JERSEY CITY – At today’s official christening and launch of the nation’s first mobile Hall of Fame Museum, the New Jersey Hall of Fame announced its new class of inductees for 2013. The event was held at Liberty State Park, Jersey City.
Famed U.S. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, himself an inaugural Class of ’08 inductee, announced the following for induction October 21 at the Izod Center: U.S. President Grover Cleveland; American revolution activist Thomas Paine; filmmaking pioneer Alice Guy Blache; sculptor J. Seward Johnson,Jr.; New Jersey Governor Tom Kean; make-up tycoon Bobbi Brown; inventor and radio & TV pioneer David Sarnoff; philanthropist Ray Chambers; vocalists & entertainers Whitney Houston, Dionne Warwick, and Celia Cruz; TV (M*A*S*H*) & film star Alan Alda; comedian & film star Joe Piscopo; track Olympian Joetta Clark Diggs; World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Jersey Joe Walcott; and multi-Super Bowl winning football coach Bill Parcells. He also announced the recipient of the prestigious Unsung Hero Award for 2013: Kathleen DiChiara, founder and CEO of Community FoodBank of New Jersey.
Today’s new-inductees announcement coincided with the launch of the New Jersey Hall of Fame Mobile Museum, the first mobile hall of fame museum in the nation.
New Jersey Hall of Fame Commission Chairman Bart Oates notes the significance of the NJ Hall of Fame inductees and the new Mobile Museum, “The New Jersey Hall of Fame honors citizens who have made invaluable contributions to society and the world beyond. Now this new Mobile Museum brings this honor to our schools, and reinforces the message to children that they can and should strive for excellence in any endeavor of their choosing.”
The Mobile Museum offers a dramatic multimedia exhibition created around the theme – “Make a Difference.” Through images, artifacts, film, and interactive elements, visitors can explore the ways that Hall of Fame inductees have changed the state and the world: as innovators, as leaders, and as voices for the voiceless—often against overwhelming odds.
The New Jersey Hall of Fame honors citizens who have made invaluable contributions to society and the world beyond. Since 2008, some 70 notable people from 15 fields of human endeavor have been inducted including: Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Jack Nicholson, Susan Sarandon, Toni Morrison, Buzz Aldrin, Frankie Valli, General Norman Schwarzkopf, Tony Bennett, Queen Latifah, Carl Lewis and Yogi Berra.
Class of 2013 Inductees:
Deceased New Jerseyans whose contributions transcend any one particular category
Alice Guy Blaché, Fort Lee, Mahwah (1873-1968)
Born in Paris and a noted French filmmaking pioneer, by the early 1900’s she was directing films in color and synchronized sound. She came to America in 1912 and built a $100,000 studio, Solax, in Fort Lee, then America’s film center. Before U.S. women had the right to vote, she wrote, directed, and produced hundreds of films through World War I.
Grover Cleveland, Caldwell (1837 – 1908)
The only president to serve two non-consecutive terms, he is still praised by historians for his honesty, independence and good character.
Thomas Paine, Bordentown (1737-1809)
Born in England, this great thinker immigrated to the colonies in 1774 where he was an author, pamphleteer, revolutionary and leading intellectual in pre-Revolutionary War efforts. Bordentown was his home for more than 25 years.
Scientists, business leaders, inventors, leaders in medicine, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists
Bobbi Brown, Montclair (1953 – )
Celebrated make-up artist who launched her own product line in the early 1990s and has built a highly successful corporation; also the author of several books and a frequent television guest.
Raymond G. Chambers, Newark (1942 – )
A successful businessman, philanthropist and humanitarian, he currently serves as the United Nation’s current Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of Malaria and founded The National Mentoring Partnership and America’s Promise Alliance with Colin Powell. He is also the Founding Chairman of NJPAC.
David Sarnoff, Princeton and Camden (1891-1971)
Considered “the father of electronic communications,” he formed the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) and the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), which went on to produce radio and television broadcasting, color TV and flat-panel display.
Arts & Entertainment
Musicians, singers, songwriters, actors & actresses, artists, dancers, and those who work in the related fields
Alan Alda, Leonia (1936 – )
Popular actor, director and screenwriter, he is best known for his role as Hawkeye in the TV series “M*A*S*H,” for which he was nominated for 21 Emmy Awards and won five. He is very active in support of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
Whitney Houston, Newark (1963-2012)
With a record seven consecutive #1 hit singles, Houston topped the charts and dominated the Grammys in the eighties and nineties. She came from one of Gospel’s first families and never forgot her roots even when she struggled with addiction. An actress, producer and incredible singer, she was beloved by fans all over the world.
Joe Piscopo, Passaic (1951 -)
Jersey Joe is a comedian, actor and entertainer best known for his work on Saturday Night Live. In addition to a demanding schedule as a performer, Joe devotes an extraordinary amount of time and talent to non-profit and charitable activities. He has received many awards for his philanthropic work.
Dionne Warwick, East Orange (1940 – )
A Grammy-award winning singer, she ranks second, behind Aretha Franklin, as the most popular female vocalist ever, with 56 chart singles on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.
Athletes, coaches, and others in the field of sports
Joetta Clark Diggs, East Orange (1962 – )
This four-time Olympian, six-time U.S. Indoor Champion and five-time U.S. National Champion in the 800 meter race currently runs the Joetta Clark-Diggs Sports Foundation.
Bill Parcells, Englewood (1941 – )
The former head coach of the New York Giants, the New York Jets and New England Patriots, he has won three Super Bowl titles and currently serves as an ESPN football analyst. Earlier this year he was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Jersey Joe Walcott, Merchantville (1914-1994)
A world heavyweight boxing champion at age 37, he broke the world record for the oldest man to win the world’s heavyweight title.
Educators, military leaders, writers, poets, scholars, religious leaders, civil servants, politicians, and others not specifically falling into the other categories
J. Seward Johnson,Jr. Newark (1930 – )
One of America’s most renowned sculptors, he is an artist lauded for the meticulous detail and candid accuracy of life-size bronze statues depicting people engaged in day-to-day activities.
Governor Tom Kean, Bedminster (1935 – )
New Jersey’s 48th Governor, he has had a far reaching career including long-time President of Drew University and Chairman of the 9/11 Commission; remains one of the most popular political figures in New Jersey’s history.
2013 Unsung Hero Award
Kathleen DiChiara, Summit (1945 – )
She began an emergency food program out of the back of her station-wagon in 1975 in conjunction with the Archdiocese of Newark. By 1982, she had incorporated her food program as a nonprofit, the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. As its president and CEO, the organization has grown to feed more than 900,000 people annually.
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