FANWOOD, NJ – Boxing legend Gerry Cooney, a longtime resident of Fanwood, is among the 50 candidates for induction for The New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF).

The nominees for the Class of 2019-2020 are listed in the following categories: Arts & Letters, Enterprise, Performing Arts, Public Service, and Sports. The public can vote online for their favorite candidates. Visit the NJ Hall of Fame website to view biographies of the nominees and to vote here before June 30, 2020.

Surprisingly, Cooney, a member of the Boxing Hall of Fame and Walt Whitman HS (Long Island) Hall of Fame, didn’t know about his nomination until after it was announced.

Sign Up for Scotch Plains/Fanwood Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

“My father-in-law called me. I didn’t know what he was talking about,” said Cooney, who has hosting his twice weekly boxing call-in show on SIRIUS Radio from home and recuperating from rotator cuff surgery during the COVID-19 quarantine.

Related: Fighting Irish: Fanwood's Local Legend Gentleman Gerry Cooney

“It’s fun, and it’s an honor to be included. There are some big names on there,” the boxing legend said.

“We have inducted heroes from all walks of life into the New Jersey Hall of Fame,” said Jon F. Hanson, chairman of the NJHOF. “This year’s class of nominees reflect the varied accomplishments and backgrounds that have characterized the hall of fame since its formation.”

"I don't believe anyone from Fanwood has ever been nominated before," said Fawood Mayor Colleen Mahr. "He's a legend in the boxing world and part of American Sports history. But we know him as one of our neighbors and someone who is always there to help anyone who needs his help."

"We are thrilled to have him, Jen, Jackson and Sarah in the fabric of Fanwood. Gerry is such a nice, friendly personable human being. To have him to live and raise his family here, we are just so incredibly proud," Mayor Mahr added. "I encourage all of Gerry's Fanwood and Scotch Plains neighbors to vote for him. Let's help get him into the New Jersey Hall of Fame."

The 12th class of inductees will be announced in July, and a virtual induction ceremony will take place in October.

Cooney credits his nomination to his wife, Jen, It’s a testament to my life.

"I’ve traveled the world and have a beautiful family. I'm very fortunate," said the former heavyweight contender. "Just to be in the running for this is phenomenal. And I'm willing to go a couple of rounds with any of my fellow nominees."


  • Rick Barry
  • Craig Biggio
  • Gerry Cooney
  • Tim Howard
  • Monte Irvin
  • Eli Manning
  • Bob Mulcahy
  • Vivian Stringer
  • Mike Trout
  • Sue Wicks

Arts & Letters

  • Charles Addams
  • Stephen Crane
  • Joyce Kilmer
  • Paula Kassell
  • Fran Lebowitz
  • Anne Morrow Lindbergh
  • John Forbes Nash
  • Mort Pye
  • Gay Talese
  • Dr. George Theophilus Walker


  • Borg Family
  • Linda Bowden
  • James Burke
  • Fairleigh Dickinson
  • Steve Kalafer
  • Denise Morrison
  • Henry Rowan
  • Joe Simunovich
  • John Scher
  • Paul Volcker

Performing Arts

  • Danny Aiello
  • John Amos
  • Paul Anka
  • George Benson
  • Mary Chapin Carpenter
  • Buddy Hackett
  • Cissy Houston
  • Ernie Kovacs
  • Nelson Family (Ozzie, Harriet & Ricky)
  • Flip Wilson

Public Service

  • Dr. Virginia Apgar
  • Sister Jane Francis Brady
  • Margaret Bancroft
  • Michael Chertoff
  • Martin Dempsey
  • Alfred Driscoll
  • Milton Friedman
  • William Livingston
  • William Paterson
  • Richard Stockton is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily local news source. Sign up for our free daily eNewsletter and “Like” us on Facebook and Twitter @SPF_TAP. Download the free TAPinto App for iPhone or Android.'s Grand Re-Opening Marketing specials provide local businesses with social media marketing, content marketing, and brand awareness as well as the flexibility to market in neighboring towns. To find out more, click here.