who brought the team to New Jersey in 1976.
Gov. Chris Christie announced the New Jersey Hall of Fame Class of 2012 Friday, saying the inductees serve as role models for the state’s youth.
“Whether it is overcoming poverty to become a success like Nutley’s Annie Oakley, or overcoming a tragic accident and becoming a beacon of hope for people with spinal cord injuries the way Christopher Reeve did, New Jersey youngsters can learn from the stories of these remarkable inductees,” said Christie. “The people of our state should be proud of these individuals who have attained remarkable success through a combination of hard work and dedication. The Hall of Fame not only serves as an inspiration for young people but challenges them to pursue their dreams and strive to become the best that they can be no matter what direction their lives take them.”
An induction ceremony for the Class of 2012 is scheduled for June 9 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. Tickets go on sale to the general public March 1. More information can be found at the New Jersey Hall of Fame website.
Living nominees must accept the inductions in person to make it official, according to the New Jersey Hall of Fame rules. The E Street Band will be out of the country June 9, so their induction will be postponed.