New Jersey has Fathered Many Famous Sons and Daughters
Recently the state of New Jersey has been slightly maligned for providing the world with mindless entertainment like Jersey Shore. This masks the incredible amount of talent that the state has produced within various areas from acting to economics. Here are some of the most prominent people raised in New Jersey:
Shaquille O’ Neal – Probably the most famous and accomplished athlete to come from New Jersey, Shaquille O’ Neal is a former professional basketball player who retired after the 2010-2011 season to continue as a broadcaster for TNT. He had a nineteen year career filled with fifteen all star appearances, eight NBA first team appearances, and four championship rings as well as an almost certain hall of fame induction. He is not simply a basketball player, however, and earned his degree from Louisiana State University as well as an MBA from the University of Phoenix. He is also undertaking a PhD from Barry University with his thesis topic being “The Duality of Humor and Aggression in Leadership Styles.”
Bill Parcells – Bill Parcells was born in Englewood and raised nearby in Hasbrouck Heights. He currently works as an NFL analyst for ESPN after retiring from a coaching and management career in football that spanned four decades. Parcells won two Super Bowls with the New York Giants in 1986 and 1990. He was also a gifted athlete as a child and was offered a contract with the Philadelphia Phillies his freshman year of college. His father wanted him to pursue a career in law and discouraged Parcells from accepting the offer. Parcells would graduate from Wichita State University with a degree in physical education and pursue a coaching career.
Frank Sinatra – Known as Ol’ Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra was born and raised in Hoboken, New Jersey. He was expelled from high school for rowdy conduct and only attended for 47 days prior to his expulsion. This did not stop Sinatra from pursuing a career as one of the most accomplished singers in history. Despite the fact that the Grammy Awards started in 1958, after two peaks of Sinatra’s career happened, he still managed to win 11 Grammys.
Bruce Springsteen – Springsteen is now known simply as “The Boss” due to his continued success in the music industry. He was raised in the Jersey Shore and much of his music revolved around his everyday life in the area. Springsteen has won 20 Grammy Awards to date and continues to tour the world in concert.
William Brennan Jr. – William Brennan Jr. served as an Associate Justice for the United States Supreme Court from 1956 to 1990. He was born and raised in Newark and attended the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania graduating with a degree in economics. Brennan then attended Harvard Law School and started private practice in 1931. He served in the Army and rose to the rank of colonel during World War II. Brennan rose through the ranks of the legal system and was appointed to the New Jersey Supreme Court in 1951. As a United States Supreme Court Justice he was known for being an outspoken liberal and supporter of the Bill of Rights.
Paul Volcker – Paul Volcker is an economist who served as the chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1979 to 1987 and the chairman of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2011. Volcker received his undergraduate education at Princeton University and his MA in political economy from Harvard University. After this he attended the prestigious London School of Economics as a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Fellow.
Honorary Mentions: Meryl Streep, Jerry Lewis, Michael Douglas, Steve Forbes, Lauryn Hill, Redman, Norman Schwarzkopf Jr., John Travolta, Antonin Scalia