Gov. Jerry Brown will induct eight Californians honored for their roles in film, sports, politics and beyond into the California Hall of Fame on Monday night, his last time selecting honorees before he leaves office in January.
This year’s honorees are: Actor Robert Redford; baseball legend Fernando Valenzuela; scientist and mountaineer Arlene Blum; journalist Belva Davis; musician Joan Baez; restaurateur Thomas Keller; former San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee; and Nancy McFadden, a political adviser to Brown and other Democrats.
Lee and McFadden are being honored posthumously.
“These individuals have helped push our state forward, inspiring Californians with their creativity and courage,” Brown said in a statement.
His wife, first lady Anne Gust Brown, helped Brown select the nominees and will join in presenting them the “Spirit of California” medal after a red-carpet presentation.
The hall of fame exhibit is part of the California Museum in Sacramento. It was established in 2006 by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Past inductees include actors Harrison Ford and Lucille Ball, news anchor Lester Holt, Olympian Kristi Yamaguchi, labor leader Dolores Huerta and author John Steinbeck.
In choosing honorees, Brown and the California Museum look for people who have contributed to the state beyond their field.
Among this year’s honorees, former Los Angeles Dodgers player Valenzuela was chosen for sparking Latino interest in Major League Baseball and later serving the Obama administration as an ambassador for citizenship and naturalization.
Blum’s scientific research helped spur the removal of harmful chemicals from everyday products. She has also led all-women climbs of some of the most difficult mountains in the world.
Redford, who was born in Santa Monica, was chosen in part because of his environmental activism.
McFadden, who died in early 2018, served as Brown’s executive secretary and was one of his most trusted advisers. Brown credits her as the driving force between his key policy achievements, including extending a landmark program to limit carbon emissions.