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July 06, 2021

Patti Smith, Ron Jaworski among 2021 N.J. Hall of Fame inductees

Public figures like founding father Alexander Hamilton and U.S. Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia will be enshrined posthumously

Patti Smith and Ron Jaworski, two public figures with strong ties to the Philly region, will be enshrined in the New Jersey Hall of Fame later this year.

Smith and Jaworski were among the 23 inductees named Tuesday as part of the state hall of fame's 2021 enshrinement class. 

Before becoming a punk icon in New York in the 1970s, Smith spent much of her childhood growing up in Pitman and Deptford, Gloucester County.

Jaworski played 10 years for the Eagles from 1977-1986. His decade in Philadelphia was highlighted by his Pro Bowl selection and the team's first-ever Super Bowl appearance in 1980. Jaworski, who currently lives in Voorhees, Camden County, went on to have a successful broadcasting career with ESPN and co-ownership of the Philadelphia Soul arena football team.

Other inductees with ties to South Jersey include Ocean City native and journalist Gay Talese, Atlantic City businesswoman Sara Spencer Washington, Haddonfield Bancroft Training School founder Margaret Bancroft and Salem County native and author David Mixner.

Public figures like founding father Alexander Hamilton and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia will be inducted posthumously.

The 23 honorees were selected from a pool of 50 nominees across five different categories after a public vote was conducted in May. Nominees typically are born in New Jersey or spent time living in the state.

The nominee who received the most votes from the public in each category was automatically added to the state hall of fame. The New Jersey Hall of Fame's board was then tasked with determining the 18 remaining inductees.

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

The 13th annual induction ceremony will be held virtually in October for a second consecutive year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will be broadcast on Oct. 16, Oct. 17, Oct. 23 and Oct. 24, as well as on NJ PBS, radio and social media.

The entire New Jersey Hall of Fame 2021 induction class, broken down by category, is below:

Arts & Letters

• Dorothea Lange: documentary photographer and photojournalist
• Anne Morrow Lindbergh: author and aviator
• John Forbes Nash Jr.: mathematician who made fundamental contributions to game theory, differential geometry and the study of partial differential equations
• Gay Talese: writer and journalist


• Madeline McWhinney Dale: first female officer and vice-president of the Federal Reserve Bank
• Madam Louise Scott: founder of the Scott School of Beauty Culture and owned chain of beauty salons
• Paul Volcker: 12th Chair of the Federal Reserve who served under Presidents Carter and Reagan
• Sara Spencer Washington: founder of Apex News and Hair Company in Atlantic City, named one of the "Most Distinguished Businesswomen" at the 1939 New York World's Fair

Performing Arts

• George Benson: jazz guitarist, singer and songwriter
• Sarah Dash: award-winning vocalist who co-founded Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles
• Lesley Gore: singer, songwriter, actress and activist
• Buddy Hackett: actor and comedian
• Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye: Smith is a singer-songwriter, musician, author and poet who was part of the New York City punk rock movement in the 1970s; Kaye is a musician, writer, record producer and guitarist for Smith from her band's inception in 1974
• Mary Chapin Carpenter: country music singer

Public Service

• Margaret Bancroft: founder of the Haddonfield Bancroft Training School for individuals with disabilities
• Alexander Hamilton: founding father and first secretary of the U.S. Treasury
• David Mixner: political activist and author
• William Paterson: signer of the U.S. Constitution, U.S. Supreme Court justice and 2nd Governor of New Jersey
• Gustave F. Perna: U.S. Army four-star general and CEO of the federal COVID-19 response for vaccines and therapeutics
• Antonin Scalia: U.S. Supreme Court justice from 1986 until his death in 2016


• Val Ackerman: first president of the WNBA
• Monte Irvin: left and right fielder in the Negro leagues and MLB who played with the Newark Eagles, New York Giants and Chicago Cubs
• Ron Jaworski: former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback and NFL analyst