9th class

Courtesy of NASA Johnson Space Center.

Ellen Ochoa

(Born 1958)


California Connection:

Born in Los Angeles, CA; earned Bachelor of Science from San Diego State University; earned Doctorate in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.

Courtesy of Buck Owens Private Foundation.

Buck Owens



California Connection:

Career based in Bakersfield, Calif.


Country music legend Buck Owens was a pioneer of the raw-edged country music that came out of Bakersfield’s honky-tonk bars, known as the Bakersfield Sound.

Born Alvis Edgar Owens, Jr. in Sherman, Texas to a poor sharecropper family, he nicknamed himself “Buck” after the family mule. The family relocated to Arizona during the Dust Bowl years, where Owens learned to play guitar and mandolin.

After moving to Bakersfield, California in 1951, he became a regular performer at local clubs and bars, and played guitar on records for other country singers. He formed his own band in 1963, and Buck Owens and the Buckaroos had 21 No. 1 country hit singles during the 1960s, including “Act Naturally,” “Love’s Gonna Live Here,” “Together Again” and “I’ve Got a Tiger by the Tail.” The band performed at such venues as Carnegie Hall and the White House. Owens also was a fixture in households across the country as co-host of the long-running television variety show “Hee Haw.”  

Owens’ music influenced generations of musicians, from Gram Parsons to Dwight Yoakum, all of whom continue the twangy tradition of the Bakersfield Sound. 

Awards & Recognition:
  • Grammy Hall of Fame Inductee
  • ACM Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award
  • ACM Jim Reeves International Award
  • ACM Poet’s Award
  • ACM Male Vocalist of the Year Award
  • Country Music Association Award for Vocal Event of the Year
  • Country Music Hall of Fame inductee
Photo by Tom Vano. © Peanuts Worldwide LLC. Courtesy of the Charles M. Schulz Museum.

Charles M. Schulz



California Connection:

Charles M. Schulz lived and worked in California from 1958-2000.


Charles M. Schulz, best known for the iconic comic strip Peanuts, was one of the most influential cartoonists of all time, whose innovation continues to inspire cartoonists and fans today.

Schulz’s early series of one-panel cartoons, Li’l Folks, was published from 1947 to 1950 in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Schulz approached United Feature Syndicate with the single-panel series, but they preferred a version in comic strip format. Peanuts made its debut on October 2, 1950 in seven newspapers. The cartoon eventually became one of the most popular comic strips ever created, published in over 2,600 newspapers. At its peak, “Peanuts” was read by more than 355 million people in 75 countries and 21 languages.

Through the use of characters in national ad campaigns, the creation of Emmy-Award winning television specials and the development of books and merchandise, the comic strip grew into a worldwide phenomenon, resulting in Schulz’s regular appearance on Forbes magazine’s list of highest-paid entertainers in America.

Schulz drew over 17,897 “Peanuts” comic strips in his nearly 50-year career. He was awarded the highest honors by his fellow cartoonists, was recognized by U.S. and foreign governments, had NASA spacecrafts named after his characters, and inspired an Off-Broadway musical and a performance at Carnegie Hall. 

Awards & Recognition:
  • Emmy Award winner
  • Congressional Gold Medal
  • Hollywood Walk of Fame star
  • Commander of Arts and Letters
  • 2-time recipient of the Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year
  • U.S. Army Combat Infantryman Badge