He was one of the richest men in America and he is from Bayonne. Samuel Irving Newhouse, Sr; seen here with President Lyndon Johnson was one of America’s first media tycoons. He was so rich that his wealth was actually approximately 1/1681th of US GNP. In today’s standards he makes Rupert Murdoch look like a pauper. Herman Kahn was a military strategist who developed our current day nuclear defense system. He is from Bayonne. Kahn’s theories were so influential that a movie was made about him, maybe you’ve heard of it? “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” Recognize this building? Well, you should. It is the Herbert Hoover Dept. of Commerce building, designed by Bayonne resident Louis Ayres! Raymond James “Ray” Donovan was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to be 17th United States Secretary of Labor and he too is from Bayonne. Bayonne was once home to a whole US Naval Fleet. The “Mothball” Fleet was stationed at the MOT until 1963, when the base was converted to an Army Base. Bayonne is one of the only cities in the country to be home to three Medal of Honor Recipients who survived the wars they served in: Nicholas Oresko and Stephen R. Gregg and William Shemin. Bayonne has musical talent: Clem Burke (seen above) was the drummer of the band Blondie. Famous rock guitarists George Cummings & Zakk Wylde are from Bayonne. As well as famous songwriters Ben Bernie & Robert Tepper of “No Easy Way out” fame. Bayonne is home to many talented musicians! Bayonne was home to an Italian POW Camp during WWII. Many of the prisoners of war stayed in Bayonne after the war. The walls of the prison can still be seen today. General Martin E. Dempsey is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and yes, he is from Bayonne. Did you expect the president to take advice from anyone else? Bayonne is home to dozens of current and former college and professional athletes: Nebraska Corn Husker and Houston Texan Jammal Lord, Cubs Pitcher Joe Borowski, and Villanova star Cory Stokes to name a few. On September 15th, 1958, a train crashed into the Newark Bay. 48 people died. The newspapers reported the crash showing the iconic image of a half-submerged train car with the number on the side. Naturally, every gambler on the east coast played that number. The next day, that number came up in the local lotteries, bankrupting bookies and banks all over the metro area because of the epic payout. Shaq lived at the Bayonne MOT with his family and attended Horace Mann School. John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil or Esso made Bayonne an oil giant in the early 1900s. Bayonne refined more oil than any place in the world. Rockefeller’s grip on Bayonne only angered other tycoons in America so in 1903 Andrew Carnegie built the Bayonne Library to win our hearts and minds. Oh you….. Second from the left is Bayonne’s own Congressman Cornelius Gallagher. He was with President Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis and he was with Jackie O. shortly after JFK was assassinated. He helped JFK start the Peace Corps and he fought for social justice with MLK and he still lives in Bayonne! By 1930, Bayonne was one of New Jersey’s largest cities with over 88,000 residents. Known as the real life Rocky, this Bayonne native has thrown punches with the best of them. Chuck Wepner, or known around town as “The Champ,” is a legend who fought legends. In the 9th round with the Greatest of All Time, Wepner put Muhammad Ali on the canvass, only the third time that had happened to Ali in his career. Bayonne has one of the highest lottery player percentages in the state and is also the home of the most winners of $1000 dollars and over. Keep playing, Lucky Bayonne! Hendrickson’s on Broadway was a prohibition era Speakeasy. Babe Ruth often frequented the establishment for a cold brew. Bayonne has a wind turbine. It is the only one in the New York Metro area. Bayonne is home to some pretty exclusive pieces of real estate. This house was the home Rev. Richard Bache, the great grand son of Benjamin Franklin. Bayonne has been visited by a couple of notable guys. President’s Ronald Regan, Bill Clinton, and John F. Kennedy have all had extended stays in Bayonne. Bayonne has star power: Emmy Award winning actress Tammy Blanchard (seen here in her Tony nominated performance on Broadway), Sandra Dee, Josh Gomez, Frank Langella, Brian Keith, Javier Nunez, James Urbaniak…the list goes on. Bayonne is jam packed with characters on and off the screen. Bayonne makes guns? That’s right, Bayonne is home to Henry Repeating Arms Co. HRA Company makes vintage replicas of 19th century firearms. Richard “Dick” Savitt was a professional tennis player who ranked number two in the world – and he is from Bayonne. He even won Wimbledon! Eat your heart out, Rafael Nadal… Got a layover in Paris? Want a snack and a newspaper? Well, thank Bayonne native Robert B. Cohen. Cohen started the first Hudson News stand at LaGuardia Airport in New York City in 1987. Today there are over 600 locations worldwide. The Soviet Union felt that a nuclear strike on Bayonne would cause the most damage to the United States. So during the Cold War, Bayonne was a top Soviet Target. Contrary to popular belief that Bayonne is named after the bayonet on a gun, it is actually named after Bayonne, France, its sister city. Bayonne really comes from the Basque word for river, ibai or ibaio. Later in the ibai region the bayonet was invented. So Bayonne made the bayonet, not vice versa. Bayonne is a pop culture icon. Many movies, music videos, and television shows were and are still being shot in Bayonne. Pearl Jam and Mariah Carey have filmed videos in Bayonne. Tom Cruise and Demi Moore have made movies here. Even Jon Stewart’s Daily Show has gotten in on Bayonne’s unique appeal. According to Trip Advisor, Bayonne is a must stop for pizza lovers visiting NYC. Another famous Bayonne Congressman is Barney Frank. Frank left Bayonne to attend Harvard, never to return. In fact, he always spoke negatively about growing up in Bayonne. Hey Barney, we didn’t want you anyway! Yes, Bayonne has an exclusive golf club. Justin Timberlake, President Clinton, and Donald Trump often play Bayonne’s course. Proximity to New York City and a helipad make Bayonne Golf Club a premier spot for the rich and famous to play. 50 Million people can’t be wrong. This Bayonne Native tops the list of famous Bayonne residents. Game of Thrones author George RR Martin has sold 25 million copies of his series in North America alone. HBO has even made a series about Martin’s books. So when someone asks you, “why is Bayonne so special?” …you can share this list. To Finish off, here is a whole bunch of times Bayonne was mentioned on TV and in Movies!!