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New Jersey Hall of Fame welcomes 10 new members

June 10, 2012 6:23:49 AM PDT
The ten newest members of New Jersey's Hall of Fame were enshrined Saturday night.

Actor Michael Douglas, author Joyce Carol Oates and basketball coach Bob Hurley were among those inducted during a ceremony at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark.

The other members of the hall's class of 2012 include New York Giants owner Wellington Mara; "Superman'" actor Christopher Reeve; jazz singer Sarah Vaughn; media mogul Samuel I. Newhouse; Olympian Milt Campbell; Wild West Show sensation Annie Oakley and John Dorrance, the chemist who invented condensed soup.

But the eleventh member of the class of 2012 - the E Street Band - was noticeably absent. The group, though, had a good reason to skip the event: They are touring out of the country with Bruce Springsteen, and will be inducted at a later date.

The hall, which is funded privately and currently only exists online, honors New Jerseyans who have made their mark in the fields of history, entertainment, enterprise and sports. There's also a general category for educators, military leaders and politicians.

Many inductees were born or raised in the Garden State; some still live here or have other significant ties to New Jersey.

Gov. Chris Christie and his wife, Mary Pat, hosted the induction event, which drew a large crowd that included many hall members. Among those seen walking the red carpet shortly before the event got under way were astronaut Buzz Aldrin, a member of the hall's inaugural class in 2008, and novelist Mary Higgins Clark, who was inducted last year

Organizers also planned to honor Eric LeGrand, the paralyzed former Rutgers defensive tackle who recently signed a symbolic contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was due to receive the Unsung Hero Award.

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