Governor, First Partner & the California Museum announce the California Hall of Fame 13th Class

SACRAMENTO November 13, 2019 – Governor Gavin Newsom and First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom joined the California Museum in announcing the 13th class of inductees into the California Hall of Fame. The new inductees join 122 inspirational Californians previously inducted for embodying the state’s spirit of innovation.

The inductees of the California Hall of Fame 13th class are:

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  • Dr. Maya Angelou – Writer, Poet, Performer and Teacher;
  • RuPaul Charles – Actor, Model, Singer, Songwriter, Television Personality and Author;
  • Brandi Chastain – Athlete and Olympic Medalist;
  • Dr. France A. Córdova – Astrophysicist;
  • Tony Hawk – Skateboarder, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist;
  • Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston – Author and Activist;
  • Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr. – Civil Rights Leader;
  • George Lopez – Actor and Comedian
  • Wolfgang Puck – Chef, Restaurateur and Entrepreneur;
  • Helen M. Turley – Winemaker and Vintner.

“Jennifer and I are pleased to induct this class of extraordinary Californians into the Hall of Fame,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “These inductees embody California’s innovative spirit and they inspire us with all they’ve accomplished throughout their careers and lives.”

“The Hall of Fame is a chance for us to make a statement about what this state stands for, and these phenomenal Californians truly represent the best of who we are and our California values,” said First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom.

The California Hall of Fame was established in 2006 to honor legendary people who embody California’s spirit and have made their mark on history through achievements across a variety of fields, including the arts, education, business and labor, science, sports, philanthropy and public service. California Hall of Fame inductees are selected yearly by the Governor and First Partner.

“As a native of this great state, being inducted into the California Hall of Fame is especially heartfelt because it comes from where my dreams were born, it comes from home,” said RuPaul Charles.

“I am proud and humbled to be from, and molded by, California,” said Brandi Chastain. “With its beautiful geography, talented people, ideal weather, love and passion for our state, I am grateful for all the gifts California has bestowed upon me. With these gifts, I have learned to stand tall, take risks, be strong, have a voice and change paradigms. Thank you, California, for all you have given me and others who live within your embrace.”

“I am so honored to be inducted into the 13th class of the California Hall of Fame,” said Tony Hawk. “California has always fostered innovation and creativity and I am thankful to be recognized as someone who has paved the way for future generations of skaters and groundbreakers.”

“There is no other place in the world I’d rather be from than the great state of California,” said George Lopez.

Inductees and family members of posthumous inductees will be presented with “Spirit of California” medals by the Governor and First Partner in an official ceremony held at the California Museum Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 7:00 p.m. In addition, the lives and legacies of the new inductees will be featured in an all-new artifact exhibit at the California Museum opening at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11.

“We’re thrilled to celebrate this new class with Governor Newsom and the First Partner,” said California Museum Board of Trustees Chair Richard S. Costigan III. “We’re also grateful to lead sponsor Visit California. With their generous support, the Museum’s programming highlighting the state’s diverse history, arts and culture will inspire more than 120,000 visitors to make their own mark on history in 2020.”

“For centuries, people have looked west to California to make their dreams come true, striving to innovate and rise above the norm. This year’s class of inductees continues that grand tradition, each in their own exceptional way,” said Caroline Beteta, Visit California President and CEO. “Their great works build on California’s storied history, paving the way for future generations to blaze their own trail, keeping the Golden State’s pioneering spirit alive and thriving.”

Members of the public are invited to watch red carpet arrivals for the 13th Annual California Hall of Fame Tuesday, Dec. 10, in a public viewing area on 10th Street between P and O Streets starting at 4:00 p.m. Following red carpet arrivals, the 13th Annual California Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be broadcast live at 7:00 p.m. at https://www.californiamuseum.org/webcasts.