1st Annual California Hall of Fame
December 6, 2006
RONALD REAGAN — read by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Ronald Wilson Reagan was a champion of democracy, who helped end the Cold War and expand the frontiers of human freedom abroad. His presidency led the country to experience great economic growth, decreased deflation, increased unemployment, and a stronger national defense.
An accomplished actor and former radio announcer, Reagan believed in the potential of the American people. At the end of his term as president, the nation was enjoying its longest recorded period of peacetime prosperity without recession or depression, with many considering him one of the greatest presidents in U.S. history.
The State of California honors our 33rd Governor and the 40th President of the United States for his leadership.
CÉSAR CHÁVEZ — read by Ron Reagan, son of President Reagan
Cesar Estrada Chavez founded the first successful farm workers union in U.S. history. Robert F. Kennedy called him “one of the heroic figures of our time.” President Clinton posthumously awarded Chavez the Medal of Freedon, the nation’s highest civilian honor. His birthday, on March 31, has become an official holiday in California and seven other states. Many schools, parks, streets and libraries across the country are named after him, reminding Americans of his courageous life-long dedication to serving others and fighting for justice.
The State of California honors this social visionary and community organizer for his courage and determination in fighting for the rights of farm workers and all poor people.
CLINT EASTWOOD — read by Paul Chavez, son of Cesar Chavez
Clint Eastwood, jr., is an actor, composer, filmmaker, accomplished jazz musician, and sometimes politician. He grew up in Oakland, California, and played some of the most beloved tough-guy characters in the history of film.
From Spaghetti Western gunslingers to antiheroes, his timing and presence are considered stylistic genius, making him one of the most imitated and inspiring film icons of all time.
The State of California honors this film legend for his lifetime of achievement as an actor and a citizen.
AMELIA EARHART — read by Clint Eastwood
Amelia Mary Earhart was the first woman in the world to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
She completed her courageous journey in record time and set the women’s altitude record of 14,000 feet, blazing a trail of achievement for generations of women after her.
She mysteriously disappeared in the Pacific during an around-the-world flight in 1937, but left a last note to her husband that captured her legacy. It read “Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be a challenge to others.”
The State of California honors this pioneering aviator for her unwavering integrity, grace and bravery.
JOHN MUIR — read by Amy Kleppner, niece of Amelia Earhart
John Muir is one of the most beloved figures in California history. He devoted his life to preserving the natural beauty of California and founded the Sierra Club, one of the world’s most important and influential environmental organizations.
Through his dedication and determination, he inspired millions with his essays and books chronicling his adventures in nature, and worked to teach the importance and value of preservation. He led by example and fought to preserve Yosemite, Sequoia, Muir Woods and the Sierra Nevada.
The State of California honors this father of the modern environmental movement for his achievement in preserving California’s stunning natural beauty.
FRANK O. GEHRY — read by Ross Hanna, grandson of John Muir
Frank Owen Gehry is one of the world’s greatest architects.
From the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain to Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, his buildings turn dreams and imagination into reality. His career in California has spanned four decades, earning him some of the world’s most prestigious awards in the field of architecture.
Museums throughout the world have exhibited his models and drawings, and he continues to inspire worldwide awe with the creativity of his new architectural work.
The state of California honors this extraordinary architect for a lifetime of breathtaking achievement.
WALT DISNEY — read by Frank Gehry
Walter Elias Disney revolutionized the art of animation.
The founder of Disneyland, he introduced the world to Mickey Mouse and a host of other animated friends, creating some of the most beloved characters and places that have become part of everyone’s life – young and old.
His commitment to California and to the visual and performing arts were immortalized by his endowment of the California Institute of the Arts. Disney’s legacy and creative genius are now an indelible part of the California lexicon.
The State of California honors this artist, dreamer and innovator for his many contributions to our state and society.
ALICE WALKER — read by Diane Disney Miller, daughter of Walt Disney
Alice Malsenior Walker was the first African American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
Her novel The Color Purple moved the nation, becoming a phenomenon that evolved into a Steven Spielberg movie and a Broadway musical. Born to sharecropper parents, she has received many of the nation’s most prestigious awards for literature, and has been an activist and social visionary whose advocacy for the dispossessed has spanned the globe.
Through her courage and creativity, Alice Walker believes she can change the world with words, and continues to inspire new generations.
The State of California honors this author and advocate for inspiring people around the world.
THE HEARST FAMILY — read by First Lady Maria Shriver
The Hearst Family personifies the California spirit.
George Hearst was a successful miner and businessman who served in the U.S. Senate. His wife, Phoebe, was a teacher by trade and the sole heir to his estate. Following his death in 1891, she became one of the country’s leading philanthropists, described as a woman who “lived by the Golden Rule and not the rule of gold.” Their only child, William Randolph, became an American legend who founded one of the world’s most successful media companies and built Hearst Castle, one of California’s finest treasures. The Hearst legacy lives on today through the living family, Hearst Corporation and the William Randolph Hearst Foundations.
The State of California honors the Hearst Family for their contributions to civic life, philanthropy and public service.
THE PACKARD FAMILY — read by Steve Hearst
David and Lucile Salter Packard are legends of Silicon Valley.
They partnered in the creation of the Hewlett-Packard Company, a global enterprise that revolutionized technology, and they cared deeply about children, conservation, the creative pursuit of science and global population. Through the success of the company, they founded the David and Lucile Packard Foundation in 1964.
Packard family leadership has also created the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and helped build and guide the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. The family’s engagement established the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, a leading oceanographic research center, and the Packard Humanities Institute, which is dedicated to archaeology, music, film preservation and education.
The State of California honors the Packard Family for their business leadership, philanthropy and ongoing contributions to our society.
DAVID D. HO, M.D. — read by Susan Packard Orr
Dr. David Da-i Ho has helped mankind move closer to finding a cure for AIDS.
His trailblazing research has unraveled the mystery of the virus, helping the world understand how it behaves and how it is best treated. Dr. Ho was awarded the Presidential Citizen’s Medal and was named TIME Magazine’s Man of the Year for his dedication to AIDS research.
His work has spanned over two decades and has helped hundreds of thousands of people live longer, healthier lives.
The State of California honors Dr. David Ho for his groundbreaking research on HIV and his steadfast determination to finding a cure for AIDS.
SALLY K. RIDE, PH.D. — read by Dr. Ho
Dr. Sally Kristen Ride is an astronaut, physicist, professor and author, who has followed her heartfelt crusade of encouraging young women to study science and mathematics. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Dr. Ride was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame, and has cumulatively spent more than 343 hours above the earth. She is the President and CEO of Sally Ride Science and a professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego.
She defined her legacy when she said, “Our future lies with today’s kids and tomorrow’s space exploration.”
The State of California honors this astronaut for making history as the first American woman in space and her ongoing dedication to educating and inspiring future generations.
BILLIE JEAN KING — read by Dr. Ride
Billie Jean King is one of the most famous athletes in the history of sports.
She grew up playing tennis on California public park courts and defeated former Wimbledon men’s champion Bobby Riggs in one of the greatest moments in sports history. She won 39 Grand Slam titles– 12 singles, 16 women’s doubles and 11 mixed doubles–during her career.
She was named one of the ‘100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century’ by LIFE magazine. Her perseverance and courage took her to the world stage where she fought for equality in sports and in life through activism and forthright determination.
The State of California honors this athlete for being a champion in tennis and in our society.