More Culture:

July 19, 2023

Patti Scialfa, Tony Orlando among 2023 New Jersey Hall of Fame inductees

12 notable figures — including David Chase, Tiki Barber and Sue Wicks — will be awarded during an October ceremony

New Jerseyans spent several weeks casting votes this spring to determine which of their hometown heroes should be inducted into the 2023 New Jersey Hall of Fame, and the results are in. 

The public voted from a list of 50 nominees in entertainment, arts, business, public service and sports earlier this year, and the Hall of Fame's Board of Trustees announced on Tuesday that 12 notable people will be formally added to the Hall of Fame during an awards ceremony at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark on Oct. 29. The ceremony will be streamed on the Hall of Fame's YouTube channel.

Among this year's list of inductees is Patti Scialfa, a longtime member of the E Street Band whose songwriting and guitar-playing earned her and the band a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014. The North Jersey native wrote songs and worked as a backup singer in New Jersey bars before moving to New York, where she met and joined the E Street Band just before 1984's Born in the U.S.A. tour. The 69-year-old has recorded three solo albums filled with folk, country and rock music and is married to Bruce Springsteen, a New Jersey Hall of Famer since 2008. The two welcomed their first grandchild last summer. 

Another is Tony Orlando, a New York City native who moved to New Jersey as a teenager and got his start in the music business at 15 as a member of the Five Gents, a doo-wop group he formed in 1959. His first charted hits "Bless You" and "Halfway To Paradise" were released just a few years later, but he is arguably best known for his work with Tony Orlando and Dawn, which had success throughout the 1970s, particularly with the hit single "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree." Orlando went solo in 1977 and has spent the last several decades as a concert headliner, actor and oldies radio personality

David Chase, a filmmaker best known for creating the beloved HBO drama "The Sopranos," is another New York native who spent much of his childhood living in New Jersey, where he based the fictional mob family that would eventually earn him five Emmy Awards. Chase worked as a producer and writer on other shows like "The Rockford Files," "Northern Exposure" and "Many Saints of Newark," the prequel to "The Sopranos" that was released in 2021. In 2008, Chase won the Laurel Award for TV Writing Achievement, an accolade presented by the Writer's Guild of America. 

George Segal, a New York City native who moved to South Brunswick with his wife at 22, was a pop artist and sculptor whose work is housed in museums and public spaces across the country. A National Medal of Arts recipient, his 1992 sculpture "Street Crossing" is at Montclair State University in Essex County. 

Tiki Barber, a former running back for the New York Giants for 10 seasons, was born in Roanoke, Virginia and attended the University of Virginia before starting his NFL career. After retiring and attempting a comeback, Barber moved to New Jersey, began work as a sports broadcaster and made various television appearances, including on "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" with his wife, Traci Lynn Johnson.

Sue Wicks, the first openly gay WNBA player, was drafted to the New York Liberty in 1997 after playing as a forward for Rutgers University. She has since worked as a coordinator for Rutgers' women's basketball team, coached collegiate basketball and opened an all-girls basketball camp in New York City. She was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013. 

Other 2023 inductees include former Secretary of State George Schultz, former New Jersey governor Charles Edison, former Assemblyman Steve Adubato, entrepreneur and real estate investor Finn Wentworth, former CEO of ADP Josh Weston and Dorothy B. Porter, the first African American to receive a library science degree from Columbia University. 

"The New Jersey greats included in this year's Hall of Fame inductee list have made great contributions to our state's history," Gov. Phil Murphy said. "From sports legends to entertainment stars, business leaders to public servants and scholars, New Jersey has been graced by the likes of many influential people that have shined a light on what our state has to offer. This year's class is among the best of them." 

Previous inductees to the New Jersey Hall of Fame include Chelsea Handler, Antonin Scalia, Alexander Hamilton, Fran Lebowitz, Eli Manning, George R.R. Martin, Martha Stewart, Laurie Hernandez, Gloria Gaynor, Steve Forbes and Carli Lloyd. For more information about the Hall of Fame, check out its Instagram