New Jersey Hall of Fame announces 2021 class of inductees


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The New Jersey Hall of Fame has announced its 2021 class of inductees. 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 businesswoman Louise Scott, photographer Dorothea Lange, Baseball Hall of Fame member Monte Irvin and the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, according to a press release.

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The 13th annual induction ceremony will once again be a virtual event as it was last year, in an abundance of caution amidst the coronavirus pandemic, according to the press release.

The induction ceremony will be broadcast on My9NJ on Oct. 16, Oct. 17, Oct. 23 and Oct. 24, as well as on NJ PBS, radio and prominent social media platforms. The Class of 2021’s Unsung Hero will be announced in early October.

“We asked New Jerseyans to help choose the next class of heroes and they delivered,” said Jon F. Hanson, chairman of the New Jersey Hall of Fame. “We are honored to celebrate the lives and contributions of these notable New Jersey luminaries and greats.”

The New Jersey Hall of Fame Class of 2021 is:

Arts and Letters

• Dorothea Lange, Hoboken, documentary photographer (being honored posthumously);

• Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Englewood, author and aviator (being honored posthumously);

• John Forbes Nash Jr., Princeton, mathematician (being honored posthumously);

• Gay Talese, Ocean City, writer and journalist;


• Madeline McWhinney Dale, Middletown, first female officer/vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank (being honored posthumously);

• Madam Louise Scott, Newark, founder of Scott School of Beauty Culture and chain of beauty salons (being honored posthumously);

• Paul Volcker, Teaneck, 12th chair of the Federal Reserve (being honored posthumously);

• Sara Spencer Washington, Atlantic City, founder of Apex News and Hair Company (being honored posthumously);

Performing Arts

• George Benson, Englewood, jazz guitarist, singer and songwriter;

• Sarah Dash, Trenton, award-winning vocalist who co-founded Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles;

• Lesley Gore, Tenafly, singer, songwriter, actress and activist (being honored posthumously);

• Buddy Hackett, Fort Lee, actor and comedian (being honored posthumously);

• Patti Smith, Pitman/Deptford Township, and 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 (previous inductee, but being formally inducted this year);

Public Service

• Margaret Bancroft, Haddonfield, founder of Bancroft, a nonprofit serving individuals with disabilities (being honored posthumously);

• Alexander Hamilton, Elizabeth, founding father and first secretary of the treasury (being honored posthumously);

• 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 second Governor of New Jersey (being honored posthumously);

• 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 (being honored posthumously);


• Val Ackerman, Pennington, first president of the Women’s National Basketball Association;

• Monte Irvin, Orange, outfielder in the Negro leagues and Major League Baseball who played with the Newark Eagles, New York Giants and Chicago Cubs (being honored posthumously);

• Ron Jaworski, Voorhees, former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback and National Football League analyst.

The 23 inductees in the five categories were chosen out of 50 nominees after a public vote during May, according to the press release.

Since 2008, the New Jersey Hall of Fame has hosted 12 ceremonies for more than 180 notable individuals and groups in recognition of their induction into the Hall of Fame, according to the press release. For more information, visit

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