8 to be inducted into 2018 California Hall of Fame class
Nov. 27, 2018
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) — Eight inspiring Californians will be inducted into the 12th California Hall of Fame class, the California Museum announced Tuesday.
The new inductees will join 113 other state icons who were “previously inducted for embodying the state’s spirit of innovation,” the museum said in a news release.
Hall of Fame inductees are selected by Gov. Jerry Brown and First Lady Anne Gust Brown for achievements and contributions in various areas.
“Anne and I are pleased to welcome another class of extraordinary Californians to the Hall of Fame. These individuals have helped push our state forward, inspiring Californians with their creativity and courage,” Brown said in a statement.
The inductees and family members of posthumous inductees will be presented with the “Spirit of California” medal during a ceremony next week. A new exhibit honor the 12th class will open in the California Museum next Wednesday.
Below are the 2018 California Hall of Fame inductees and a short bio provided by the California Museum:
Arlene Blum is a biophysical chemist, author, mountaineer and executive director of the Green Science Policy Institute and a Research Associate in Chemistry at UC Berkeley.
Blum is famous for leading the first American — and first all-women’s — ascent of Annapurna I, one of the world’s most dangerous and difficult mountains. She also co-led the first women’s team to climb Denali; completed the Great Himalayan Traverse across the mountain regions of Bhutan, Nepal, and India; and hiked the length of the European Alps with her baby daughter on her back.
As the first black female television journalist in the West, Belva Davis helped change the face and focus of broadcast news.
In a career spanning half a century, Davis has reported many of the most explosive stories of the era, including the Berkeley student protests, the birth of the Black Panthers, the Peoples Temple cult that ended in the mass suicides at Jonestown, the assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, the onset of the AIDS epidemic and the terrorist attacks in Africa that first put Osama bin Laden on the FBI’s Most Wanted List.
San Francisco’s first Asian American mayor, Ed Lee presided over the greatest economic recovery and investment in housing in the city’s history.
As mayor, he helped spur tremendous economic growth, revitalizing the Mid-Market district and investing heavily in small business and neighborhood commercial corridors. A new arena that will bring the Golden State Warriors back to San Francisco was another achievement. While backing the businesses that fueled the city’s booming economy, Lee never forgot the less fortunate, focusing on raising the minimum wage, creating affordable housing and helping the homeless.
Lee died in 2017.
Fernando Valenzuela was one of MLB’s most beloved players over his 17-season career.
Nicknamed “El Toro,” Valenzuela was known for his skyward glance at the peak of his windup and for throwing a rarely-used pitch called a screwball. In 11 seasons with the Dodgers, he was an All-Star selection six times. At the 1986 All-Star Game, he made history by striking out five consecutive American League batters, tying a record set in 1934.
Joan Baez made her major performance debut at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival.
For nearly six decades, as a singer and activist, at times when it was neither safe nor fashionable, she put herself on the line. Her life’s work was mirrored in her music and her mission has never wavered. She marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and sang at the March on Washington; co-founded the Institute for the Study of Nonviolence in Carmel Valley; organized resistance to the Vietnam War; shined a spotlight on the Free Speech Movement; inspired Vaclav Havel in his fight for a Czech Republic; helped establish a fledgling Amnesty International on the West Coast; and stood in the fields with Cesar Chavez and the migrant farmworkers.
Nancy Elizabeth McFadden was a top advisor to two California governors as well as President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore.
Following law school, McFadden clerked at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, then joined the law firm O’Melveny & Myers. She left to work on Bill Clinton’s campaign, and when he was elected President, became Deputy Associate Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice. Returning to California, McFadden worked in the Gov. Gray Davis administration during the energy crisis.
McFadden finally served as Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s Chief of Staff from 2011 until her death. She was a driving force behind every major achievement of the administration — from Prop. 30, the Rainy Day Fund and criminal justice reform to landmark immigration, school funding, environmental and infrastructure legislation.
McFadden died in 2018.
Robert Redford is acclaimed as an actor, producer, director, champion of independent film and environmentalist.
He won an Academy Award, a DGA Award and a Golden Globe Award for his feature directing debut, “Ordinary People” (1980), and was nominated for an Academy Award for directing “Quiz Show” (1994).
A noted environmentalist, Redford has served for over 40 years as a Trustee for the Natural Resources Defense Council. He has been involved with landmark environmental legislation including the Clean Air Act and in 1975 galvanized opposition to a coal-fired power plant in Southern Utah. In the 1980s, he founded the Institute for Resource Management, bringing together environmentalists and industrialists to promote sustainable development.
Thomas Keller is renowned for his culinary skills and exceptionally high standards. He has established a collection of restaurants that sets a new paradigm within the hospitality profession.
His influence on the culinary arts has placed him among the most decorated chefs in the world with accolades including Time magazine’s “America’s Best Chef,” The Culinary Institute of America’s “Chef of the Year” Award and the James Beard Foundation’s “Outstanding Chef” and “Outstanding Restaurateur” Awards.
In 1994, Keller took ownership of The French Laundry in Yountville, CA, earning international acclaim.