3rd Annual California Hall of Fame
December 15, 2008
JACK LALANNE — read by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Jack LaLanne found the path to the Fountain of Youth nearly 80 years ago.
He was 15, addicted to sugar and junk food, feeling weak and, as he describes it, mean.
It was then that he heard pioneering nutritionist Paul Bragg lecture in the Bay Area. Jack left committed to exercise and nutrition, believing this new lifestyle would restore him to health.
It did. And Jack proceeded to do the same for millions of people around the world.
Today he is the “Godfather of Fitness,” an international role model and America’s foremost fitness expert.
Jack has always been decades ahead of his time.
He read and studied while developing a basic approach to exercise and fitness that doctors rejected and critics refuted. He consistently broke down barriers and innovated. Decades later, science has proven him correct.
Jack opened the first modern health studio and designed the earliest versions of exercise equipment we use today. He was a pioneer in leading people to work with weights, including athletes, women and the disabled.
Decade after decade, he has achieved amazing feats. He set the world record for doing push-ups. He swam handcuffed and shackled towing 70 boats and 70 people on his 70th birthday. He swam the Golden Gate Channel towing a 2,500-pound cabin cruiser.
At the same time, Jack has written books, appeared in films and fitness videos, made the Power Juicer famous and hosted television’s longest-running exercise show.
It aired for 34 years, and critics said it wouldn’t last more than a few weeks. Jack didn’t listen to them.
He listened to his heart. To his instincts. He listened to his own research and evidence. He has always been ahead of his time.
The State of California honors Jack LaLanne who is a living example to us all that staying active and eating right is truly the Fountain of Youth.
ALICE WATERS — read by Jack LaLanne
Most great chefs create a menu. Alice Waters created a movement.
It is a culinary revolution called “California cuisine” and its genius is its simplicity.
In fast food nation, Alice Waters is the slow food champion.
She has made an art of using only locally grown and fresh ingredients to create simple meals bursting with complex and complicated flavors and textures.
Born in Chatham, New Jersey, Waters earned a degree in French cultural studies from UC Berkeley. She went on to study in London and travel in France, where she had a culinary epiphany while eating a simple dinner in Brittany.
“I’ve remembered this dinner a thousand times,” she says. “The trout had just come from the stream, the raspberries from the garden. It was the immediacy that made those dishes so special.”
By 1971, she was back in Berkeley serving those immediately provocative meals to the diners at her restaurant, Chez Panisse, where the single fixed-price menu – using only high quality, locally grown, seasonal ingredients – changes daily.
The restaurant was an instant success and more than three decades later continues to be ranked among the best in the world.
But it is more than a restaurant. It is the home of a movement. The Chez Panisse Foundation underwrites educational programs such as the Edible Schoolyard, which involves students in growing, harvesting and preparing healthful food. And there is the School Lunch Initiative, which aspires to integrate a nutritious daily lunch and gardening experience in the curriculum of all public schools.
Waters also is the author of eight books; founder of the Yale Sustainable Food Project and the Sustainable Food Project at the American Academy in Rome, and is vice president of Slow Food International, a nonprofit organization that promotes local food traditions.
The state of California honors Alice Waters for her contributions to our health and well being through her culinary excellence.
JULIA MORGAN — read by Alice Waters
In many important ways, the work is original, masterful and enduring. Sturdy and enduring, the buildings designed by Julia Morgan represent a time when California matured from wild, untamed frontier to a sophisticated, cultivated, industrious and creative force.
But Julia Morgan’s greatest accomplishment isn’t the work. It is that she did it at all.
Born in San Francisco in 1872 and raised in Oakland, Morgan became interested in architecture as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley. At the urging of one of her professors, after graduation, she moved to Paris to apply for admission to study architecture at the all-male Ecole des Beaux Arts. It took two years and three tries, but she shattered the barrier and became the first female admitted to the school.
Shortly after the turn of the century, she was back in California as the state’s first female architect. By 1904, she had opened her own office. After the great San Francisco earthquake and fire destroyed much of the city in 1906, Morgan was instrumental in its renaissance. Among her many notable accomplishments was overseeing the rebuilding of the Fairmont Hotel, a huge undertaking that she finished in just one year.
In her 47-year career Morgan designed more than 700 buildings, many of them admired public buildings such as the YWCAs in San Francisco’s Chinatown, Oakland and Riverside, the last of which is now the Riverside Art Museum. Other notable commissions include the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, the Mills College Bell Tower, and St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Berkeley.
But Morgan’s most famous work was done for her greatest patron – William Randolph Hearst. She designed dozens of buildings for Hearst, but none more important, lasting and treasured than La Cuesta Encantada, the Hearst Castle in San Simeon. She worked on it for 28 years and created a masterpiece that will endure for centuries as California’s most magnificent edifice.
The state of California honors Julia Morgan for her groundbreaking work and life.
LINUS PAULING — read by Ellen North
At the end of the last millennium, many lists were compiled. Among them was one by the journal New Scientist, which endeavored to determine the 20 greatest scientists of all time.
Listed among those giants, right there with the greatest thinkers of all time, with such as Galileo and Newton, were only two scientists who did their work in the 20th Century – Albert Einstein and Linus Pauling.
From the time he enrolled as a teenager in what is now Oregon State University, through his doctoral studies at Caltech, until his death at 93 in his Big Sur home, Linus Pauling devoted himself to comprehending the incomprehensible. He was one of the first scientists to work on the esoteric edges of developing fields like quantum chemistry, molecular biology, orthomolecular medicine.
His work was profound enough to make him the only person to have won two unshared Nobel Prizes. And yet it was basic enough to impact the daily lives of every day people.
The first Nobel – for chemistry – was awarded in 1954 for Pauling’s work on that nature of chemical bonding.
The second – the Nobel Peace Prize – was awarded in 1962 for his long, and ultimately successful, campaign to outlaw above ground nuclear weapons testing.
Scientific advances that we now take for granted were made largely because of the genius and work of Linus Pauling. His research into protein structure led to the discovery of DNA. His pioneering work in molecular genetics enabled him to identify sickle cell anemia as a molecular disease.
Fifty years ago, Pauling and his colleagues at Caltech conducted the first tests that showed automobiles, not factories, were the primary cause of air pollution. And then they developed the first modern electric car, the Henney Kilowatt, in 1959. Fifty years later it still seems like a good idea, and maybe its time has come.
And even towards the end of his long life, well into his 80s and 90s, he continued to court controversy and search to unlock science’s mysteries with his research into Vitamin C and its beneficial effects on the human immune system and fighting cancer.
The state of California honors Linus Pauling for his indefatigable brilliance and courage.
ROBERT GRAHAM — read by Dr. Linus Pauling, Jr.
Robert Graham has earned international renown and acclaim for his monumental sculptures of the human form, both at rest and at motion.
His civic monuments include the startling and confrontational “Olympic Gateway” nudes at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C., the Duke Ellington Memorial in New York City, and the 24-foot high representation of Joe Louis’ fist and forearm in Detroit.
Born in Mexico City, Graham studied at San Jose State University and the San Francisco Art Institute, from which he graduated in 1964. In the years since, his work has been the subject of more than 80 solo exhibitions and three retrospective shows in the United States, Europe, Japan and Mexico.
Public installations of his sculptures are on view at numerous locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle.
He is to the art life of his time in Venice, California, what Michelangelo was to another time in Italy…. A giant devoted to ceaseless creation.
Graham designed the National Medal of Arts, presented by the President of the United States; The Spirit of Liberty Award, presented by People for the American Way, and the Spirit of California Award, presented by the governor.
In 1993, Graham received the ACLU Freedom of Speech Award and the California Governor’s Award for his outstanding contribution to the arts. In 2003, he received the award of the Commander of Merit of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. In 2005, the Hope of Los Angeles Award at the Latino Heritage Month, City of Los Angeles.
And now, in 2008, the state of California honors Robert Graham for his exaltation of the human form.
LELAND STANFORD — read by Robert Graham
There was a time when California was primarily a grand idea.
It took people – dedicated, ambitious, imaginative men and women – to transform the grand idea of California idea into a magnificent reality. Foremost among those people was Leland Stanford.
In 1852, Stanford, a lawyer trained in New York and admitted to the bar in Wisconsin, came west, determined to stake his claim to a piece of the California Gold Rush.
In the next decade, he opened a general store in Placer County, became justice of the peace, helped organize the Sacramento Public Library, co-founded the Central Pacific Railroad and was elected Governor of California.
He was just getting started.
By 1869, Stanford – one of California’s Big Four railroad magnates, along with Charles Crocker, Mark Hopkins and Collis P. Huntington – would realize the dream of a transcontinental railway line over the Sierra Nevada. On May 10 of that year, Stanford himself hammered in the famous golden spike in Promontory, Utah.
Over the years, he was instrumental in the creation and development of the Pacific Union Express Company; Wells Fargo; the Southern Pacific Railroad; the Occidental and Oriental Steamship Company, which connected Japan and China to California; two wineries and one of the state’s first great thoroughbred horse breeding farms, the Palo Alto Stock Farm.
In 1885, Stanford returned to public service when he was elected to the United States Senate. And in 1891, two years before his death at 69, he transformed the Palo Alto farm into perhaps his greatest contribution – Leland Stanford Junior University. It was named in honor of his only child, who had died as a teenager of typhoid. On October 1 of that year, the university admitted its first student, Herbert Hoover, who, 38 years later would become the 31st President of the United States.
The State of California honors Leland Stanford, our 8th governor and transcendent tycoon, for a life of grand ambitions accomplished.
JANE FONDA — read by Tom Stanford
A daughter of old Hollywood and a trailblazer in her own right, controversial, accomplished, beloved and begrudged, Jane Fonda has lived more lives than most of us can imagine, all of them in this time and this place.
As an actress she has projected the majesty of Hollywood royalty and the accessibility of a girl named Jane. Always she has danced precariously on the cutting edge.
As Kimberly Wells in “The China Syndrome” she gave an Oscar nominated performance warning of the threat of a meltdown at a nuclear power plant BEFORE Three Mile Island.
With a confident wink and a knowing nod, “Nine to Five” exposed gender inequities and insidious sexual harassment in the workplace BEFORE it was part of the national conversation.
Seven times, Jane was nominated for Oscars, and twice she won – for her portrayal of the steely, professional call girl, Bree Daniels, in “Klute,” and for “Coming Home’s” Sally Bender, who embodied a nation’s conflicted and complicated feelings towards the war in Vietnam and the men who were sent to fight it.
Fonda’s protests against that war have left some with similarly conflicted and complicated feelings towards her. But always she has been an honest, courageous and unrelenting advocate for social and political change, for those less fortunate and blessed than she has been.
In the 1980s she revolutionized the country with the release of Jane Fonda’s Workout videos, encouraging women and girls to get physical and fit just like the men and boys. There were 23 videos in all, along with 13 audio recordings and five books. And the original video remains the top grossing home video of all time.
Today, she focuses her attention – with the same unrelenting force and energy as ever – on environmental issues, human rights, and the empowerment of women and girls.
The state of California honors Jane Fonda for her influential work and inspiring life.
DOROTHEA LANGE — read by Jane Fonda
In small, personal, candid photographs, Dorothea Lange told unforgettably epic stories of Americans displaced and forgotten during hard times.
Taken during the Great Depression and World War II, taken more than a half century ago, her photographs retain an intimate immediacy.
Even now, they demand your attention and require your reaction. They do the work of all great art, and of the best journalism. They make you think and feel. The photographs invade the soul and haunt the memory.
In the hands of Dorothea Lange, the Graflex camera was the pen of Steinbeck or the brush of Hopper. Her art is eternal and important.
Born in Hoboken, New Jersey, a place that sounds like hard times, Lange contracted polio at age seven and was left with a lifelong limp.
After studying photography as a young woman in New York City, in 1918 she moved to California and opened her own portrait studio in San Francisco. She made her living taking the pictures of the city’s wealthy and fortunate, but was moved with the onset of the Great Depression to turn her lens from the studio to the street.
Her studies of the unemployed and the homeless attracted the attention of the federal Resettlement Administration, which hired her in 1935 to document rural poverty.
Lange’s masterpiece, “Migrant Mother,” a portrait of 32-year-old Florence Owens Thompson huddled with her three daughters in a lean-to, was taken in 1936 in a migrant labor camp in Nipomo, California. It is an image of strength, yearning and need so powerful that it convinced many of the need for government programs to aid the dispossessed.
In the 1940s, she continued to search for meaning and purpose in her work. She recorded the lives of Japanese-Americans forced unfairly into internment camps during World War II. She preserved forever minorities and women working together in wartime industries. Always, her work remained a photographic fanfare for the common men and women who make America great.
The state of California honors Dorothea Lange for enduring art of texture and meaning.
QUINCY JONES — read by Daniel Dixon
The word impresario is wholly inadequate when it is used to describe Quincy Delight Jones, Jr.
But it fits as well as any other you might choose – conductor, composer, musician, producer, arranger, author, executive, entrepreneur, visionary, humanitarian – because it includes them all and leaves a little room for something else.
Out of Chicago, by way of Seattle, Quincy Jones found a home in Los Angeles, and enabled California to give the gift of his genius to the world.
By the time he was 18, Jones was playing the trumpet in Lionel Hampton’s band. Before he was 20, he was arranging songs for artists like Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Gene Krupa and Ray Charles. Later would come Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Dinah Washington, Michael Jackson, and Miles Davis.
Quincy has scored 33 motion pictures, and produced countless albums – including Jackson’s “Thriller,” the biggest seller of all-time. He was the force behind “We Are the World,” the man who asked dozens of artists to check their egos at the studio door and raised tens of millions of dollars to fight famine in Ethiopia.
He’s produced movies and television shows. He’s fought against racism and injustice all his life, and fought for decency and the less fortunate since the day fortune smiled upon him and bestowed the opportunity.
He’s built homes in South Africa, and a music festival in Chicago. He’s endowed a chair at Harvard and founded the Institute for Black American Music.
He’s done it all and he’s won it all. Seventy-nine Grammy nominations and 27 Grammys. Seven Oscar nominations, an Emmy and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. France’s Legion d’Honneur and America’s Kennedy Center Honor.
And now another.
The state of California honors Quincy Jones, its most impressive impresario.
DAVE BRUBECK — read by Quincy Jones
In 1958, when things were hottest during the Cold War, the United States’ government chose Dave Brubeck and his Quartet to spread their own, patented brand of American cool, and make international relations just a little bit better.
Brubeck toured the Soviet Union, Poland, Iran and Iraq, played his piano, spoke the international language of jazz, and established a standard for musical diplomacy.
It really wasn’t anything new for Brubeck. He has been setting musicals standards all his life.
The Dave Brubeck Quartet was the world’s most popular jazz band for more than a decade. Its “Take Five” is the best selling jazz single ever. His experimentation with time signatures fundamentally changed the way jazz – the most American of musical forms – is played, and established California as a center of jazz in America.
Born and raised in Concord, Brubeck graduated from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, even after one of his professors discovered he could not read sheet music. The school was afraid granting him a degree would cause a scandal, but relented when he promised never to teach piano.
Education’s loss was the world’s gain. A few years after serving as a rifleman in General Patton’s Third Army during World War II, Brubeck formed a quartet with his Army buddy Paul Desmond, a saxophonist, and took up residence at San Francisco’s Black Hawk nightclub. From that base of operations, they conquered the musical world.
Brubeck made records and set records and used the popularity of his music for the greater good. He fought discrimination by canceling dates if concert promoters or club owners asked him to replace the quartet’s bassist, Eugene Wright, an African-American, with a white musician. He warmed up chilly international relations with cool tours. He used his syncopated beats to fight for harmony after the killings at Kent State and Jackson State ruptured America in the early 1970s.
The state of California honors Dave Brubeck, the avatar of diplomatic cool.
JACK NICHOLSON: read by Dave Brubeck
With his roguish brow, twinkling eye and sly smile, Jack Nicholson always has done much more than handle the truth. He has revealed the truth, conveyed the truth and become the truth in every character he has played for the last five decades.
From Jimmy Wallace fifty years ago in Roger Corman’s “The Cry Baby Killer” to Garrett Breedlove in “Terms of Endearment” 25 years later, he’s found the essential truth and told us a little about ourselves and our predicament.
From George Hanson in “Easy Rider” to Jake Gittes in “Chinatown,” as Eugene O’Neill, Jimmy Hoffa, Randle Patrick McMurphy, Melvin Udall and Col. Nathan R. Jessup, Jack Nicholson has painted unforgettable portraits of American men that will last as long as there is cinema.
And as Robert Dupea in “Five Easy Pieces” he proved that you can indeed turn chicken salad into an Academy Award nomination and a brilliant career.
There have been 12 nominations over the last five decades, and three Oscar wins. Only Katharine Hepburn, with four, has won more. And Jack – no last name is necessary; say Jack and it’s enough, just like Clint or Marlon or, well, Arnold – still has plenty of time to catch and pass Miss Hepburn.
Not bad for a guy who combined some of his innate Jersey jive with more than a little honestly acquired California cool to create a unique and indelible brand of dramatic, theatrical jazz.
It is an effortless style, the envy of every actor struggling to find a way, the goal of any artist trying to give an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay, the sleek and admirable result that indicates none of the hard labor invested in creation. It is what makes Jack the actor’s actor, the bon vivant’s bon vivant, and, it seems, every lady’s man.
The state of California honors Jack Nicholson for five decades of unforgettable cinematic truth.
DR. THEODOR SEUSS GEISEL — read by Jack Nicholson
Well, you know, it’s such a nagging temptation on this special occasion to take a bit of this time to say something in rhyme. Not cloying, but clever, I hope. It’s just the kind of pretense he’d warn us against.
With m-hmm, no, no. No, no, M-hmm, nope.
Comparisons are odious, you should know that, you dope.
Nonetheless, I’m going to do it, no matter how inadvisable,
Because today we honor Dr. Theodore Seuss Geisel.
The man generations of children came to adore,
Was born in Chile, Massachusetts in 1904.
Childhood, grammar school, Dartmouth College,
Living life, getting a little bit of knowledge.
At just 21, his writing begun, must have been fun,
Called Birdsies and Beasties, and he did it in a weekly.
Amazing. Not weakly, as opposing to strong,
But I guess I digress. Let’s move along.
So he moved out west, where he created his magical formula,
Did it no less than La Jolla, California.
La Jolla, the canyon, facing the ocean,
With white sands, white caps, waves in perpetual motion.
And lots of sun and multitudinous flick-tongued flicking
No holly, no reindeers, no snow, no blizzards.
So it wasn’t no synch, creating that infamous Grinch.
That cleptomaniacal yuletide iocal, that meany, selfishy, greeny, that Grinch.
But that didn’t stop him.
The doc went on and topped him.
He wrote something—I don’t know what he wrote there, Jacky,
Don’t be so gosh-doggit wacky.
He topped him by writing that slightly nefarious, wildly
Stripey, stovepipey, cat with a hat.
And thing number one, plus number two, and the red box with locks
filled with objects galore,
And more and more, and more.
More meaning bubbles beneath the narrative surface,
Gone, read Green Eggs, and If I Ran the Circus.
Doc’s books numbered oh, 60 plus,
All of them dizzy and nifty to us.
Full of hilarious stuff.
And oops, well, I’m suddenly feeling enough is enough.
So with profound apologia my intro must end.
The time has come to loudly and proudly commend.
So with hoorah, boorah, siss bam baroorah,
We the state of California.
With no further poetic slop, slyly obtuse,
We are delighted to honor the one and the only, the world’s Dr. Seuss.