Hackensack, New Jersey facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Hackensack, New Jersey
|City of Hackensack|
A City in Motion
Location of Hackensack within Bergen County, New Jersey.
|Settled||1665 (as New Barbadoes)|
|Incorporated||October 31, 1693 (as New Barbadoes Township)|
|Reincorporated||November 21, 1921 (as a city under current name)|
|• Type||1923 Municipal Manager Law|
|• Body||City Council|
|• Total||4.35 sq mi (11.27 km2)|
|• Land||4.19 sq mi (10.86 km2)|
|• Water||0.16 sq mi (0.41 km2) 3.63%|
|Area rank||287th of 565 in state
16th of 70 in county
|Elevation||20 ft (6 m)|
|• Rank||46th of 566 in state
1st of 70 in county
|• Density||10,985.7/sq mi (4,241.6/km2)|
|• Density rank||36th of 566 in state
10th of 70 in county
|Time zone||UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))|
|GNIS feature ID||885236|
Hackensack is a city in Bergen County in New Jersey, United States, and serves as its county seat. The area was officially named New Barbadoes Township until 1921, but has informally been known as Hackensack since at least the 18th century. As of the 2020 United States Census, the city's population was 46,030.
An inner suburb of New York City, Hackensack is located approximately 12 miles (19 km) northwest of Midtown Manhattan and about 7 miles (11 km) from the George Washington Bridge. From a number of locations, the New York City skyline can be seen.
The Metropolitan Campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University straddles the Hackensack River in both Hackensack and Teaneck. Hackensack is also the home of the former New Jersey Naval Museum and the World War II submarine USS Ling. Astronaut Wally Schirra is perhaps Hackensack's most famous native son. Also, Victor Hugo Green, who wrote and published the Negro Mortorist Green Book, widely used when segregation was legal. Last published 1966-67.
The city has diverse neighborhoods and land uses located close to one another. Within its borders are the Hackensack University Medical Center, a residential high-rise district about a mile long (along Prospect Avenue between Beech Street and Passaic Street), suburban neighborhoods of single-family houses, stately older homes on acre-plus lots, older two-family neighborhoods, large garden apartment complexes, industrial areas, the Bergen County Jail, a tidal river, Hackensack River County Park, Borg's Woods Nature Preserve, various city parks, large office buildings, a major college campus, the Bergen County Court House, a vibrant small-city downtown district, and various small neighborhood business districts.
The first inhabitants of the area were the Lenni Lenape, an Algonquian people (later known as the Delaware Indians) who lived along the valley of what they called the Achinigeu-hach, or "Ackingsah-sack", meaning stony ground (today the Hackensack River). A representation of Chief Oratam of the Achkinhenhcky appears on the Hackensack municipal seal. The most common explanation is that the city was named for the Native American tribe, though other sources attribute it to a Native American word variously translated as meaning "hook mouth", "stream that unites with another on low ground", "on low ground" or "land of the big snake", while another version described as "more colorful than probable" attributes the name to an inn called the "Hock and Sack".
Settlement by the Dutch West India Company in New Netherland on west banks of the North River (Hudson River) across from New Amsterdam (present-day lower Manhattan) began in the 1630s at Pavonia, eventually leading to the establishment of Bergen (at today's Bergen Square in Jersey City) in 1660.
Oratam, sachem of the Lenni Lenape, deeded the land along mid-Hackensack River to the Dutch in 1665. The area was soon taken by the English in 1667, but kept its Dutch name. Philip Cartaret, governor of what became the proprietary colony of East Jersey granted land to Captain John Berry in the area of Achter Kol and soon after took up residence and called it "New Barbadoes," after having resided on the island of Barbadoes. In 1666, a deed was confirmed for the 2,260-acre (9.1 km2) tract that had been given earlier by Oratem to Sarah Kiersted in gratitude for her work as emissary and interpreter. Other grants were given at the English Neighborhood.
In 1675, the East Jersey Legislature established the administrative districts: (Bergen, Essex, Middlesex, and Monmouth). In 1683, Bergen (along with the three other counties) was officially recognized as an independent county by the Provincial Assembly. The seal of Bergen County bearing this date includes an image of an agreement between the settlers and the natives.
In 1700, the village of Hackensack was little more than the area around Main Street from the Courthouse to around Anderson Street. New Barbadoes Township included what is now Maywood, Rochelle Park, Paramus and River Edge, along with those portions of Oradell that are west of the Hackensack River. These areas were all very sparsely populated and consisted of farm fields, woods and swamplands. The few roads that existed then included the streets now known as Kinderkamack Road, Paramus Road/Passaic Street and Essex Street. The southernmost portions of what is now Hackensack were not part of New Barbadoes Township at that time.
The neighborhood that came to be known as the village of Hackensack (today the area encompassing Bergen County's municipal buildings in Hackensack) was a part of Essex County until 1710, when Bergen County, by royal decree of Queen Anne of Great Britain, was enlarged and the Township of New Barbadoes was removed from Essex County and added to Bergen County.
In 1710, the village of Hackensack in the newly formed Township of New Barbadoes was designated as being more centrally located and more easily reached by the majority of the Bergen County's inhabitants, and hence was chosen as the county seat of Bergen County, as it remains today. The earliest records of the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders date back to 1715, at which time agreement was made to build a courthouse and jail complex, which was completed in 1716.
During the American Revolutionary War, George Washington headquartered in the village of Hackensack in November 1776 during the retreat from Fort Lee via New Bridge Landing and camped on 'The Green' across from the First Dutch Reformed Church on November 20, 1776. A raid by British forces against Hackensack on March 23, 1780, resulted in the destruction by fire of the original courthouse structure.
The Hackensack Improvement Commission was incorporated by an Act of the state legislature approved on April 1, 1868, within New Barbadoes township and including the village of Hackensack, with authority to develop sewers and other improvements in Hackensack.
The New Jersey Legislature passed the Township School Act in 1894, under which each village, borough, town, or city in New Jersey was delegated responsibility for its own public schools through the office of the county superintendent. Hackensack established a local board of education in 1894, as required by the new law, which took over operation of schools located in the township and established Hackensack High School. The 1894 act allowed local residents, by petition, to change municipal boundaries at will, setting off fearsome political battles statewide.
Portions of the township had been taken to form Harrington Township (June 22, 1775), Lodi Township (March 1, 1826), Midland Township (March 7, 1871) and Little Ferry (September 20, 1894). After these departures, secessions, and de-annexations, all that was left of New Barbadoes Township was the village of Hackensack and its surrounding neighborhoods of Fairmount, Red Hill and Cherry Hill. In 1896, New Barbadoes acquired a portion of Lodi Township covering an area south of Essex Street from the bend of Essex Street to the Maywood border. That same year the Hackensack Improvement commission was abolished and the City of Hackensack and New Barbadoes Township became coterminous.
The final parcel lost by New Barbadoes Township was the northeastern corner of what is now Little Ferry, which was incorporated in September 1894.
An act of the State Legislature incorporated the Fairmount section of New Barbadoes with the Hackensack Improvement Commission, and eliminated New Barbadoes Township as a political entity. On November 21, 1921, based on the results of a referendum held on November 8, 1921, New Barbadoes Township received its charter to incorporate as a city and officially took on its name "Hackensack," a name derived from its original inhabitants, the Lenni Lenape, who named it "Ackingsah-sack".
In 1933, Hackensack adopted the Manager form of government under the terms of the 1923 Municipal Manager Law, with five Council persons all elected at-large and a mayor selected by the council from among its members.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 4.346 square miles (11.256 km2), including 4.180 square miles (10.826 km2) of land and 0.166 square miles (0.430 km2) of water (3.82%).
There are many houses of historic value, and some of these were identified in the 1990 Master Plan. The city does not have any registered historic districts, or any restrictions on preserving the historic facade in any portions of the city. Areas considered suburban single-family residential neighborhoods account for about one third of the city's area, mostly along its western side.
|Population sources: 1850–1920
1850–1870 1850 1870
1880–1890 1890–1910 1880–1930
1900–2010 2000 2010 2020
* = Lost territory in previous decade.
As the initial destination for many immigrants to Bergen County from around the globe, Hackensack's ethnic composition has become exceptionally diverse. As of 2013, approximately 38.9% of the population were foreign-born. In addition, 2.5% were born in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico or abroad to American parents. 51.7% of the population over the age of five speak only English in their household, while 32.5% of the population speak Spanish at home. The South Asian and East Asian populations have increased most rapidly in Hackensack since 2000, with nearly 2,000 Indian Americans, over 1,000 Filipino Americans, and over 600 Korean Americans represented in the 2010 United States Census. Hackensack's Hispanic population has also risen rapidly, to over 15,000 in 2010; Ecuadoreans, Dominicans, and Colombians have become the top Hispanic groups in northern Hackensack. The Black population dropped as a percentage, although minimally in absolute numbers between 2000 and 2010. The city lost approximately 10% of its White population between 2000 and 2010, which has stabilized and resumed growth since 2010 and has remained substantial, at over 20,000 in 2010. The city has also witnessed greatly increasing diversity in its non-Hispanic white segment, with large numbers of Eastern Europeans, Eurasians, Central Asians, and Arabic immigrants offsetting the loss in Hackensack's earlier established Italian American, Irish American, and German American populations.
As of the census of 2010, there were 43,010 people, 18,142 households, and 9,706 families residing in the city. The population density was 10,290.0 per square mile (3,973.0/km2). There were 19,375 housing units at an average density of 4,635.4 per square mile (1,789.7/km2)*. The racial makeup of the city was 46.67% (20,072) White, 24.44% (10,511) Black or African American, 0.56% (241) Native American, 10.30% (4,432) Asian, 0.02% (10) Pacific Islander, 13.59% (5,844) from other races, and 4.42% (1,900) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 35.31% (15,186) of the population.
There were 18,142 households out of which 23.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.1% were married couples living together, 13.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.5% were non-families. 39.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 3.11.
In the city, the population was spread out with 18.7% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 34.6% from 25 to 44, 26.1% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37.5 years. For every 100 females there were 98.0 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 96.4 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $57,676 (with a margin of error of +/- $3,577) and the median family income was $66,911 (+/- $5,433). Males had a median income of $45,880 (+/- $4,012) versus $42,059 (+/- $1,681) for females. The per capita income for the city was $32,036 (+/- $1,809). About 8.9% of families and 10.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.2% of those under age 18 and 11.7% of those age 65 or over.
Same-sex couples headed 145 households in 2010, an increase from the 112 counted in 2000.
As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 42,677 people, 18,113 households, and 9,545 families residing in the city. The population density was 10,358.3 people per square mile (3,999.4/km2). There were 18,945 housing units at an average density of 4,598.2 per square mile (1,775.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 52.61% White, 24.65% African American, 0.45% Native American, 7.45% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 9.71% from other races, and 5.08% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 25.92% of the population.
There were 18,113 households, out of which 21.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.8% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.3% were non-families. 39.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 3.08.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 18.2% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 38.4% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to 64, and 12.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $49,316, and the median income for a family was $56,953. Males had a median income of $39,636 versus $32,911 for females. The per capita income for the city was $26,856. About 6.8% of families and 9.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.1% of those under age 18 and 10.3% of those age 65 or over.
Roads and highways
As of May 2010[update], the city had a total of 79.69 miles (128.25 km) of roadways, of which 62.10 miles (99.94 km) were maintained by the municipality, 15.10 miles (24.30 km) by Bergen County and 2.49 miles (4.01 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
Interstate 80, Route 17, Route 4, and County Route 503 are among the many main roads serving Hackensack. Several bridges, including the Court Street Bridge, the Midtown Bridge and the Anderson Street Bridge span the Hackensack River.
The city is served by three train stations on NJ Transit's Pascack Valley Line, two of them in Hackensack, providing service to Hoboken Terminal, with connecting service to Penn Station New York and other NJ Transit service at Secaucus Junction. Anderson Street station serves central Hackensack while Essex Street station serves southern portions of the city. The New Bridge Landing station, located adjacent to the city line in River Edge also serves the northernmost parts of Hackensack, including The Shops at Riverside.
NJ Transit buses include lines 144, 157, 162, 163, 164, 165 and 168 serving the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan; the 171, 175, 178 and 182 to the George Washington Bridge Bus Station; the 76 to Newark; the 83 route to Jersey City; and local service on the 709, 712, 751, 752, 753, 755, 756, 762, 770, 772 and 780 lines. Many of the bus routes stop, originate and terminate at the Hackensack Bus Terminal, a regional transit hub. Route 1X jitney of Fordham Transit originates/terminates at the bus terminal with service Inwood, Manhattan via Fort Lee Road. Spanish Transportation and several other operators provide frequent jitney service along Route 4 between Paterson, New Jersey and the George Washington Bridge Bus Station.
The Passaic-Bergen Rail Line planned to have two stops in Hackensack, but the proposal went dormant.
Points of interest
The city historian is Albert Dib. Walking tours are conducted of historic markers in downtown Hackensack, in and around The Green and lower Main Street, and a virtual historic walking tour is available as far north as the Pascack Valley Line crossing at Main Street.
The First Dutch Reformed Church ("Church on The Green") was built in 1696. In 1696 Major Berry donated land for the First Dutch Reformed Church, erected in that same year, which still stands in Hackensack today as the oldest church in Bergen County and the second oldest church in New Jersey. The following is list of notable people buried in the Church's adjoining cemetery:
- Enoch Poor, one of George Washington's officers.
- Richard Varick, former mayor of the city of New York and former New York Attorney General.
Bergen County's largest newspaper, The Record, a publication of the North Jersey Media Group, had called Hackensack its home until moving to Woodland Park. Its 19.7-acre (8.0 ha) campus is largely abandoned and has been sold to be redeveloped for a mixed-use commercial project that would include 500 residential apartments and a hotel, in association with the river walkway project.
The New Jersey Naval Museum is home to the World War II submarine USS Ling, a Balao class submarine, and several smaller water vessels and artifacts. The museum is open select weekdays for group tours.
The Hackensack Cultural Arts Center, located at 39 Broadway, is the city's leading theater arts institution and houses many local arts groups such as the Teaneck Theater Company and the Hackensack Theater Company. The facility also serves as the summer indoor location for the Hudson Shakespeare Company in case of rain. Otherwise, the group performs outdoors at Staib Park, with two "Shakespeare Wednesdays" per month for each month of the summer.
The Shops at Riverside (formerly known as Riverside Square Mall), is an upscale shopping center located at the intersection of Route 4 and Hackensack Avenue at the northern edge of the city along the Hackensack River near its border with River Edge to the north and with Teaneck across the river. The mall, which has undergone a significant expansion, is anchored by a number of high-end department stores and restaurants, including Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany & Co., Pottery Barn and Barnes & Noble, offering a gross leasable area of 674,416 square feet (62,655.3 m2). The mall is known for its marble floors, and attracts a great many upper income shoppers from Manhattan and Northern Bergen County.
Hackensack's Main Street is devoted to shopping and includes some of the city's iconic landmarks, including the United Jersey Bank headquarters building and the former Woolworth site that is now a housewares store. The only remaining major store on Hackensack's Main Street is Sears Roebuck and Co. The historic Sears building is located on the corner of Main and Anderson Streets and is still in operation today. The site is close to the Anderson Street train station, and has been open since the 1930s.
Bergen County Jail is a detention center for both sentenced and unsentenced prisoners. It is located on South River Street. The County is in the process of moving the County Police from the northern end of the city to a new site across from the Jail. The former site will be redeveloped as a "transit village" complex associated with the New Bridge Landing rail station in adjoining River Edge.
The city's Johnson Public Library at 274 Main Street is a member of the Bergen County Cooperative Library System. The library opened in 1901 with a gift from State Senator William M. Johnson.
Ice House is a complex with four full-sized skating rinks that opened in 1996. It is home to the New Jersey Avalanche mainstreamed and special needs hockey teams and several high school hockey teams, in addition to being the home rink of gold medalists Sarah Hughes, Elena Bereznaia and Anton Sikharulidze.
Other points of interest within the city include the Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack River County Park, Bowler City Bowling Lanes, Borg's Woods Nature Preserve, the Bergen County Court House and the Bergen Museum of Art & Science.
In popular culture
Hackensack has been mentioned in the lyrics of songs by several musical artists, many of whom have lived in New Jersey or New York City. The town was home to the original Van Gelder recording studio at 25 Prospect Avenue where the jazz musicians Sonny Rollins and Thelonious Monk recorded some of their landmark work. Monk recorded a tribute to Rudy Van Gelder entitled "Hackensack". Other notable examples of Hackensack in songs include:
- I Happen to Like New York by Cole Porter, written in 1930 for the musical The New Yorkers.
- "Back In Hackensack, New Jersey" which was written in 1924.
- "Roller Derby Queen" by Jim Croce, describes the tough titular character in the song as "She's my big blonde bomber, my heavy handed Hackensack mama."
- "Daddy Don't Live in That New York City No More" by Steely Dan from their 1975 album Katy Lied includes the rhyme "Driving like a fool out to Hackensack/Drinking his dinner from a paper sack".
- Fountains of Wayne, "Hackensack" (Welcome Interstate Managers, 2003) was remade by Katy Perry, 2009.
- Johnny Cash, "I've Been Everywhere" (Unchained) a 1996 cover of a number 1 hit in Country Music in November 1962 in the United States by Hank Snow.
- Peter Schickele (under the pseudonym P.D.Q. Bach), "O Little Town of Hackensack", a parody of the traditional carol "O Little Town of Bethlehem".
- "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)" by Billy Joel includes the lines "Who needs a house out in Hackensack? Is that all you get for your money?"
- "Lost In Hollywood" by System of a Down includes the lyrics, "The lines in the letter said, 'We have gone to Hackensack'".
Hackensack also appears in movies, books and television.
- In the 2001 film Zoolander someone threatens Mugatu by saying "Perhaps you'd like to go back to turning out novelty neck ties in Hackensack."
- In the 1978 film Superman: The Movie, Hackensack was to have been ground zero for a nuclear missile launched by Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman), as Superman (Christopher Reeve) is slowly dying from exposure to kryptonite.
- The 1985 film Brewster's Millions starred Richard Pryor, who played a pitcher for the Hackensack Bulls, a fictional minor-league baseball team that plays in a stadium where a railroad track runs across the outfield.
- In the 1998 film Bride of Chucky, Chucky's human body is said to be buried in a fictional Hackensack cemetery.
The Hackensack Public Schools serve students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2019–20 school year, the district, comprised of six schools, had an enrollment of 5,790 students and 431.3 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.4:1.
Schools in the district, with 2019–20 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics, are:
- Early Childhood Development Center
- Fairmount Elementary School (617 students in grades PreK-4)
- Fanny Meyer Hillers School (570 students in grades PreK-4)
- Jackson Avenue School (442 students in grades PreK-4)
- Nellie K. Parker School (533 students in grades PreK-4)
- Hackensack Middle School (1,571 students in grades 5-8)
- Hackensack High School (1,918 students in grades 9-12)
Hackensack High School serves high school students living in neighboring communities as part of sending/receiving relationships with the respective districts, including about 250 from Maywood, 120 from Rochelle Park and 250 from South Hackensack as of 2012. Teterboro residents had been able to choose between Hackensack High School and Hasbrouck Heights School District's Hasbrouck Heights High School. In March 2020, the Maywood Public Schools received approval from the New Jersey Department of Education to end the relationship it had established with Hackensack in 1969 and begin transitioning incoming ninth graders to Henry P. Becton Regional High School beginning in the 2020–21 school year.
Public school students from the borough, and all of Bergen County, are eligible to attend the secondary education programs offered by the Bergen County Technical Schools, which include the Bergen County Academies in Hackensack and the Bergen Tech campus in Teterboro or Paramus. The district offers programs on a shared-time or full-time basis, with admission based on a selective application process and tuition covered by the student's home school district.
The First Baptist Church operates Bergen County Christian Academy, a K-12 school that was established in 1972 and is located at Union Street and Conklin Place.
The YCS George Washington School is a nonprofit private school for classified students ages 5–14 in grades K-8 who are experiencing behavioral and/or emotional difficulties. Its population consists of students who reside at the YCS Holley Child Care and Development Center in Hackensack and students within the surrounding communities whose needs cannot be adequately met in special education programs within their districts.
Padre Pio Academy is a defunct K-8 school that operated under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark until its closure at the end of the 2012–13 school year in the wake of declining enrollment and a deficit approaching $350,000. The school had been formed in 2009 by the diocese through the merger of St. Francis of Assisi School with Holy Trinity.
Colleges and universities
The Metropolitan Campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University straddles the Hackensack River in both Hackensack and Teaneck.
Bergen Community College has a location in Hackensack. The Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center, is located at 355 Main Street at the corner of Passaic Street.
Eastwick College is located at 250 Moore Street.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Hackensack include:
- Enzo Amore (born 1986), former professional wrestler; worked for WWE.
- Phil Arnold (1909–1968), actor.
- Carol Arthur (1935–2020), actress who played a number of supporting roles in films by Mel Brooks.
- Pete Athas (born 1947), cornerback who played for the New York Giants during his six NFL seasons.
- Barton Lidice Beneš (1942–2012), artist.
- Ellsworth P. Bertholf (1866–1921), Commandant of the Coast Guard from 1915–1919.
- James Black (1800–1872), blacksmith who is credited with creating the Bowie knife.
- David Boll (born 1953), cyclist who competed in the individual road race event at the 1976 Summer Olympics.
- Debby Boone (born 1956), singer.
- Warren Boroson (born 1935), author and journalist.
- Adam Boyd (1746–1835), represented New Jersey in Congress from 1803 to 1805, and again from 1808 to 1813.
- Glenn Britt (1949–2014), CEO of Time Warner Cable from 2001 to December 2013.
- David Brock (born 1962), Neo-Liberal political operative, author and commentator who founded the media watchdog group Media Matters for America.
- Hector Luis Bustamante (born 1972), Colombian-American actor.
- Oleksii Bychenko (born 1988), Ukrainian-born Israeli Olympic figure skater who competed at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
- Cody Calafiore (born 1990), reality television personality who was runner up on Big Brother 16.
- Frank Capsouras (born 1947), weightlifter who represented the United States in the men's heavyweight event at the 1972 Summer Olympics.
- Philip Carey (1925–2009), actor who starred in One Life to Live.
- George Cassedy (1783–1842), member of the United States House of Representatives from New Jersey who served from 1821–1827.
- Vinny Ciurciu (born 1980), linebacker who has played in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina Panthers, Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions.
- Austen Crehore (1893–1962), World War I pilot in the Armée de l'Air and the recipient of the Legion of Honor and Croix de Guerre with two palms.
- Dave Davis (born 1942), professional ten-pin bowler; 1967 PBA Player of the Year and PBA Hall of Famer.
- Christopher Dell (born 1956), diplomat who served as the United States Ambassador to Kosovo, Angola and Zimbabwe.
- Anthony DiCosmo (born 1977), gridiron football player.
- Harold Dow (1947–2010), correspondent on 48 Hours.
- John Fenn (1917–2010), chemist who was a co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2002 for his work in mass spectrometry.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald went to the prep school, the Newman School, in Hackensack in 1911.
- Jim Finn (born 1976), New York Giants fullback.
- Dave Fiore (born 1974), offensive lineman for the San Francisco 49ers and the Washington Redskins.
- Percy Keese Fitzhugh (1876–1950), author of many popular children's books.
- Silvia Fontana (born 1976), figure skater who represented Italy at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.
- Chet Forte (1935–1996), television director and sports radio talk show host.
- Bob Franks (1951–2010), represented NJ's 7th congressional district from 1993–2001.
- Mike Fratello (born 1947), NBA coach and TV commentator.
- Dean Gallo (1935–1994), represented NJ's 11th congressional district from 1985 until his death.
- Elene Gedevanishvili (born 1990), figure skater who represented the nation of Georgia at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
- Norm Gigon (born 1938), utility player who played for the Chicago Cubs in 1967.
- Doug Glanville (born 1970), Major League Baseball outfielder who played for the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs and the Texas Rangers; writer and broadcaster
- Junior Glymph (born 1980), linebacker who played in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons and Dallas Cowboys.
- Navarro Gray (born 1979), lawyer best known for his accomplishments in the entertainment industry, including representing Fetty Wap.
- David Grisman (born 1945), mandolin player.
- John Groninga (born 1945), politician who served in the Iowa House of Representatives from the 20th district from 1983 to 1993.
- Bill Hands (born 1940), former Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the Chicago Cubs during his 11-year career.
- Chet Hanulak (born 1933), former NFL running back who played for four seasons for the Cleveland Browns.
- Harry Harper (1895–1963), Major League Baseball pitcher from 1913 to 1923.
- Archibald C. Hart (1873–1935), represented New Jersey's 6th congressional district from 1912–1913 and 1913–1917.
- Matt Herr (born 1976), ice hockey forward who played for parts of four NHL seasons.
- Henry Kent Hewitt (1887–1972), United States Navy commander of amphibious operations in North Africa and southern Europe throughout World War II.
- John Huyler (1808–1870), represented New Jersey's 4th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1857–1859.
- Mark Ingram Jr. (born 1989), Heisman Trophy winning running back and BCS National Champion at Alabama, who plays for the Baltimore Ravens.
- Connor Jaeger (born 1991), competition swimmer who specializes in distance freestyle events.
- Howie Janotta (1924–2010) professional basketball player who played for the Baltimore Bullets in 9 games during the 1949–50 NBA season.
- Eric Karros (born 1967), Major League Baseball player and TV commentator.
- Hailey Kops (born 2002), Israeli pair skater.
- Louis F. Kosco (born 1932), politician who served in both the New Jersey General Assembly and the New Jersey Senate.
- Harvey M. Krueger (1929–2017), investment banker who was CEO and President of Kuhn, Loeb & Co.
- Marc Kudisch (born 1966), stage actor.
- Lauren Lake (born 1969), lawyer and presiding judge of Lauren Lake's Paternity Court.
- Rich LeFurgy (born c. 1956), advertising consultant and investor.
- Coi Leray (born 1997), rapper and songwriter.
- William Alexander Linn (1846-1917), journalist and historian.
- John Maessner (born 1969), soccer player and coach who played six seasons in Major League Soccer.
- Roger Mandle (1941–2020), art historian, curator and academic administrator, who was president of the Rhode Island School of Design.
- Hugh McCracken (1942–2013), rock guitarist and session musician.
- James McEachin (born 1930), actor and author.
- Earl Schenck Miers (1910–1972), historian who wrote extensively about the American Civil War.
- E. Frederic Morrow (c. 1906 - 1994), the first African American to hold an executive position at the White House, when he served President Dwight Eisenhower as Administrative Officer for Special Projects from 1955 to 1961.
- John H. Morrow (1910–2000), diplomat, who was appointed by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1959 as the first Ambassador to independent Guinea.
- Don Nelson (1927–2013), screenwriter, film producer and jazz musician, best known for his work on the sitcom The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.
- Richard Cooper Newick (1926–2013), multihull sailboat designer.
- Donald Nichols (1923–1992), United States Air Force officer who worked in military intelligence.
- Dan Oates (born 1955), police chief of Miami Beach, Florida.
- Frederick Albion Ober (1849–1913), naturalist and writer.
- Danny Oquendo (born 1987), wide receiver who played for the Maryland Terrapins football team.
- Deborah Oropallo (born 1954), artist who is best known for her digital montages.
- William A. Pailes (born 1952), United States Air Force astronaut in the Manned Spaceflight Engineer Program during the mid-1980s whi served as a Payload Specialist on STS-51-J Atlantis (October 3–7, 1985).
- John B. Paolella (born 1949), politician who represented the 38th Legislative District in both houses of the New Jersey Legislature.
- Nellie Morrow Parker (1902–1998), first African American school teacher in Bergen County, New Jersey and the namesake of Nellie K. Parker Elementary School.
- Randi Patterson (born 1985), former professional soccer player.
- Randolph E. Paul (1890–1956), lawyer specializing in tax law who has been credited as "an architect of the modern tax system."
- Bill Peck (c. 1927–2017), football player and coach who was head coach of the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders football team in the 1970s.
- Melissa Perello (born 1976), chef.
- Stan Pitula (1931–1965), right-handed pitcher who played for the Cleveland Indians.
- Charles Lane Poor (1866–1951), astronomy professor, noted for his opposition to Albert Einstein's theory of relativity.
- Willie Prall (born 1950), pitcher who appeared in three games in 1950 for the Chicago Cubs.
- George Prévost (1767–1816), British Army officer and colonial administrator.
- Jahvon Quinerly (born 1998), college basketball player for the Alabama Crimson Tide men's basketball team.
- Alice Huyler Ramsey (1886–1983), first woman to drive across the United States from coast to coast.
- John R. Ramsey (1862–1933), politician who represented New Jersey's 6th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1917 to 1921.
- David Remnick (born 1958), journalist, writer, and magazine editor who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1994 for his book Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire.
- Nicholas Romayne (1756–1817), physician.
- Hatch Rosdahl (1941–2004), football player who played for the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs.
- Jason Rullo (born 1972), professional drummer, one of the founding members of progressive metal band Symphony X.
- Alfred D. Schiaffo (1920–1988), politician who served in the New Jersey Senate from the 13th district from 1968 to 1973.
- Wally Schirra (1923–2007), NASA astronaut, one of the original seven astronauts chosen for Project Mercury.
- Walter G. Schroeder (born 1927), politician who was a member of the Oregon House of Representatives from 1985 to 1993.
- Dave Scott (born 1953), offensive lineman who played for the Atlanta Falcons.
- Chris Smalls (born 1988/1989), labor organizer known for his role in leading Amazon worker organization in the New York City borough of Staten Island.
- Robert Stiles (born 1959), field hockey player who competed in the men's tournament at the 1984 Summer Olympics.
- Adel Tankova (born 2000), Ukrainian-born Israeli Olympic figure skater who competed at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
- Warren Terhune (1869–1920), United States Navy Commander and the 13th Governor of American Samoa.
- Russell Thacher (1919–1990), author and film producer who co-produced the films Soylent Green and The Last Hard Men together with Walter Seltzer.
- Joe Lynn Turner (born 1951), singer.
- Rudy Van Gelder (1924–2016), recording engineer who taped many jazz albums for Blue Note Records in his Hackensack recording studio in the 1950s.
- Richard Varick (1753–1831), lawyer and politician.
- Charles H. Voorhis (1833–1896), lawyer and judge from New Jersey who served one term representing New Jersey's 5th congressional district.
- Douglas Watt (1914–2009), theater critic for the New York Daily News.
- Teresa Weatherspoon (born 1965), professional basketball player, formerly with WNBA's New York Liberty.
- Leslie West (born 1945), rock guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter who is best known as a founding member of the hard rock band Mountain.
- William B. Widnall (1906–1983), member of the United States House of Representatives for 24 years representing New Jersey's 7th congressional district.
- Anna Wessels Williams (1863–1954), physician who worked as a bacteriologist at the first U.S. municipal diagnostic laboratory, helped develop the diphtheria antitoxin and was the first woman to be elected chair of the laboratory section of the American Public Health Association.
- Bill Willoughby (born 1957), basketball player who, along with Darryl Dawkins, were the first high school players drafted by the NBA after they graduated in 1975.
- Chris Wragge (born 1970), news anchor for WCBS-TV.
- Ronald Zilberberg (born 1996), Israeli Olympic figure skater who competed at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
- Ken Zisa (born 1954), politician who served as a member of the New Jersey General Assembly from 1994 to 2002, where he represented the 37th Legislative District.
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Hackensack, New Jersey Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.