Frequently asked questions

General information
What is the California Hall of Fame?

The California Hall of Fame was established in 2006 to honor legendary people who embody the state’s innovative spirit and have made significant contributions to their fields. The program is a landmark exhibition at the California Museum, serving to inspire visitors to make stories of trailblazers, leaders and legends who have called California home.

The California Hall of Fame celebrates inductees by:

  • Installing the inductees into the California Hall of Fame institution in a formal state ceremony each year, at which inductees (or their families, if a posthumous award) receive the Spirit of California medal;
  • Making inductees and their accomplishments part of the permanent record in the California State Archives;
  • Recording the unique stories and personal achievements of inductees in an exhibit at The California Museum, serving as the visual, encyclopedic record of the California Hall of Fame, to which new inductees are added each year; 
  • Highlighting the inspirational achievements of inductees through a year-round education program designed to inspire visitors to make their own mark on history.
When is the 11th Annual California Hall of Fame?

The 11th Annual California Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place on Tues., Dec. 5, 2017 at the California Museum, located at 1020 O Street in Sacramento. The 11th Annual California Hall of Fame Artifact Exhibit will open on Wed., Dec. 6, 2017 at the Museum.

Who are the 11th class of inductees?

The California Hall of Fame 11th Class are: Lucille Ball, Susan Desmond-Hellmann, Mabel McKay, Mario J. Molina, Jim Plunkett, Gary Snyder, Steven Spielberg, Michael Tillson Thomas and Warren Winiarski.

How can I watch the 11th Annual California Hall of Fame?

Members of the public are invited to watch the 11th Annual California Hall of Fame live on Tues., Dec. 5, 2017 online. The red carpet will be broadcast live at http://www.facebook.com/californiamusuem from 6:00 to 7:00 pm, and the induction ceremony will be broadcast live at http://www.californiamuseum.org/11th-annual-ca-hall-fame from 7:00 to 8:00 pm.

Although bleachers were provided for members of the public to view the red carpet at past years’ events, they will not be available for the 11th Annual California Hall of Fame.

Where is the California Hall of Fame located?

The California Hall of Fame is located at the California Museum, located at 1020 O Street in Sacramento and one block from the State Capitol.

What are the criteria for induction?

The California Hall of Fame inductees come from all walks of life and are people who have made distinguished achievements across many fields, including the arts, education, business and labor, science, sports, philanthropy and public service.

The criteria for selection to the California Hall of Fame requires that inductees have transcended the boundaries of their field to make lasting contributions to the state, nation and world and that their extraordinary vision motivates and inspires people to further their own dreams.

How are inductees selected?

The Governor and First Lady of California make final selections on inductees from an on going master list of qualified candidates meeting the criteria for induction.

Can I nominate a candidate?

Yes. The public is encouraged to submit California Hall of Fame inductee nominations using the online form at http://www.californiamuseum.org/nomination-form. Submissions meeting the required criteria are added to an on-going master list from which the Governor and First Lady make their final selections each year.

Who has been inducted?

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

9th class: Robert Downey Jr, David Hockney, Lester Holt, Bruce Lee, Ellen Ochoa, Buck Owens, Charles M. Schulz and Kristi Yamaguchi.

8th 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.

7th class: Gregory Bateson, Warren Beatty, Charles and Ray Eames, Dolores Huerta, Ishi, Joe Montana and Warner Brothers.

6th 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.

5th class: 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.

4th 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.

3rd 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.

2nd 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.

1st class: César Chávez, Walt Disney, Amelia Earhart, Clint Eastwood, Frank Gehry, David Ho, Billie Jean King, John Muir, Ronald Reagan, Sally Ride, Alice Walker and the Hearst and Packard Families.

How can I nominate someone to be inducted into the California Hall of Fame?

Submissions from the public are welcomed through the nomination form on the Museum’s web site as a means of including the public’s voice in the nomination process.

How are inductees for the California Hall of Fame selected?

The Museum accepts submissions from the public, which are forwarded to the Museum’s Board of Trustees, who determine eligibility of submissions. Submissions meeting criteria are added to a master list of suitable candidates, from which the Governor and First Lady make their final selections.

How does the California Hall of Fame fit into the Museum’s mission?

The California Hall of Fame advances the Museum’s mission to engage, enlighten and educate. The California Museum brings critical learning opportunities in art, culture and history to California youth, serving over 50,000 students annually. The California Hall of Fame also includes educational programming, include special activity sheets and gallery guides for educators teaching California history. 

What award is given to the inductees?

Inductees receive the Spirit of California medal designed by Los Angeles artist and 2808 inductee Robert Graham.

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, which is named the “Spirit of California.” Medals are presented to each inductee by the Governor and First Lady during the induction ceremony to commemorate their installation into the California Hall of Fame.