The Garden State has nominated Dorothy Parker for the New Jersey Hall of Fame. Now it is up to you, the voting public, to cast your ballot here. Please vote today. Here are the reasons for electing Mrs. Parker to this august body, joining notables such as Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra, Walt Whitman and Thomas Edison who also have New Jersey roots. This is the letter we are sending to the Hall of Fame.
Primary reasons for consideration for the New Jersey Hall of Fame:
The world-famous author, poet, critic and champion for social justice Dorothy Parker was born on the Jersey Shore. Her accomplishments in the field of writing are stellar, and her fame has only grown in the nearly 45 years since her death.
Parker is the only New Jersey-born female author to be honored with a U.S. postage stamp, and Parker is the only New Jersey-born author who’s birthplace is a National Literary Landmark.
Parker satisfies the five-year residency rule for the New Jersey Hall of Fame as both a summer resident, and as a schoolgirl.
Born Dorothy Rothschild to Henry and Eliza Rothschild on Aug. 22, 1893, at the family beach cottage in the West End section of Long Branch. The Rothschild family had a summer home in Long Branch for more than 20 years. While the family resided on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, they always spent their summers at their Shore house. Young Dorothy spent her first five summers at the cottage, until her mother’s death in West End when she was five. Her father kept the cottage and transferred it to his brother, Martin, who owned it until his death on the RMS Titanic in 1912.
Her connection to New Jersey continued afterwards:
• Young Dorothy’s formal education was in Morristown at the prestigious Miss Dana’s School For Young Ladies, a girls’ finishing school that she attended into her teens.
• As an adult, Parker’s best-known story, the novella “Big Blonde” had the autobiographical protagonist dramatically travel to Newark. The tale won the O. Henry award as the best short story of 1929.
• Two of Parker’s Broadway plays had their out-of-town tryouts in Atlantic City in the early 1920s.
After Parker’s death, her tie to Long Branch got stronger. In 1992, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of her birth, the United States Postal Service held the First Day of Issue ceremony for a Parker commemorative stamp in Long Branch. Parker is the ONLY New Jersey female author to be on a U.S. Postage stamp. Source: usps.com
In 2005, the Long Branch Historical Society and the Long Branch Free Public Library began the annual Dorothy Parker Day, with a day of readings, talks and special events open to the community. On the occasion, Parker’s birthplace at 732 Ocean Avenue was granted National Literary Landmark Status by Friends of Libraries USA (today the Association for Library Trustees and Advocates). Parker was the first New Jersey author to get a birthplace landmark from FOLUSA; the plaque is now a local landmark.
• Wins O. Henry Award (1929) for “Big Blonde”
• Bestselling author of three collections of poetry: Enough Rope (1926), Sunset Gun (1928) and Death and Taxes (1931)
• Two-time Academy Award nominee, “A Star Is Born” (1937), “Smash Up” (1947)
• The National Institute of Arts and Letters awards Parker the Marjorie Peabody Waite Award for her contribution to American Literature (1958)
• Elected Member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters (1959)
Organizations Supporting Dorothy Parker’s nomination for the New Jersey Hall of Fame:
• City of Long Branch
• Long Branch Arts Council
• Long Branch Historical Society
• Long Branch Free Public Library
• Long Branch Chamber of Commerce
• The Dorothy Parker Society
Who is the “competition” in the “general” category for the Class of 2012?
• Cartoonist Charles Addams
• Artist Alexander Calder
• Philanthropist Doris Duke
• Economist Milton Friedman
• Former Gov. Tom Kean
• Cartoonist Thomas Nast
• Author Joyce Carol Oates
• Photographer Alfred Stieglitz
• Librarian Dorothy Porter Wesley
Click here to cast your vote! Put Dorothy Parker into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.