California Hall of Fame FAQs

General information
What is the California Hall of Fame?

The California Hall of Fame was established in 2006 by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver in partnership with the California Museum to honor legendary people who embody California’s innovative spirit and have made a mark on history. The California Hall of Fame is also a signature exhibit at the Museum, inspiring visitors to make their own mark on history through the lives and legacies of inductees.

The California Hall of Fame celebrates inductees by:

  • Installing the inductees into the California Hall of Fame in a formal state ceremony each year, at which inductees (or families of posthumous inductees) receive the “Spirit of California” medal;
  • Making inductees and their accomplishments part of the permanent record in the California State Archives;
  • Highlighting the unique stories and personal achievements of inductees in an annual exhibit at the California Museum;
  • Highlighting the inspirational achievements of inductees through the Museum’s year-round K-12 education programs and field trip tours.
What are the criteria for induction?

Criteria for induction require that candidates have lived in California for five years; have transcended the boundaries of their field to make lasting contributions to the state, nation and world; and that their accomplishments motivate and inspire people to further their own dreams. California Hall of Fame inductees come from all walks of life and have made distinguished contributions across many fields, including the arts, activism, education, business and labor, science, sports, philanthropy and public service.

Who selects inductees?

Inductees are selected annually by the Governor and First Lady or First Partner. The public is invited to submit nominations for their consideration online at

How can I make a nomination?

Submissions are accepted year-round at, and qualified candidates are added to an ongoing master list from which the annual list of inductees are selected by the Governor and First Lady.

Where is it located?

The California Hall of Fame event and exhibit are held at the California Museum, located at 1020 O Street in Sacramento, Calif.

Who is in the current class of inductees?

The 13th class, inducted by Governor Gavin Newsom and First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom on Tuesday, Dec. 10. 2019, includes: Dr. Maya Angelou; RuPaul Andre Charles; Brandi Chastain, Dr. France A. Córdova, Tony Hawk, Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, Rev. James M. Lawson, Jr., George Lopez, Wolfgang Puck and Helen M. Turley.

Who else has been inducted?

12th class: Joan Baez, Arlene Blum, Belva Davis, Thomas Keller, Ed Lee, Nancy McFadden, Robert Redford and Fernando Valenzuela

11th class: Lucille Ball, Susan Desmond-Hellmann, Mabel McKay, Mario J. Molina, Jim Plunkett, Gary Snyder, Steven Spielberg, Michael Tilson Thomas and Warren Winiarski.

10th class: Isabel Allende, Harrison Ford, Tony Gwynn, Corita Kent, William J. Perry, Maria Shriver, Russ Solomon and George Takei.

Ninth class: Robert Downey Jr, David Hockney, Lester Holt, Bruce Lee, Ellen Ochoa, Buck Owens, Charles M. Schulz and Kristi Yamaguchi.

Eighth class: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Charlotta Bass, Joan Didion, Francis Ford Coppola, Fred Ross, Stephen Schneider, Mimi Silbert and Andre “Dr. Dre” Young and Jimmy Iovine.

Seventh class: Gregory Bateson, Warren Beatty, Charles & Ray Eames, Dolores Huerta, Ishi, Joe Montana and the Warner Brothers.

Sixth class: Buzz Aldrin, The Beach Boys, Elizabeth Blackburn, Gregory Boyle, Doris and Donald Fisher, Magic Johnson, Ed Roberts, Carlos Santana, Amy Tan and Roger Traynor.

Fifth class: Former Governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown, James Cameron, John Doerr, A. P. Giannini, Merle Haggard, Anne Lamott, George Shultz, Kevin Starr, Levi Strauss, Barbra Streisand, Wayne Thiebaud, Betty White, Serena Williams and Mark Zuckerberg.

Fourth class: Carol Burnett, Andrew Grove, Hiram Johnson, Rafer Johnson, Henry J. Kaiser, Joan Kroc, George Lucas, John Madden, Harvey Milk, Fritz Scholder, Danielle Steel, Joe Weider and Chuck Yeager.

Third class: Dave Brubeck, Jane Fonda, Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel, Robert Graham, Quincy Jones, Jack LaLanne, Dorothea Lange, Julia Morgan, Jack Nicholson,  Linus Pauling, Leland Stanford and Alice Waters.

Second class: Ansel Adams, Milton Berle, Steve Jobs, Willie Mays, Robert Mondavi, Rita Moreno, Jackie Robinson, Jonas Salk, John Steinbeck, Elizabeth Taylor, Earl Warren, John Wayne and Tiger Woods.

First class: César Chávez, Walt Disney, Amelia Earhart, Clint Eastwood, Frank Gehry, Hearst family, David Ho, Billie Jean King, John Muir, Packard family Ronald Reagan, Sally Ride and Alice Walker.

When will the next California Hall of Fame take place?

The 13th Annual California Hall of Fame will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, from 6 to 10 p.m. Festivities include a red carpet followed by a formal state induction ceremony featuring a presentation of medals by the Governor and First Partner.

How can I watch the  next California Hall of Fame?

A webcast will be streamed on the Museum’s web site at

When is the 13th Annual Hall of Fame exhibit open?

The 13th annual California Hall of Fame exhibit continues through August 8, 2021.

How does this program fit into the Museum’s education programming?

The California Hall of Fame advances the Museum’s mission to educate over 120,000 annual visitors with the accomplishments of inductees and to make their own mark on history. In addition, it includes K-12 learning programs aligned with California State Content Standards and Common Core for over 50,000 K-12 students visiting the Museum each year on field trip tours.

What is the California Hall of Fame medal?

The late Los Angeles artist and 2008 inductee Robert Graham designed the California Hall of Fame medal, named “Spirit of California.” This beautifully sculpted medal is presented to each inductee at the induction ceremony as a symbol of their installation into the California Hall of Fame.