Buzz, Yogi, the Boss: New Jersey salutes its achievers

New Jersey has joined a handful of other states (including California in 2007) in establishing a state Hall of Fame, with the inaugural class of 15 achievers formally inducted at a red carpet gala earlier this month at the Performing Arts Center in Newark. (Space to house the hall hasn't been found yet, but eventually it's hoped there will be several sites.) The honorees were selected from five categories: arts/entertainment; enterprise; historical; sports; and general. In the future, up to 15 more individuals who've made contributions to the state, the nation, and the world will be added annually. The members of the first class of New Jersey greats, who either were born there or consider the Garden State home:

  • Clara Barton, nurse, teacher
  • Thomas Edison, inventor
  • Albert Einstein, scientist
  • Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, astronaut
  • Malcolm Forbes, publisher, businessman
  • Robert Wood Johnson II, tycoon, philanthropist
  • Frank Sinatra, singer
  • Bruce Springsteen, singer, songwriter
  • Meryl Streep, actress
  • Yogi Berra, baseball player
  • Bill Bradley, basketball star, US senator
  • Vince Lombardi, football coach
  • Toni Morrison, author
  • Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, military leader
  • Harriet Tubman, African-American abolitionist
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