Today, the governor and first partner announced the 15th class of Californians to be inducted to the California Hall of Fame. The 11 names represent “trailblazing Californians who embody the state’s spirit of innovation and have made history.”
The inductees of the California Hall of Fame 15th Class are:
• Actor and singer-songwriter Lynda Carter
• Chef Roy Choi
• Physicist Steven Chu
• Ice skater Peggy Fleming
• Sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild
• Choreographer Alonzo King
• Teacher and former astronaut Barbara Morgan
• Soccer player Megan Rapinoe
• Singer Linda Ronstadt
• Artist Ed Ruscha
• Band Los Tigres del Norte
They will be inducted at a ceremony next month at the California Museum in Sacramento, the first such in-person event since the pandemic. The Hall of Fame, launched in 2006 by then First Lady Maria Shriver, already honors 138 other Californians.
The Governor Gavin Newsom and First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom issued a video and written statement congratulating the inductees.
“These phenomenal individuals are proof that the California dream is alive and well,” said Governor Newsom. “Jennifer and I are excited to induct the 15th class of leaders, dreamers, and innovators into the California Hall of Fame and celebrate these Californians who broke down barriers and reimagined what was possible.”
“The Governor and I are honored to welcome this new group of changemakers and trailblazers into the California Hall of Fame,” said First Partner Siebel Newsom. “With its cultural richness, innovative spirit, and leadership mindset, California is California because of phenomenal individuals like this year’s inductees. They have been – and will continue to be – immensely inspiring to us all.”
Lynda Carter, actor and singer-songwriter
Lynda Carter is best known as TV’s Wonder Woman as well as “the face” of Maybelline Cosmetics. She is also an accomplished singer-songwriter who has performed live all over the world. Carter has produced and starred in five television specials for CBS. She played the role of hte President of the United States in the CW series “Supergirl,” and in 2020 appeared in “Wonder Woman ‘84.”
Carter is an avid supporter of many organizations and causes, including nonprofits focused on Alzheimer’s disease, breast cancer, literacy and LGBTQ rights. Currently she is working with City of Hope and TGen to discover new drug therapies for myelofibrosis patients, and was just named to the Advisory Board of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum.
Roy Choi, chef
Born in Seoul, South Korea, and raised in Los Angeles and Orange County, Choi is known as one of the architects of the modern food truck movement. Starting with a Korean short rib taco sold from a truck in 2008, his Kogi BBQ broke new ground by merging food and social media with community and honoring the street food culture that paved the way.
As the host of the KCET/Tastemade series “Broken Bread,” Choi won an Emmy Award as well as the James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Host in a television series in 2020. He is also co-host of the Netflix cooking series “The Chef Show” with Jon Favreau, in which they explore various cuisines with guests ranging from acclaimed chefs to Hollywood stars.
In 2010, Food and Wine magazine named him Best New Chef. His cookbook/memoir, “L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food,” was a New York Times Best Seller in 2013. In 2016 he was named to the TIME 100 most influential people in the world list. And in 2017, LocoL, in Watts, received the first-ever Los Angeles Times Restaurant of the Year award.
Choi resides in Los Angeles, where he is a voice and advocate for street food culture past, present, and future, and the co-owner, co-founder, and chef of Kogi BBQ, Chego!, Best Friend at Park MGM Las Vegas, and LocoL.
Steven Chu, physicist
Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu is the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Physics, Professor of Molecular & Cellular Physiology in the Medical School and Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering in the Doerr School of Sustainability at Stanford University. He has published over 300 papers in atomic and polymer physics, biophysics, molecular and cell biology, medical bio-imaging, batteries, and other energy technologies. He holds 21 patents, with 10 patents and 7 more additional patent disclosures after 2015.
Dr. Chu was the 12th U.S. Secretary of Energy from January 2009 through April 2013. The first scientist to hold a Cabinet position and the longest-serving Energy Secretary, he recruited outstanding scientists and engineers into the Department of Energy.
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Dr. Chu received undergraduate degrees in mathematics and physics from the University of Rochester and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, as well as 35 honorary degrees.
Peggy Fleming, ice skater
Olympic champion Peggy Fleming began skating at age nine when her father took her and her three sisters to skate at a public rink. She had a natural ability on the ice, entering—and winning—her first competition in 1958. Fleming won her third U.S. title and her first World Championship in 1966. Her athletic, graceful and elegant style led to five U.S. titles, three World titles and the gold medal in the 1968 Olympics in Grenoble, France (the only gold medal for the United States at these Winter Games).
Following her Olympic championship, Fleming built a professional career that spanned decades. She headlined five NBC television specials, starred in Ice Follies, Holiday on Ice and Ice Capades, and performed in her own touring skating show, “Concert on Ice.” She became national spokesperson for a variety of brands and was a commentator for ABC Sports/ESPN from 1981 to 2008.
Fleming has received many awards, including previous induction into nine halls of fame. Sports Illustrated honored her as one of “Seven Athletes Who Changed the Game” in 1999.
Following her recovery from early-stage breast cancer in 1998, Fleming became a spokesperson to make women more aware of the importance of screening and early detection. Throughout her career, she has contributed to philanthropic causes and helped to raise millions of dollars for non-profit organizations.
Arlie Russell Hochschild, sociologist
Sociologist and author Arlie Russell Hochschild has pioneered new understanding of the emotions that underlie people’s beliefs, actions and social lives. Professor Emerita of Sociology at UC Berkeley, she has written 10 books, including most recently “Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right,” which was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award and a New York Times Best Seller.
Dr. Hochschild’s latest book, focused on the rise of the American right, is based on five years of intensive interviews with tea party enthusiasts—who later became ardent supporters of former President Donald Trump. She tried to see, think and feel as they do, focusing on ways in which people can communicate across the current political division in the nation.
Born in Boston, Dr. Hochschild earned her graduate degrees at UC Berkeley, where she began teaching in 1971. In addition to her ten full-length books, she has published dozens of articles and essays and has lectured around the world. Her awards include nine honorary degrees from universities in North America and Europe, five awards from the American Sociological Association and two teaching awards from UC Berkeley.
Alonzo King, choreographer
Founder and Artistic Director of Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Alonzo King is a visionary choreographer who changes the way we look at and think about movement. King calls his works “thought structures,” created by manipulating the energies that exist in matter through laws governing the shapes and movement directions of everything. Called a choreographer with “astonishing originality” by the New York Times, Alonzo King has brought his unique artistic vision to the Alonzo King LINES Ballet since its founding in 1982.
Named a Master of Choreography by the Kennedy Center in 2005, King is the recipient of the NEA Choreographer’s Fellowship, the Jacob’s Pillow Creativity Award, the US Artist Award in Dance, NY Bessie Award, and the National Dance Project’s Residency and Touring Awards. In 2015 he received the Doris Duke Artist Award in recognition of his ongoing contributions to the advancement of contemporary dance. Joining historic icons in the field, King was named one of America’s “Irreplaceable Dance Treasures” by the Dance Heritage Coalition.
King is a former Commissioner for the City of San Francisco, and a writer and lecturer on humanity and art. He holds an honorary Doctorate from Dominican University, California Institute of the Arts, and The Juilliard School.
Barbara Morgan, teacher and former astronaut
Barbara Morgan is an educator and retired NASA astronaut who was born and raised in Fresno, California. She trained with the “Challenger” crew as the back-up for Teacher in Space Christa McAuliffe, and later served as a NASA astronaut for 10 years. She is now Distinguished Educator in Residence, Emeritus, at Boise State University.
Morgan graduated with honors and a bachelor’s degree in Human Biology from Stanford University then earned her teaching credential at College of Notre Dame in Belmont, California. She taught public school for 24 years in diverse locations from the Bay Area to Quito, Ecuador. In 1985, Morgan (back-up) and Christa McAuliffe (Teacher in Space) were selected to train with the space shuttle “Challenger” crew. After that mission ended tragically, NASA asked Morgan to continue as Teacher in Space Designee.
NASA selected Morgan to the 1998 astronaut class. She flew 5.3 million miles in space in 2007 on STS-118, a two-week mission to help construct the International Space Station. Upon retiring from NASA in 2008, Morgan became Distinguished Educator in Residence at Boise State University. Currently, Morgan works with the university as Emeritus, and continues to work with national and international education organizations, other non-profits, and NASA.
Megan Rapinoe, soccer player
Soccer star Megan Rapinoe is known for her creative style of play and for her social activism. A two-time World Cup Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist, she is a fan favorite and one of the game’s most technical and craftiest players.
A vocal leader on and off the pitch, Rapinoe helped the U.S. Women’s National Team win the Women’s World Cup in 2015 and 2019. She also was named Women’s Player of the Year by FIFA. Equally dazzling on the Olympic stage, she led the team to a gold medal with her three goals and four assists in the 2012 London Olympics. At the 2020 Tokyo Games she helped secure bronze, notably scoring a rare “Olimpico,” a goal on a corner kick.
A believer in equality for all, Rapinoe has been an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights, women’s rights and racial justice. She also joined several other USWNT players in a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation in 2019, arguing that women are paid less and get less support than male players—despite outperforming them on the field. Under a settlement reached in 2022, the athletes will receive $24 million, along with a pledge from the soccer federation to equalize pay for the men’s and women’s national teams.
Rapinoe’s memoir, “One Life,” was a New York Times Best Seller. She was named to the TIME 100 most influential people in the world list in 2020, and in 2022 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Linda Ronstadt, singer
Linda Ronstadt is arguably the most versatile vocalist of the modern era, having forged a four-decade career that established her as one of the top artists in one of the most creative periods in the history of modern music. She has broadened the latitudes of the pop singer, expanding the vocalist’s canvas to include country, rock and roll, Great American Songbook, jazz, opera, Broadway standards, Mexican and Tropical music and Americana. With worldwide album sales of over 50 million, at least 31 gold and platinum records, 10 Grammy Awards, the National Medal of Arts and membership in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to her credit, Ronstadt is the consummate American artist.
Ronstadt sang her last concert in 2009, and shortly thereafter announced her retirement from singing. Her autobiography, “Simple Dreams, A Musical Memoir,” made the New York Times Best Seller list. In 2013, she was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2014, President Barack Obama awarded Ronstadt the National Medal of Arts.
In 2018, the acclaimed documentary “Linda Ronstadt – The Sound of My Voice,” arrived in theaters. The film was later awarded a Grammy as Musical Film of the Year. And in December 20019, she was honored at the Kennedy Center Awards. Just released on October 4, 2022, is Ronstadt’s new book, “Feels Like Home – A Song for the Sonoran Borderlands,” written with Lawrence Downes. Ronstadt continues to serve on the Advisory Board of Los Cenzontles, an academy in California’s East Bay dedicated to the preservation of Mexican heritage.
Ed Ruscha, artist
Ed Ruscha has been called one of the world’s most important artists. His photography, drawing, painting, and artist books record the shifting emblems of American life in the last half century. With deadpan representations of Hollywood logos, stylized gas stations, and archetypal landscapes, he distills the imagery of popular culture into a language of cinematic and typographical codes that are both accessible and profound. Although his images are rooted in a closely observed American reality, his elegantly laconic art speaks to more complex issues about the world and our transient place in it.
Born in 1937 in Omaha, Nebraska, Ruscha graduated in 1960 from the Chouinard Art Institute (now CalArts) in Los Angeles. Quickly finding success, he had his first solo exhibition in 1963 at Los Angeles’ Ferus Gallery. Recent solo exhibitions have been presented by museums all over the world.
Museums with large collections of Ruscha’s work include the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Whitney Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago. He has received several honorary doctorates, the National Arts Award for Artistic Excellence, the J. Paul Getty Medal, and was named to the TIME 100 most influential people in the world list in 2013.
Los Tigres Del Norte, band
One of the most popular and influential bands in the history of Latin music, Los Tigres del Norte have been superstars for five decades. The band has sold over 40 million albums, while notching 24 #1 albums, over 50 #1 singles, and 66 tracks on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart—more than any other artist or group. They have received multiple Grammy and Latin Grammy awards, the Latin Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the Hispanic Heritage Legend Award, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Los Tigres continues to be at the forefront of Latin music popularity, performing regularly throughout the U.S. and Latin America, releasing chart topping albums and singles, and continually blazing new trails with their music. Often called “the voice of the people,” Los Tigres consistently speak out on issues of importance to their community, including immigration, racism, migrant workers, LGBTQ tolerance and more.
With their “La Reunión Tour” bringing the band into more top arenas and the release of “Los Tigres del Norte: Historias que Contar (Stories to Tell)” on Prime Video, Rolling Stone noted that the band is “enjoying a major renaissance … sharing music that has defined entire generations.”
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