Scientist of Transdisciplinary Complex Systems
(1904 – 1980)
Fellow at UC Santa Cruz and member of the UC Board of Regents
Gregory Bateson’s legacy of ideas resonates across many fields, including anthropology, psychology, and biology.
His first contributions were in anthropology, for which his fieldwork led to new understandings of cultural processes. Next, he helped develop cybernetics, a formal approach to the study of complex natural and artificial systems.
Moving to California in 1948, Bateson studied schizophrenia and family dynamics. He and his colleagues developed the “double bind” explanation of schizophrenia and launched the field of family therapy.
Bateson next began studying animal communication, and also began to think about looming crises in our relationship to the environment. In 1972 he took a teaching position at UC Santa Cruz, and later served on the UC Board of Regents.
- The Bateson Building in downtown Sacramento, California is named for him.
Lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Annette Bening, and their four children
A star since his first film in 1961, Warren Beatty’s longevity in movies exceeds that of any actor of his generation. Few people have taken so many responsibilities for all phases of film production as producer, director, writer, and actor, and few have shown so high a level of integrity in a body of work. Many of his films are considered classics, including Bonnie and Clyde, Shampoo, Reds, Heaven Can Wait, Dick Tracy, Bugsy, Bulworth, Splendor in the Grass, All Fall Down, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, and The Parallax View. Only Beatty and Orson Welles have been nominated for an Academy Award as an actor, a director, a writer, and a producer for the same film – a feat Beatty achieved twice. Beatty has been nominated fifteen times in these categories and eight pictures he has produced have earned 53 nominations.
Politically active since the 1960s, Beatty campaigned with Robert Kennedy in 1968. That same year he traveled the U.S. speaking in favor of gun control and against the war in Vietnam. He was a founding board member of the Center for National Policy and of The Progressive Majority, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and has participated in the World Economic Forum. He has addressed campaign finance reform, the increasing disparity of wealth, and universal health care.
- Academy Award, Best Director for “Reds”
- Irving G. Thalberg Award
- Kennedy Center Honors
- American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award
- Cecil B. DeMille Award from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association
Charles & Ray Eames
(1907-1978 and 1912-1988)
Ray Eames was born and raised in Sacramento, CA; both Charles and Ray lived and worked in Los Angeles, CA from 1941
Among the most important American designers of the 20th century, Charles and Ray Eames made groundbreaking contributions to architecture, furniture design, industrial design and manufacturing, toys and the photographic arts.
Artist Bernice “Ray” Kaiser and architect Charles Eames merged their lives and careers in 1941. Using new materials in innovative ways, they produced influential and enduring designs. During WWII they designed and successfully proposed to the Navy the production of molded plywood splints and stretchers to better serve the wounded. After the war, they returned to their design of furniture; the resulting molded plywood chair was called “the design of the century” by Time Magazine in their Millennium Issue. In the 1950s, the Eameses continued their work in architecture and modern furniture design, and pioneered innovative technologies, such as the plastic resin and wire mesh chairs designed for Herman Miller.
Their groundbreaking Eames House is a milestone of modern architecture and National Historic Landmark. Their film Powers of Ten is on the National Film Register — and continues to be used in schools. Their exhibit Mathematica is still considered a model for science exhibits and has been on continuous display for over 50 years. Most of their furniture designs remain in production today.
- U.S. Postal Service stamps
- Royal Institute of British Architects Royal Gold Medal
Raised in Stockton, CA; has lived and worked in California ever since
One of the most famous Latinas in the Unites States, Dolores Huerta has played a major role in the American civil rights movement as a community organizer and social activist for over 50 years. She is perhaps most widely known as co-founder of the United Farm Workers (UFW).
A staunch advocate for women’s rights and reproductive freedom, Huerta is a founding board member of the Feminist Majority Foundation and serves on the board of Ms. Magazine. She is a former UC Regent and has earned nine honorary doctorates from universities throughout the country. She frequently speaks at universities and organizational forums on issues of social justice and public policy. She continues working to develop community leaders and advocating for the working poor, immigrants, women and youth as President of the Dolores Huerta Foundation.
- Presidential Medal of Freedom
- U. S. Department of Labor Hall of Honor
- Smithsonian Institution – James Smithson Award
- National Women’s Hall of Fame
- American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Roger Baldwin Medal of Liberty Award
- The Eugene V. Debs Foundation Outstanding American Award
- The Ellis Island Medal of Freedom Award
- Icons of the American Civil Rights Movement Award
Born, lived and died in California
Nearly a century after his death, the man known as Ishi (meaning “man” in his native language) remains the most famous California Indian. In 1911, starving and in mourning, Ishi ventured into the town of Oroville in search of food. He became an overnight sensation, with newspaper headlines across the country trumpeting the discovery of the man they called the “last wild Indian.”
Up to that point, Ishi had spent his entire life in hiding with a few other surviving members of the Yahi People, most of whom had been wiped out in the preceding decades by disease, starvation and acts of genocide by white settlers. He would spend the rest of his years teaching the world about his culture. Given a home at the University of California’s anthropology museum, he adapted with grace to his new life, spending his days making arrowheads – which he often gave as gifts to museum visitors – or demonstrating fire-building and other Native traditions. The UC anthropologists learned much about the Yahi culture from him as he demonstrated tool-making and hunting and shared his ancestral stories and songs.
After coming into contact with tuberculosis, Ishi died in 1916. Ishi’s ashes were placed in a San Francisco-area cemetery, while his brain was separated and preserved, against his spiritual beliefs and traditions. In April 2000, Ishi’s brain, which had been sent to the Smithsonian in Washington, DC., and his remains were reunited and returned to his closest relations, members of the Redding Rancheria and Pit River tribes. His long-awaited traditional service in his homeland began the healing process for all his relations.
Played 14 seasons for the San Francisco 49ers, lives in the San Francisco Bay Area
Widely regarded as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, Joe Montana led the San Francisco 49ers to four Super Bowl victories. Nicknamed “Joe Cool,” Montana exhibited grace under pressure that translated to a remarkable 31 fourth quarter come-from-behind wins in his career.
Montana passed for more than 300 yards in 39 games, including seven in which he passed for over 400 yards. He won the NFL passing title in 1987 and 1989, and his six 300-yard passing performances in the post-season are an NFL record. He also holds the career playoff record for attempts, completions, touchdowns, and yards gained passing. In 1994 Montana became just the fifth quarterback to pass for more than 40,000 yards in a career.
He led his team to the playoffs eleven times, captured nine division championships and four Super Bowl victories. The only player ever to win three Super Bowl Most Valuable Player honors, Montana also holds the record for most Super Bowl pass completions.
Named All-NFL three times and All-NFC on five occasions, Montana was voted to the Pro Bowl eight times, which was then a league record for a quarterback.
- Pro Football Hall of Fame
- National Football League Most Valuable Player Award 1989 and 1990
Based in Los Angeles, California.
Sons of Jewish Polish immigrants, Warner brothers Harry (born Hirsz, 1881 – 1958), Albert (born Abraham, 1884 – 1967), Sam (born Schmuel, 1885-1927) and Jack (born Itzhak, 1892 –1978) got their start in the new business of movies by opening a theater in Pennsylvania in 1903. After a time, they moved into movie production, with Sam and Jack moving to California to capitalize on the burgeoning movie business there.
Profits from their first hit, My Four Years in Germany (1918), helped the brothers purchase a studio in Hollywood. Sam and Jack produced the pictures, while Harry and Albert handled finance and distribution in New York City. In 1923, following the studio’s successful film The Gold Diggers, Warner Brothers, Inc. was officially established. Though it had the popular German shepherd Rin Tin Tin as a star, the studio was in dire straits by 1926 when the brothers decided to gamble on sound.
In 1927, the first feature-length “talking picture,” The Jazz Singer, broke box-office records, established Warner Bros. as a major studio, and single-handedly launched the talkie revolution. In 1929 the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences recognized Warner Bros. with a special Academy Award for “revolutionizing the industry with sound.”
The studio’s successes included cartoons – the ever-popular Bugs Bunny – and unforgettable movies such as Casablanca (1942), the Dirty Harry films, and the Harry Potter series. Today the company is a leader in the entertainment industry. The company’s vast library consists of more than 6,650 feature films, 50,000 television titles and 14,000 animated titles.