Meet the 8 Notables to Be Inducted in the California Hall of Fame

This year’s class includes Robert Redford, Joan Baez and chef Thomas Keller.

Governor Jerry Brown, in partnership with the California Museum, announced the 12th class of inductees into the California Hall of Fame. The new inductees will join 113 inspirational Californians previously inducted for embodying the state’s spirit of innovation.

The inductees of the California Hall of Fame 12th class are: musician Joan Baez; mountaineer and scientist Arlene Blum; journalist Belva Davis; chef Thomas Keller; former San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee; public servant Nancy McFadden; Hollywood icon and environmentalist Robert Redford and former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Fernando Valenzuela.

“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,” said Governor Brown.

California Hall of Fame inductees are selected by the Governor and First Lady for achievements and contributions in areas including science, philanthropy, sports, business, entertainment, the arts, literature, technology, activism and politics.

“I’m proud of the State of California, which thinks outside the box, is outspoken about truth and lies, and is a safe haven for thousands,” said Joan Baez. “It is an honor to be inducted along with my fellow honorees into the California Hall of Fame.”

Inductees and family members of posthumous inductees will be presented with “Spirit of California” medals by the Governor and First Lady in an official state ceremony held at the California Museum on Tuesday, December 4 at 7 p.m. In addition, their lives and legacies will be featured in an all-new artifact exhibit opening at the California Museum on Wednesday, December 5.

“We’re thrilled to celebrate this new class with the Governor and First Lady,” said California Museum Board of Trustees Chair Richard Costigan III. “We’re also grateful to lead sponsor Visit California. Thanks to their support, the Museum will continue inspiring more than 120,000 visitors to make a mark on history in the year ahead.”

“California’s ‘Dream Big’ spirit shines brightly in this year’s class of inductees,” said Caroline Beteta, President and CEO of Visit California. “Their innovations have changed the world and inspired millions to look to California to lead the way forward for generations to come.”

Members of the public are invited to watch the 12th Annual California Hall of Fame induction ceremony live webcast on Tuesday, December 4 at 7 p.m. at

More Stories
Music + Culture

Bestselling Writer Jonathan Franzen Finds “Anonymity” in Santa Cruz

The author discusses birdwatching and other observations around his new California home.

Music + Culture

The Monterey County Fair Will Celebrate 250 years of the City’s Founding in 2020

A mural by renowned California artist Jo Mora has been selected for the official poster.