Two More Latinos Join California Hall of Fame
Comedian George Lopez and astrophysicist France Cordova were honored along with ten other state-related celebrities.
"Inspirational," that's how California Gov. Gavin Newsom described the twelve personalities who were inducted into the California Hall of Fame on Dec. 10 at a ceremony in Sacramento, including two prominent Latinos who are proof of the talent and drive of the community in both the science and entertainment fields.
They are comedian George Lopez and astrophysicist France Cordova, who joined writer Maya Angelou and Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, artist RuPaul Charles and cook Wolfgang Punk, among others, in the 13th statewide Hall of Fame ceremony, receiving the "Spirit of California" medal from the governor.
"These members carry within them the innovative spirit of California and inspire us with all they have accomplished throughout their careers and lives," Newsom said.
In thanking him for his appointment, renowned comedian and producer George Lopez, who was born and raised in Los Angeles, said, "There's no place in the world I'd rather be than the great state of California. And he took the opportunity to joke about his roots, saying that "when people ask me what part of Mexico I prefer, I always say California."
Lopez, who already has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was named by the New York Times as one of the 25 most influential Hispanics in the United States, has carved out a successful career in the world of comedy and was the co-creator of "George Lopez," the series that aired for six seasons on ABC, as well as the producer of "Lopez on TV Land. He also participated in Sean McNamara's film "Spare Parts" (2015) about the true story of four undocumented teenagers who build a robot and win a national contest.
Dr. Córdova, who was born in Paris to a Mexican-American father, was unable to attend the ceremony because she was working on a project in Antarctica and her brother attended on her behalf.
"When I think of France (Cordova) I think of inspiration in many ways. She is an incredible scientist, an incredible mother and an incredible sister," said Fred Cordova.
The Stanford graduate astrophysicist with a doctorate from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is the only Latina to serve as president of Purdue University and the current director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), a position to which she was appointed in 2013 by then-President Barack Obama.