Franco Harris to be inducted into NJ Hall of Fame

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Former Pittsburgh Steeler and Penn State running back Franco Harris has been elected to the N.J. Hall of Fame. (Dave Lloyd/AP)

What do John Travolta, Tony Bennett, Martha Stewart, Queen Latifah and Franco Harris have in common?

Harris and his celebrity pals represent five of the 13 people who have been selected for induction into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.

Among the others included in the Class of 2011 are Joe Theismann, Mary Higgins Clark, Leon Hess, Bruce Willis and former Gov. Brendan Byrne.

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The Hall of Fame only has been around since 2008 but its list of members is impressive -- Frank Sinatra, Yogi Berra, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Vince Lombardi, Bruce Springsteen, Meryl Streep, Paul Robeson and former president Woodrow Wilson.

Harris, who is originally from Mount Holly, played at Penn State from 1969 through 1971 and teamed with Lydell Mitchell to form one of the top running back tandems in college football history. The Nittany Lions were 29-4 during Harris' years.

Harris then was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers and helped lead the team to four Super Bowl championships. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990. He now is the owner and CEO of Super Bakery Inc., which sells its products mostly to school systems.

The fourth annual induction ceremonies for the New Jersey Hall of Fame will be held Sunday, June 5, at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark.

--Joe Juliano

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