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Brian Williams was notably absent from the NBC Nightly News anchor chair Thursday night, but he had a good reason. With a little help from Bruce Springsteen, New Jersey inducted a proud native son into its Hall of Fame.
"To paraphrase a friend of mine, if Walter Cronkite and Jon Stewart had a baby, and due to the ongoing controversy over same sex-marriage they had to abandon that baby on the New Jersey turnpike, and it grew up to be a news anchor, its name would be Brian Douglas Williams," said Springsteen as he introduced “the New Jersey guy who still summers in New Jersey.”
Williams grew up in Middletown, New Jersey and spent several years as a volunteer firefighter before his start in news.
“I wouldn’t trade growing up where I did, growing up how I did, with anyone, anywhere,” Williams said upon accepting the award at the Asbury Park Convention Hall.
Other inductees included the late “Sopranos” actor James Gandolfini, jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie, NBA star Patrick Ewing, and Holocaust survivor Maud Dahme.
Watch Springsteen’s introduction and Williams’ acceptance speech here.