NEW JERSEY -- The New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF) has announced who the inductees are for the incoming Class of 2019-2020 – a "Who's Who" of some of the Garden State’s best and brightest. Among them are Nobel prize-winning economist Milton Friedman, two-time Super Bowl Champion Eli Manning, cartoonist Charles Addams ("The Addams Family"), actors John Amos and Danny Aiello, and county music superstar Mary Chapin Carpenter.

Also among the honorees is boxing legend Gerry Cooney, a longtime resident of Fanwood. Originally from Long Island, "Gentleman Gerry" has used his fame to help the less fortunate for much of his adult life.

Related: Meet Boxing Legend Gentleman Gerry Cooney

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"It's a great honor," Cooney said in a phone interview with TAPintoSPF. " I think about all the people who helped me make it to where I am today: my trainers, my friends, my wife, my family, who all gave me the courage to move forward. Even in the face of obstacles, I keep moving along and keep punching."

Since he has lived in New Jersey, Cooney has been involved in a wide range of charitable efforts, including the Make a Wish Foundation and YCS, which helps troubled young people.

"I was put in a position as an athlete to help people, the less fortunate, those who are struggling. That's our responsibility, and it has always been a joy to me to help people," he said."I've been blessed. From my struggle, from having to find my way, I made it a joy to be there for some people who didn't have someone to pick them up. I think of all the people who opened the door to me."

I want to congratulate Gerry on his induction and for his accomplishments in the boxing world and outside the ring," said Fanwod Mayor Colleen Mahr. "I consider him a friend who is approachable, who has a great sense of humor, and above all, is a family man. I'm proud that he and Jen call Fanwood home. 

The 12th annual induction ceremony will be a 1-hour, virtual, pre-recorded ceremony that will take place on Sunday, October 18, 2020, and will be broadcast on several television, radio and prominent social media platforms throughout New Jersey. The Class of 2019-2020’s Unsung Hero will be announced in early October.

“These Garden State heroes perfectly represent what makes our state great,” says Jon F. Hanson, chairman of the NJHOF. “It’s our privilege to honor these inductees for their outstanding contributions to our state.”

The New Jersey Hall of Fame Class of 2019-2020 is (with name, N.J. town, occupation):

Arts & Letters:

  • Charles Addams*, Westfield, Cartoonist and creator of The Addams Family
  • Stephen Crane, Newark, Author of The Red Badge of Courage
  • Joyce Kilmer*, New Brunswick, Journalist, literary critic and poet best known for “Trees”
  • Fran Lebowitz, Morristown, World-renowned author and public speaker
  • Mort Pye*, Tewksbury, 31-year editor of The Star-Ledger

Public Service:

  • Dr. Virginia Apgar*, Westfield, Anesthesiologist and inventor of the Apgar Score
  • Sister Jane Brady, Paterson, Former president and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health
  • General Martin Dempsey, Jersey City, Former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, USA Basketball chair
  • Alfred Driscoll*, Haddonfield, 43rd Governor of New Jersey and president of Warner-Lambert
  • Milton Friedman*, Rahway, Noble Prize-winning economist


  • The Borg Family, Hackensack, Former owners and publishers of The Record
  • Linda Bowden, East Brunswick, N.J. regional president at PNC Bank and N.J. Chamber of Commerce board chair
  • Fairleigh Dickinson*, Rutherford, Co-Founder of Fortune 500 company Becton Dickinson, benefactor of FDU
  • Steve Kalafer, Flemington, Chairman of the Flemington Car and Truck Country Family of Brands
  • Joseph Simunovich*, West New York, Former Hudson County freeholder director and chair of the NJ Turnpike Authority


  • Rick Barry, Roselle Park, NBA player named one of 50 greatest in history
  • Gerry Cooney, Fanwood, Two-time boxing heavyweight contender
  • Eli Manning, Summit, Former NY Giant quarterback and two-time Super Bowl MVP
  • Robert Mulcahy, III, Mendham, Former athletic director of Rutgers University
  • Vivian Stringer, Piscataway, Head coach of the Rutgers University women’s basketball team

Arts & Entertainment:

  • Danny Aiello*, Ramsey, Academy Award-nominated actor
  • John Amos, Newark, Roots and Good Times actor
  • Mary Chapin Carpenter, Princeton, Five-time Grammy award winner, singer-songwriter
  • Ed Harris, Tenafly, Multiple award-winning actor
  • Anne Hathaway, Millburn, Academy and Emmy Award-winning actor
  • Cissy Houston, Newark, Grammy Award-winning soul and gospel singer
  • Ernie Kovacs*, Trenton, Emmy Award-winning and influential comedian, actor and writer
  • The Nelson Family (Ozzie, Harriet and Ricky*), Jersey City, Stars of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
  • Flip Wilson*, Jersey City, Grammy and Emmy Award-winning host of The Flip Wilson Show, comedian and actor