Yolanda Adams
Inducted 2009

Leading with her voice, Yolanda Adams has soared to the top of the recording profession as a Grammy®- and Dove Award-winning singer and national radio show host.

Born in Houston on August 27, 1961, Yolanda Yvette Adams is the oldest of six siblings raised in Houston. She graduated from Sterling High School and stayed close to home to attend Texas Southern University, where she earned a degree in radio and television broadcasting. After an early career as a schoolteacher and a part-time model, she gave up both to pursue her ambition to become a singer of contemporary gospel and inspirational music.

Adams signed a recording contract with Sound of Gospel Records which yielded her first album “Just As I Am” in 1987. In 1990, she signed with Verity Records and released “Through The Storm.” She went on to join the major label Elektra/Atlantic Records, where she blossomed even further with the releases “Mountain High …Valley Low” in 1999, “Christmas with Yolanda Adams” in 2000, “The Experience: Live” in 2001, “Believe” in 2001 and “Day By Day” in 2005. In 2007, she joined the powerful Columbia Records label.

Her list of accolades includes the first American Music Award for Contemporary Gospel Artist, four Dove Awards, four Grammy® Awards, seven NAACP Image Awards, one Soul Train Music Award, and three BET Awards.

Adams continues to reach new audiences daily as the host of the Yolanda Adams Morning Show, which airs weekdays across the nation on urban gospel radio stations owned by Radio One.

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Bill Archer
Inducted 2008

Bill Archer was one of Houston’s leading voices in Washington for 30 years, a champion of fiscal prudence in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 1971, Congressman Archer was elected the successor for future president George H.W. Bush as representative of the 7th Congressional District. He won his first election with 65 percent of the vote and was reelected 14 times. He held the key post of Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means from 1996 until he retired in 2001. He was the first Texan in more than 100 years to chair the House’s chief tax-writing committee.

Congressman Archer was a key player to get the 1997 balanced budget with tax relief signed into law. His initiatives of easing the death tax, expanding IRAs, and providing a $500 per child tax credit for middle-income Americans are now law. He helped extend the life of Medicare and steered landmark welfare and health care reform into law.

William Reynolds Archer Jr. is a native Houstonian and a graduate of St. Thomas High School. He attended Rice University and then transferred to the University of Texas at Austin, where he obtained his bachelor and law degrees. He served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War.

He served as a Councilman and Mayor Pro-Tem for Hunters Creek Village from 1955 to 1962. In 1967, he was elected to the Texas House of Representatives and served Houstonians in Austin for four years before running for Congress.

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Jeff Bagwell
Inducted 2007

Jeffrey Robert Bagwell was born in Boston and raised in Connecticut, but his baseball career made him an icon in the City of Houston.

The former Houston Astros slugger was drafted in the fourth round by the Boston Red Sox in 1989. The next year, he was dealt to the Astros for pitcher Larry Andersen, a trade that changed the dynamics of baseball in Houston forever.

Originally a third baseman, the Astros converted him to first base in 1991, and the change produced immediate dividends, as he was named the National League Rookie of the Year. Mr. Bagwell’s best season was 1994, when he was named the N.L. Most Valuable Player after hitting .368 with 39 home runs and 116 runs batted in. In 1997, he became the first Astro and the only first baseman in baseball history with 30 homers and 30 stolen bases in one season.

A four-time All-Star, Mr. Bagwell hit at least 30 homers and drove in at least 100 runs in six consecutive seasons from 1996-2001. He finished with 449 career home runs, including a club-record 47 in 2000.

In 2005, which would be the last season of his career, Mr. Bagwell played in the Astros’ first-ever trip to the World Series. He retired in December 2006 as the Astros’ all-time leader in home runs, RBI, and walks. His No. 5 was retired on August 26, 2007.

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James A. Baker III
Inducted 1999

Houstonian James A. Baker III graduated from Princeton University in 1952. After two years active duty as a lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, he attended the University of Texas at Austin Law School where he received his JD with honors in 1957.

James Baker served in senior government positions for three U.S. presidents. Most notably, he served as the nation’s 61st Secretary of State under President George H.W. Bush. During his tenure, Mr. Baker traveled to more than 90 countries as the United States faced the unprecedented challenges of the post-Cold War era. Mr. Baker also served as the 67th Secretary of the Treasury and White House Chief of Staff under President Ronald Reagan.

Mr. Baker’s extensive record of public service began in 1975 as Undersecretary of Commerce to President Gerald Ford and continued through the George H.W. Bush Administration where he last served as White House Chief of Staff and Senior Counselor to the President until August 1993. In 1997, Mr. Baker served as the Personal Envoy of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to mediate international disputes over the Western Sahara Desert.

Mr. Baker was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991 and has been the recipient of many other awards for distinguished public service. He has received the Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson Award, Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government Award and the Department of the Treasury’s Alexander Hamilton Award along with numerous honorary academic degrees. In his honor, Rice University has dedicated the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy.

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Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr.
Inducted 1999

Senator Lloyd Bentsen was appointed the 69th Secretary of the Treasury by President Bill Clinton in January 1993. He played a pivotal role in the Clinton Administration’s successful efforts to reduce the federal deficit and increase economic opportunity through international trade.

As Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Bentsen was a major policy advisor to President Clinton and had primary responsibility for formulating domestic and international financial, economic and tax policy, managing public debt and overseeing the Treasury’s substantial law enforcement role.

Prior to joining President Clinton’s Cabinet, the Texas native was one of the most powerful members of the U.S. Senate where he had served since 1971. Senator Bentsen was Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which has responsibility for tax and trade issues. He also served as Chairman of the Joint Committee of Taxation and the Joint Economic Committee. In 1988, Senator Bentsen was the Democratic Party nominee for Vice President of the United States.

Sentor Bentsen began his public service career as a Texas county judge. He then served three terms in the U. S. House of Representatives. In 1955, he began a 16-year career as a Houston businessman, serving as president of Lincoln Consolidated, a financial holding institution.

Volunteering for the Army after graduation from the University of Texas School of Law in 1942, Bentsen served in an intelligence post and later volunteered as a pilot. He flew 35 combat missions in Europe, winning promotion to major and squadron commander by age 24. Mr. Bentsen left the service with the rank of Colonel in the Air Force Reserves and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for Aviation Valor.

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Gordon Bethune
Inducted 2004

Gordon Bethune brought worldwide acclaim to Houston as chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Continental Airlines for a decade. He joined the locally based airline in February 1994 as president and chief operating officer before being named CEO in November 1994 and chairman in September 1996.

Mr. Bethune rescued the financially troubled carrier from a seemingly irreversible tailspin, saving not only the business but also sparing thousands of Houston jobs. Continental went on to thrive under his leadership, winning more awards for customer satisfaction from J.D. Power and Associates than any other airline. In 2004, Fortune magazine ranked Continental the No. 1 Most Admired Global Airline and has also named Continental among the 100 Best Companies to Work for in America for six consecutive years.

Mr. Bethune was ranked among the 50 best CEOs in America by Worth magazine in 1999, 2000 and 2001. Business Week named him one of the top 25 global managers for 1996. In 1997, Aviation Week & Space Technology, along with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum, honored Mr. Bethune with the Laureate in Aviation trophy. A native Texan, he was inducted into the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame in 2003.

Mr. Bethune earned a bachelor of science degree from Abilene Christian University and is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program. He is a licensed commercial pilot, type-rated on Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft and the DC-3. He is also a licensed airframe and power plant mechanic and served as a U.S. Navy aircraft maintenance officer.

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Jack S. Blanton
Inducted 2009

Jack Sawtelle Blanton made his mark in Houston in two activities often associated with the city’s leadership: the energy business and community service.

Mr. Blanton was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, on December 7, 1927, but raised in Houston, where his father, William N. Blanton, was general manager of the chamber of commerce. After attending Lamar High School, he earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1947 and a law degree from the UT Law School in 1950.

That same year, Mr. Blanton began work for Scurlock Oil Company and rose through the ranks to become president in 1958, and eventually CEO and chairman in 1983. In 1988 he became president of Eddy Refining Company.

Mr. Blanton has been a strong civic leader in Houston where he served as chairman of the board of the philanthropic foundation, Houston Endowment Inc. He also served on the boards of the Methodist Hospital Healthcare System, Texas Medical Center, Greater Houston Chamber of Commerce, Houston Zoo and the Jesse H. Jones School of Management at Rice University, among many others.

Mr. Blanton was a regent for the University of Texas System from 1985-1991, becoming chairman in 1987, and was recipient of the Santa Rita Award, UT’s highest honor. In 1997 the University of Texas at Austin renamed its art museum the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art in his honor.

His honors include the Woodrow Wilson Corporate Leadership Award, University of St. Thomas Ethical Leadership Award, Texas Medal of Arts, and the Texas Business Hall of Fame.


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George R. Brown Family
Inducted 2008

George Rufus Brown (1898-1983), an internationally recognized engineer, was one of Houston’s best-known citizens. He and his older brother, Herman, founded Brown & Root, which became America's largest construction and engineering company. George R. Brown created landmarks that shaped the Houston landscape, but his creation of the Brown Foundation is undeniably his most lasting legacy.

In the mid-1970s, when George and Alice Brown added their daughters as trustees, along with Herman’s children, the Brown Foundation was a fledgling institution with a fairly narrow scope. It was up to the next generation to give discipline and shape to their vision of giving back to the community and to execute their commitment to service to others. Nancy Negley, Maconda O’Connor and Isabel Wilson, George’s three daughters, accepted the challenge.

For the past 30 years, these exceptional women have worked tirelessly to help make the Brown Foundation the world-class institution it has become. Their triage of interests – education by Nancy Negley, social services by Maconda O’Connor, and the arts by Isabel Wilson – have ensured that the Brown Foundation has influenced every major cultural institution, and educational and social service initiative in the Houston area.

As of June 30, 2008, the Brown Foundation has made grants totaling more than $1.2 billion, supporting a wide array of institutions and projects.

The city indeed owes the Brown family a debt – to George and Alice Brown, for their vision and spirit of generosity, and to their three daughters, for implementing and expanding the vision so faithfully.

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Dr. Paul C. W. Chu
Inducted 1999

Dr. Paul Chu arrived in Houston in 1979 to assume an academic appointment at the University of Houston. Since his arrival, Dr. Chu has established himself as one of the world’s leading experts in the field of superconductivity. In January 1987, Dr. Chu and his professional colleagues made a landmark achievement in modern science by establishing stable superconductivity at –290 degrees Fahrenheit. Since that time, Dr. Chu’s team has continued to break new ground in the field of superconductivity.

Dr. Chu began his distinguished career with Bell Laboratories in New Jersey, where he performed industrial research. He has won numerous awards for his research, including the National Medal of Science, the Texas Instruments’ Founders Prize and the World Cultural Council Medal of Scientific Merit. Dr. Chu has been elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as a Fellow of the American Physical Society. Dr. Chu has received several honorary degrees from colleges and universities around the world and in 1990, was named the Nations Best Scientific Researcher by U. S. News and World Report.

Dr. Paul Chu has been a leading force in the development of the new and exciting science of superconductivity. His leadership at the Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston has enabled the organization to become a world-class facility producing state-of-the-art scientific research and technology.


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Will Clayton
Inducted 2009

Shortly after Will Clayton moved his burgeoning cotton company to Houston in 1916 he earned the nickname “Mr. Cotton.” But his long tenure of public service extended far beyond even his substantial cotton business.

Born in Mississippi in 1880, William Lockhart Clayton moved to Tennessee in 1886 after the family cotton farm failed. It was there that he became acquainted with Monroe Dunaway Anderson (after whom Houston’s M.D. Anderson Cancer Center would be named). In 1904, they formed the cotton firm Anderson, Clayton and Company in Oklahoma City. Twelve years later, the company moved to Houston to take advantage of the city’s port. By 1936, it was the largest cotton brokerage in the world with annual revenues of $200 million.

As his business grew, so did his national profile. In 1940, he took a leave of absence from his cotton business and delved into national affairs. After a series of federal posts, he was named Undersecretary of State for Economic Affairs in 1943. His greatest achievement was creating the European Recovery Program, better known as the Marshall Plan.

Although Clayton left his post as Assistant Secretary of State in 1947 and returned to Houston, he remained active in international affairs. He supported the establishment of the European Common Market and free economic exchange among all democracies. After retiring from cotton in 1950, Clayton became involved in Houston civic causes. He focused his attention on slums and the concept of replacing them with low-cost housing.

Will Clayton died in Houston on February 8, 1966, at 86. He deeded his family home to the City of Houston and, in 1968, it reopened as the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research.


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Denton A. Cooley M.D.
Inducted 1999

Houstonian Dr. Denton Cooley is known worldwide for his many breakthroughs in medicine, including the first successful human heart transplant in the United States and the first implantation of an artificial heart in the world. In 1969, Dr. Cooley created the world famous Texas Heart Institute located in Houston.

Born in 1920, Dr. Cooley graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Texas at Austin with highest honors. While attending the university, he played on the Southwest Conference Championship basketball team for the Longhorns. He continued his education at John Hopkins University Medical School and graduated with highest honors. As an intern there, Dr. Cooley participated in the first “blue baby” operation with Dr. Alfred Blalock.

Dr. Cooley was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Ronald Reagan. He has also received the National Medal of Technology from President Clinton. Dr. Cooley’s other honors include the Theodore Roosevelt Award, presented by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and the Rene Leriche Prize, the highest honor of the International Surgical Society. Dr. Cooley has received several honorary degrees from colleges and universities around the world. He has been named Honorary Fellow of four Royal Colleges of Surgery and has received decorations from 12 countries. Dr. Cooley is also a member of more than 50 professional societies around the world.


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Jose Cruz
Inducted 2010

Jose Cruz needs no introduction to Houston baseball fans, but the Astros faithful gleefully joined the chorus when Astrodome public address announcer J. Fred Duckett intoned, “Now batting, left fielder, No. 25, Jose Cruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuz!”

One of the most consistent hitters of his era, Mr. Cruz spent most of his 19-year career in a Houston uniform. He had a career batting average of .284 with a total of 165 home runs and 1,077 runs batted in despite playing in the pitcher-friendly Astrodome. He finished his career with 2,251 hits, 317 stolen bases and 1,036 runs in 2,353 games.

Nicknamed “Cheo” when playing in his native Puerto Rico, Mr. Cruz finished as high as third in the MVP voting (1980) and was twice third in the league in batting. He played in more games than any other player in the history of the Houston franchise (1,870) before being surpassed by Craig Biggio in 2001. His 80 triples remains a team record as does his six career walk-off home runs. In 1992, the Astros retired his No. 25.

Mr. Cruz, instantly recognizable for his high leg kick and his aggressive, slashing swing, was an All-Star in 1980 and 1985, a two-time NL Silver Slugger Award winner (1983 and 1984) and led the league in hits in 1983.

Mr. Cruz was the Astros’ first-base coach for the Astros from 1997 through 2009 and remains affiliated with the team as a special assistant to the general manager and by participating in many club-related community events.

He and his wife, Zoraida, make their home in Houston. They have four children: Jose Javier, Shakira, José Jr. and Joe Enrique.

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James DeAnda
Inducted 2007

The late James DeAnda was a trailblazer in the pursuit of civil rights and a tireless advocate for indigent and minority clients.

Judge DeAnda was born in Houston, the son of Mexican immigrants, attended Texas A&M and served with the Marine Corps in the Pacific Theater during World War II.

When he graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 1950, he was one of a handful of Hispanic students. He began practicing law in Houston and in the mid-1950s he moved to Corpus Christi. Through associations with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund and other groups, he became involved in landmark cases dealing with discrimination in Texas’ public education system. In Cisneros v. Corpus Christi ISD, the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a lower ruling that Brown v. Board of Education must be extended to Mexican-Americans.

He was a member of a legal team of four Hispanic attorneys in Hernandez v. State of Texas. On appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Hispanics were deserving of the same constitutional protections as other minorities.

In 1979 President Jimmy Carter appointed him to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, the second Mexican-American named to the federal bench.

After retiring from the bench in 1992, Judge DeAnda practiced law with the Houston firm Solar & Associates. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award for Community Service from the University of Texas School of Law Alumni Association in 2004.

James DeAnda died on September 7, 2006, at the age of 81.


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Michael E. DeBakey M.D.
Inducted 1999

Houstonian Dr. Michael DeBakey has been globally recognized as a leading medical inventor, medical school teacher and surgeon.

Dr. DeBakey joined the medical staff at Baylor College of Medicine in 1948 after several years at Tulane University. Dr. DeBakey served during World War 11 in the Office of the Surgeon General as the director of the Surgical Consultants’ Division. He served as the chairman of the department of surgery at Baylor until 1993. During his tenure Dr. DeBakey gained world-wide recognition for inventing the Roller Pump, which helped pave the way for the first successful heart transplant and ushered in the era of open heart surgery. Dr. DeBakey was instrumental in developing a wide array of modern surgical techniques for strokes, organ transplantation and open-heart surgery.

Dr. DeBakey has received 50 honorary degrees from leading institutions and has published 1,400 scholarly articles, chapters and books on medicine, including his book The Living Heart, which became a national best seller. He also served under President Lyndon Johnson as the Chairman of the President’s Commission on Heart Disease, Cancer and Stroke. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Johnson. Dr. DeBakey also received the Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Research and the National Medal of Science from President Ronald Reagan.


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John and Dominique de Menil
Inducted 2006

John (1904-1973) and Dominique de Menil (1908-1997) were influential figures in nurturing Houston’s cultural life in the second half of the 20th century, helping transform a quiet provincial center into a sophisticated world city.

Born and married in Paris, they moved to Houston during World War II and quickly became key figures in advancing Houston’s cultural institutions. The de Menils were strong advocates of modern art and architecture and brought to their adopted city many of the leading artists, scientists, and intellectuals of the day. They were also deeply involved in Houston’s civil rights movement and in global human rights issues.

The de Menils assembled one of the world’s great private art collections, with holdings of many of the significant artists of the 20th century. After her husband’s death, Mrs. de Menil and Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano created a museum building celebrated internationally for its serenity and attention to light. The Menil Collection opened in 1987.

Over the years, the de Menils provided leadership to the Contemporary Arts Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and to art history programs at the University of St. Thomas and Rice University. They built the Rothko Chapel as an ecumenical chapel. Mrs. de Menil oversaw the building of the Cy Twombly Gallery and the Byzantine Fresco Chapel Museum.

Mrs. de Menil was the daughter of one of the founders of Schlumberger, Ltd. Mr. de Menil, who was from a military family, worked as a banker before joining the oil services company. In Houston he would eventually direct Schlumberger’s worldwide operations.

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Clyde Drexler
Inducted 1999

Houstonian Clyde Drexler is considered one of the greatest professional basketball players of all time.

He began his career as a member of the famed “Phi Slama Jama” basketball sensation at the University of Houston. During his college career, he led the Cougars to their first NCAA Final Four appearance and to their first NCAA Championship game. Mr. Drexler was voted a two-time All-American and was named Southwest Conference Newcomer of the Year in his freshman season.

Clyde Drexler’s National Basketball Association career began when he was selected as a first-round draft pick for the Portland Trail Blazers. He distinguished himself as a top NBA player by leading Portland to two NBA Finals and breaking 12 different franchise records. In 1995, Mr. Drexler returned to his hometown and joined old Cougar teammate Hakeem Olajuwon as a member of the Houston Rockets. The two former Cougars led the Houston team to the 1995 NBA Championship. Clyde Drexler made history by becoming only the third player ever to top 20,000 points, 6,000 rebounds and 6,000 assists in the NBA.

After retiring from professional basketball, Mr. Drexler returned to his alma mater, the University of Houston and signed on as head coach of the men’s basketball team. Aside from coaching, he has also dedicated himself to bettering the community. In 1995, he started the Drexler Foundation, which is administered through the University of Houston and the University of Texas. The foundation was established in 1995 to promote literacy to elementary school students. Mr. Drexler has also been active in supporting educational programs and charities around the country and has served as official spokesperson for the NBA’s Stay in School Program.

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Charles W. Duncan Jr.
Inducted 2007

Charles Duncan’s lifelong commitment to the Houston community extends deeply into the fields of business, education and government service.

A native Houstonian, born in 1926, Mr. Duncan stayed close to home when it came time to choose a college, beginning a long association with his beloved Rice University. In 1945, after two years at Rice, he was called into active military duty as an aviation cadet.

After returning to Houston, he completed his degree at Rice in 1947. Following graduation, he worked as a chemical engineer for Humble Oil and attended the graduate school of business at the University of Texas for two years.

Later, Mr. Duncan joined the family-owned Duncan Foods, maker of Duncan Coffee, which was founded by his uncle, Hershel Mills Duncan. Charles Duncan served as company president from 1958 until 1964, when it was purchased by The Coca-Cola Company. He served as chairman of Coca-Cola Europe for three years, before returning to the U.S. in 1971 to become president of The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta.

Mr. Duncan went on to serve the federal government, first as U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense (1977-1979) before being appointed U.S. Secretary of Energy (1979-1981).

Mr. Duncan returned to the board of his alma mater after leaving Washington and was named chairman in 1982, beginning a 14-year chairmanship during which Rice’s endowment quadrupled to $1.7 billion. Duncan Hall, located one the Rice campus, is named in honor of Mr. Duncan and his wife, Anne. In August 2007, the Duncans donated $30 million to Rice for the construction of an environmentally friendly residence hall.


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George Foreman
Inducted 2004

Native son George Foreman has attracted an international legion of admirers through athletic achievement, religious commitment, business acumen and, finally, the sheer force of his engaging personality.

After a troubled childhood, George Foreman turned to the U.S. Job Corps and boxing to straighten out his life. Under the direction of Charles "Doc" Broadus, who saw promise in the youth’s physical strength, young Mr. Foreman trained to become a boxer.

He fought in the amateur circuit, winning 16 of 18 fights, and at the age of 19 he qualified for the Olympic boxing team. In the 1968 Summer Olympics at Mexico City, he won the gold medal as a heavyweight. The following year, he turned pro.

Mr. Foreman captured his first heavyweight championship title in 1973 by knocking out Joe Frazier in the second round. In 1977, after losing to Jimmy Young, Mr. Foreman experienced a religious awakening and retired from boxing. He became an ordained minister, established a church and the George Foreman Youth Center in Houston, counseled prisoners, and delivered a regular radio message.

In 1987, Mr. Foreman ended a 10-year absence from the ring and won 24 straight fights. In a title bout against Evander Holyfield in 1991, the 40-year-old fighter lost a decision, but gained global respect for his remarkable comeback. In 1994, he scored a dramatic victory over Michael Moorer to become the oldest heavyweight champ ever.

Mr. Foreman served 12 years as an HBO sports commentator, is a best-selling author, and is also a spokesman for various business interests.

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Zina Garrison
Inducted 2007

Arising from local hard courts at MacGregor Park, Zina Garrison became an ambassador for Houston as she traveled the world and back on the strength of a tennis racket.

Ms. Garrison attained the highest levels in tennis in a professional career that spanned 15 seasons, eventually earning a No. 4 world ranking. The youngest of seven siblings, Ms. Garrison was born in Houston in 1963. She started playing tennis at the age of 10 and won the Wimbledon and U.S. Open junior titles in 1981.

She turned pro in 1982, skipping her graduation at Ross Sterling High School to compete in the French Open, her first tournament as a professional, where she reached the quarterfinals. She went on to win 14 career singles titles and 20 doubles titles. Ms. Garrison was a singles finalist at Wimbledon in 1990, a three-time Grand Slam mixed doubles champion, and a women's doubles gold medalist at the 1988 Olympic Games with partner Pam Shriver. She retired from competitive tennis in 1996.

She continues to give back to the sport that has given her so much by coaching Olympic and Federation Cup teams. But most important to her is the Zina Garrison All Court Tennis Academy she founded in 1993. The academy provides Houston’s children the opportunity to succeed at life through tennis by teaching life skills, promoting community service, strengthening educational opportunities and providing positive role models.

Zina Garrison has been enshrined in the Texas Women's Hall of Fame, Texas Tennis Hall of Fame and National Black Sports and Entertainment Hall of Fame.

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Bernard A. Harris Jr., M.D., M.B.A., F.A.C.P.
Inducted 2010

Dr. Bernard Harris believes nothing is impossible and promotes ideals of self-empowerment and self-determination to inspire young people to reach new heights in personal achievement.

An accomplished NASA astronaut, physician and businessman, Dr. Harris is president of The Harris Foundation, a non-profit organization he founded in 1998 to develop math and science education and crime prevention programs for America’s youth.

In 1990, he was selected as a NASA astronaut and flew his first mission in 1993. A payload commander of STS-63, the first flight of the Russian-American space program, Dr. Harris achieved a childhood dream by completing a walk in space, the first African-American to do so. He retired from NASA in 1996 after logging 438 hours in space.

Dr. Harris is CEO and managing partner of Vesalius Ventures, a venture capital firm in healthcare technologies. He has served as vice president of SPACEHAB, Inc., involved in business development and marketing company products and services. He is a board member of some of the leading technology companies in the world.

A native Texan, Dr. Harris earned a bachelor degree in biology from the University of Houston and a doctorate of medicine from Texas Tech. A trained aerospace flight surgeon at Brooks Air Force Base, he completed his residency at the Mayo Clinic and fellowship at the NASA Ames Research Center. He also earned two masters degrees.

Dr. Harris has received numerous awards, including election as Fellow of the American College of Physicians, two NASA Space Flight Medals, NASA Award of Merit, a fellow of the American College of Physicians, and the 2000 Horatio Alger Award.

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Ned S. Holmes
Inducted 2003

Native son Ned Holmes is a long-time pillar of the Houston community, thriving in personal business interests and serving with distinction in leadership positions on important public commissions and numerous charitable, educational and business boards.

Mr. Holmes began his career with Morgan Guaranty Trust Company in New York in 1969 before returning to Houston in 1971 to enter the real estate business. In 1980, he became associated with P&O, a publicly traded company in the United Kingdom involved in real estate development and management in Houston and other major cities. He is chairman of P&O Ports North America, Inc., and Parkway Investments.

In 1980, Mr. Holmes founded Commercial Bancshares, Inc., a bank holding company based in Houston. In 2001, Commercial Bancshares merged with Prosperity Bancshares, Inc., a multibank holding company with 42 locations in Texas, and Mr. Holmes was named chairman of the merged entity.

Mr. Holmes was a member of the City of Houston Planning Commission from 1983-1988. In 1987, he was appointed a commissioner of the Port of Houston Authority, serving as chairman of the Port Commission from 1988-2000. Upon leaving the Port Commission, he was named chairman emeritus. In addition, he served as chairman of the Greater Houston Partnership in 1999 and has been a member of the partnership’s board of directors and executive committee for 18 years. He also serves on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission.

Ned Holmes earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas and received a JD from the University of Texas Law School in 1969.

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Barbara Jordan
Inducted 1999

Barbara Jordan one of the most enriching political figures in modern Texas history.

Ms. Jordan began her political career by becoming the first African-American administrative aide to the Harris County Judge and later became the first African-American woman elected to the Texas Senate since 1883.

A graduate of Texas Southern University in Houston, Ms. Jordan was elected President Pro Tempore of the Texas Senate and served as a Texas Governor for a day on June 10, 1972. Ms. Jordan went on to become the first representative of the newly created 18th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives, the first African-American Texan elected to Congress. As a member of the House, her reputation was that of a skilled politician and forceful, dynamic individual. During the infamous Watergate Hearings, Representative Jordan distinguished herself with her impassioned oratory. In 1976, Ms. Jordan delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention, becoming the first African-American woman to do so in the 144-year history of the Democratic National Convention.

Barbara Jordan received her law degree from the Boston University School of Law and received honorary degrees from 25 colleges and universities. After retiring from Congress, Ms. Jordan became a professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.


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Mathew and Tina Knowles
Inducted 2008

Mathew and Tina Knowles, trendsetters in their respective businesses, are one of Houston’s modern-day power couples.

Mr. Knowles is President and CEO of Music World Entertainment, one of the nation's leading entertainment and music conglomerates. Mrs. Knowles is the innovative founder of the House of Deréon clothing line. Together, they are the parents of entertainers Beyoncé, Solange Knowles and Kelly Rowland.

Houston-based Music World Entertainment includes record labels, artist and producer management, staff producers, artist development, master catalog series, investment and property holdings, including offices in Houston, Los Angeles, New York and London. Mr. Knowles has developed Music World into one of the most successful labels in the world with more than 150 million records sold, including releases by Destiny's Child, Beyoncé, Solange Knowles, Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, Sunshine Anderson and the "Dreamgirls" music from the movie soundtrack.

Mrs. Knowles’ fashion designs at House of Deréon, which was founded in 2005, are inspired by the legacy of her mother, a professional seamstress who created her own designs in the 1940s. The contemporary women’s collection reflects the style of three generations of her family. In 2006, she created another line of clothing, simply named Deréon, aimed at the young women’s market.

Mathew and Tina Knowles, along with their daughters and Kelly Rowland, founded the Knowles-Rowland Center for Youth at St. John’s United Methodist Church in downtown Houston. In 2005, after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, they established “The Survivor Foundation” to assist storm victims. In addition, the family co-sponsors a transitional living center for individuals in need of temporary shelter and housing.

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La Mafia
Inducted 2005

From its roots in the Near Northside neighborhood, the two-time Grammy Award-winning musical group La Mafia has charted a course as one of Houston’s great international ambassadors.

La Mafia was founded in 1980 by Oscar De La Rosa and Armando Lichtenberger Jr .at Henry’s Night Club, a bar owned by the De La Rosa family. Mr. De La Rosa, as vocalist, and Mr. Lichtenbeger, as keyboardist, accordion player and the band’s producer, were joined by David De La Garza III on keyboards and vocals in 1988, Tim Ruiz Jr. on bass in 1996 and Joe Gonzales on drums in 2003. The band’s original name was Los Jovenes.

La Mafia, seeking to expand musical horizons, began touring extensively in México and Latin America beginning in the late 1980s. The practice of Tejano and Mexican-American artists playing in Monterrey, México City and Guadalajara was unheard of before La Mafia. Back home, La Mafia has performed in front of three record-setting crowds at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Since 1993, La Mafia has recorded each of its hits at its own Urbana Recording Studios, including the million-selling “Estas Tocando Fuego” and Ahora y Siempre.” The band has recorded 35 albums and CDs, plus dozens of compilation and greatest hits releases.

La Mafia received Grammy Awards for its CDs, “Un Million De Rosas” and “En Tus Manos.” It also has received eight Premio Lo Nuestro Awards and 12 Tejano Music Awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the latter, ranking La Mafia as the most successful Latin artist Houston has ever produced.

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Bob Lanier
Inducted 2007

Bob Lanier cut an imposing and beloved figure as the three-term mayor of Houston during a period of great advancement in the city.

Mr. Lanier was born to working-class parents in the refinery town of Baytown, Texas, in 1925. As a child of the Great Depression, he was greatly influenced by the idea that leaders should make life better for those they serve.

Mr. Lanier’s history of public service came after successful careers in law, banking and real estate. At the helm of Houston from 1992 to 1998, his actions helped the city capitalize on its diversity, strengthen its infrastructure and improve public safety. He lowered crime significantly, built affordable housing, championed the city’s affirmative action program, attended to previously neglected neighborhoods and laid the groundwork for downtown’s revitalization.

Before his mayoral terms, he was a gubernatorial appointee to the Texas Highway Commission, which he chaired, and chairman of the Metropolitan Transit Authority in Houston. He was a founding member of Houston Community College and chaired the corporation that oversaw construction of the Hilton Americas–Houston, the city’s first convention center hotel.

Mr. Lanier worked while going to college and graduated with highest honors from the University of Texas School of Law. He practiced law for a decade before pursuing his successful business career.

He is a recipient of the Hubert Humphrey Civil Rights Award and the NAACP Texas Hero award. He is a member of the Texas Transportation Institute's Hall of Honor and earned a Bond Market Association Award for his work in finance.

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The Reverend William A. Lawson
Inducted 2008

William Lawson came to Houston to lead a student group at Texas Southern University and wound up guiding one of the city’s most dynamic churches for more than 40 years.

Fresh out of Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Rev. Lawson accepted a position with TSU in 1955 to serve as director of the Baptist Student Union and professor of Bible. He served in that position for 10 years, also becoming director of Upward Bound, a pre-college program for high school students.

A small group of neighborhood residents persuaded Rev. Lawson and his wife, Audrey, to establish a church near the university. In June 1962, Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church was established in their home. From 13 pioneering worshipers, the congregation has grown to more than 7,000 members with numerous outreach programs that extend deeply into the community.

Since the church was born in the infancy of the Civil Rights Movement, Rev. Lawson has been deeply involved in advocacy for African Americans, Hispanics, women and the poor. He was propelled into civil rights when 14 TSU students conducted a sit-in to protest segregation at a Weingarten’s lunch counter. He and his wife raised money to bail the students out of jail. A voter registration program was later launched.

In 1996 he was honored with the creation of a non-profit advocacy agency called the William A. Lawson Institute for Peace and Prosperity, which has established a charter middle school for boys, built apartment units for seniors, and promotes affordable housing in Houston’s Third Ward.

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George Thomas “Mickey” Leland
Inducted 2003

The late Mickey Leland was a six-term Houston congressman who became a passionate advocate to eradicate the problems of hunger throughout the world. A champion for the poor on the home front, he made numerous visits to famine-stricken regions of Africa to draw attention to severe malnutrition and starvation and helped secure congressional approval for relief to refugees in Sudan and Ethiopia.

Mr. Leland was born in 1944 in Lubbock, Texas, but was raised in Houston and earned a degree in pharmacy from Texas Southern University in 1970 and later became an instructor at TSU. He first ran for public office in 1972, winning the 88th District seat in the Texas state house. In 1978, after Barbara Jordan chose not to seek reelection to the U.S. House of Representatives, Mr. Leland won an election to succeed Ms. Jordan in the 18th District of Texas.

In his first term in Congress, Mr. Leland received a valuable seat on the Interstate and Foreign Commerce (later Energy and Commerce) Committee, a post he retained throughout his term. He established the Select Committee on Hunger in 1984 and served as chairman through the remainder of his term.

In additional to his committee responsibilities, Mr. Leland was chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus from 1981-1985. During his tenure he successfully urged passage of stronger sanctions against the South African government.

Mickey Leland died on August 7, 1989, when a plane carrying him and others on a relief mission to Africa crashed in a mountainous region of Ethiopia.

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Ben F. Love
Inducted 2005

Houston is a can-do business town. For decades the go-to banker to get business done in the Bayou City was Ben Love.

As CEO of Texas Commerce Bancshares from 1972 to 1989, Mr. Love successfully steered TCB through the Texas banking industry’s decline and recovery. In that time, TCB expanded from one Houston bank to 80 Texas banks and seven foreign offices.

Mr. Love began his career in 1956 at River Oaks Bank & Trust, where he was later named president. He joined Texas Commerce in 1967, was elected president in 1969 and CEO in 1972.

He led TCB in achieving 65 consecutive quarters of earnings increases and TCB was one of two U.S. banks to achieve the AAA rating from Standard & Poor’s. It was the only “Big Five” Texas bank to survive the 1980s economic downturn. Later, TCB merged with Chemical Bank of New York to become J.P. Morgan Chase.

After retiring, in 1989, Mr. Love’s energy was directed to civic work, including the 1990 Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations and the 1992 Republican National Convention. He has served in various leadership capacities for Texas Medical Center, Greater Houston Partnership, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Rice University’s Council of Overseers, and UT Health Science Center’s Development Board. Mr. Love also served Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera and Alley Theatre.

Ben Love graduated from the University of Texas, later earning the designation of Distinguished Alumnus. He flew 25 combat missions over Europe in World War II with the 8th Air Force, earning 11 decorations, including Distinguished Flying Cross.

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John P. McGovern, M.D.
Inducted 2003

Dr. John McGovern has made Houston a better place for families for nearly 50 years. He has been a noted physician, researcher, educator, historian, author, philosopher, humanitarian, investor and philanthropist.

He moved to Houston in 1956 to begin the McGovern Allergy Clinic, which soon became the largest of its kind in the nation. His skills and knowledge as a clinician, researcher, teacher and scholar of medical history made a widespread impact on the Texas Medical Center, where he taught at six member institutions. He holds 17 professorships, has received 28 honorary degrees and is past president or chief elected officer for 15 professional societies in medicine, science and health education. He has been author or co-author of 252 publications, including 26 books. He has received numerous awards from the medical profession.

In 1961, he established the John P. McGovern Foundation to funds projects that promote healthy living and disease prevention with emphasis on the child and family, primarily in Harris County but also nationally and internationally. The lake at Hermann Park, many exhibits at the Houston Zoo, including the new children’s zoo, many exhibits in the Museum District, including the Museum of Health and Medical Science, and the Texas Medical Center Commons Buildings all bear his name as evidence of his support.

Programs benefiting from his generosity include those assisting the elderly and indigent, halfway houses and initiatives to support more than 50 substance abuse treatment and prevention programs. His efforts to curb drunken driving have been recognized by the Surgeon General.

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Drayton McLane Jr.
Inducted 2005

Drayton McLane Jr. wears a lot of hats, but the one most Houstonians recognize is adorned with the logo of the Houston Astros.

Under Drayton’s leadership since he purchased the team in 1993, the Astros have become one of the most consistently successful franchises in Major League Baseball and have touched countless lives through community projects and the Astros in Action Foundation.

He played a vital role in rallying community support for Houston’s new downtown ballpark, which opened on March 30, 2000. The ballpark is widely viewed as a catalyst for other downtown development. He was also instrumental in bringing MLB’s All-Star Game to Houston in 2004.

Drayton earned an undergraduate degree from Baylor University, where he later was Chairman of the Board of Regents, and a graduate degree from Michigan State. Following his education, he began working for the McLane Company and ultimately transformed it from a small family-owned grocery distribution center into an international firm before merging with Wal-Mart in 1991.

Today, Drayton devotes much of his time to the McLane Group, the holding company for his many diverse companies and the Astros, and to charitable endeavors both in Houston and Temple, particularly the Boy Scouts of America and the United Way.

He has won several significant awards, including the Distinguished Citizen Award, Father of the Year Award, and the Distinguished Leadership Award from the community sector; the Herbert Hoover Award and the Golden Plate Award from the business sector; and Master Entrepreneur of the Year and Baylor’s Distinguished Alumni Award from the education sector.

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Robert C. McNair
Inducted 2010

Bob McNair, a leading businessman and philanthropist, has achieved remarkable success in two arenas many Houstonians hold near and dear: energy and football.

McNair founded Cogen Technologies which became the largest privately-owned cogeneration company in the world that he then sold in 1999. He is chairman of the McNair Group, which includes investment activities in private and public equities, real estate and power plants. He is a member of the Texas Business Hall of Fame and was inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010.

McNair is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of the Houston Texans. Committed to bringing a National Football League team to Houston, McNair formed Houston NFL Holdings in 1998 , was awarded the 32nd NFL franchise on October 6, 1999, returned pro football to Houston in 2002, and hosted Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004.

McNair has served many institutions as a board member, including Rice University, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Heart Institute, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston Grand Opera, Greater Houston Partnership, Free Enterprise Institute, Sigma Chi Foundation and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Bob and his wife Janice have supported a wide array of charitable, scientific, literary, educational and religious organizations through the Robert and Janice McNair Foundation.

Born in Florida and raised in Forest City, N.C., McNair has resided in Houston since 1960. He graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1958 with a bachelor of science degree and was awarded honorary doctorate degrees from the University of South Carolina in 1999 and Baylor College of Medicine in 2010.

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Robert Mosbacher Sr.
Inducted 1999

Houstonian Robert Mosbacher Sr. has been a leading local, national and international business figure for almost 50 years. He served under President George H.W. Bush as the Secretary of Commerce and has been a principal force in the Houston oil industry for decades.

Mr. Mosbacher has served as Chairman of both the National Petroleum Council and the U. S. Oil & Gas Association. In 1987, Mosbacher was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame. Aside from creating his own successful energy business, Mr. Mosbacher has served as a director of Texas Commerce Bank, Enron Corporation and New York Life Insurance Company. Mr. Mosbacher is also on the Naval Academy Endowment Trust Board and Board of Trustees for the George Bush Presidential Library.

A distinguished philanthropist, Robert Mosbacher has twice been Chairman of the Board of Visitors for the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. He co-founded the Model School Program and was Vice-President of the Texas Heart Institute. Mr. Mosbacher has also served on the Advisory Board of the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University. An avid sailor, Robert Mosbacher has won two Olympic-class World Championships as well as numerous other sailing awards.

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Louis M. Pearce Jr.
Inducted 2006

As one of the most ardent supporters of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo for decades, Louis M. Pearce Jr. is always ready for the next go-round.

Mr. Pearce's involvement with the Houston Livestock Show began when he bought a bull in 1939. In 1946, he became an exhibitor by showing cattle. An expert cutting horse rider to boot, Mr. Pearce became a member of the big show in 1948 and was elected to its board of directors in 1961. He served as a vice president and secretary before being elected to a three-year term as president beginning in 1967. Today, Mr. Pearce remains active on the board of directors and executive committee.

Mr. Pearce is also one of Houston's successful businessmen. He and his father owned Waukesha-Pearce Industries, and he took the reins as president of the company in 1947.

In 1970, he was named president of Texas Iron Works Corporation. In 1972, a parent company, Pearce Industries, was formed. Mr. Pearce continues to serve as its board chairman.

Mr. Pearce was born in Houston on February 17, 1917. He went to Houston public schools, graduating from San Jacinto High School, and attended Texas Military Institute. He attended the University of Texas, where he majored in business administration.

A member of the Horse Cavalry of the U. S. Army from 1940 to 1945, he served in all phases of World War II campaign in Italy. He was discharged as a major.

Mr. Pearce has served numerous charitable organizations and has received countless awards for his volunteer efforts.

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Mary Lou Retton
Inducted 1999

Houstonian Mary Lou Retton catapulted to international fame by winning the All-Around Gold Medal in Women’s Gymnastics at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, becaming the first American woman ever to win a gold medal in gymnastics.

She also won silver medals for Team and Vault and bronze medals for Uneven Bars and Floor Exercise. Her five Olympic medals were the most won by any athlete at the 1984 Summer Olympic Games.

Ms. Retton’s other victories include being the only woman to win three American Cups (1983-85), the only American to win Japan’s prestigious Chunichi Cup (1983), two U. S. Gymnastics Federation American Classics (1983-1984), and the All-Around title at both the 1984 National Championships and Olympic Trials.

Mary Lou Retton retired from gymnastics in 1986. Since that time, she has toured the nation as a motivational speaker and corporate spokesperson. Ms. Retton serves as National Chairperson and sits on the Board of Governors of the Children’s Miracle Network.

Countless awards and honors have been bestowed on Mary Lou Retton. They include the 1984 Sports Illustrated Sportswoman of the Year and the 1984 Associated Press Amateur Athlete of the Year. Ms. Retton was the first gymnast and youngest inductee into the United States Olympic Committee Olympic Hall of Fame and the first woman to appear on the front of a Wheaties box. Ms. Retton has also been named one of America’s Top 10 “Most Admired” public figures.

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Sylvan Rodriguez
Inducted 1999

Houstonian Sylvan Rodriguez was a television news personality in the Houston area from 1977 until his death in 2000. The veteran journalist was recognized as a long time anchor for Houston’s KHOU-TV Channel 11. Over the years he has captured the hearts and minds of many Houstonians with his skillful reporting of the news.

During his career, Mr. Rodriguez interviewed every American President from Richard Nixon to George H.W. Bush. He also covered the beginning of the NASA Space Shuttle Program. His coverage of the Challenger Space Shuttle accident in 1986 led to an offer from the ABC Network to become a news correspondent based in Los Angeles. In California, he covered a variety of celebrities ranging from movie stars to Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega. Mr. Rodriguez made several appearances on ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings; Nightline with Ted Koppel; the David Brinkley Show and Good Morning America.

Mr. Rodriguez was active in the Houston community as a board member for the Museum of Natural Science, the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association, the Volunteer Center and the “I Have a Dream Foundation”. Mr. Rodriguez was also on the Board of Governors for the Arthritis Foundation. Through his golf tournaments, Sylvan Rodriguez raised money for the Challenge Center, United Cerebral Palsy, the Tourette Syndrome Association and the Museum of Medical Science.

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Trinidad Mendenhall Sosa
Inducted 2009

Between her business interests and numerous philanthropic and civic pursuits, Trinidad “Trini” Mendenhall Sosa cuts a diverse path across Houston.

Ms. Mendenhall Sosa is the president of Fulton Shopping Center and served as vice chair of Fiesta Mart, Inc. upon the death of cofounders, O.C. Mendenhall and Donald Bonham. She is the founder and chairman of the Trini and O.C. Mendenhall Foundation. She and her foundation have given millions to support the empowerment of women, minorities, and education. Trini lives her deep Catholic faith through the adage of “to whom much is given, much is expected” by providing scholarships for Catholic education and faith-based programs.

Her philanthropy extends to contributing to the building of the Harris County CPS Youth Services Center, the establishment of The Mendenhall Asthma Research Laboratory at Baylor College of Medicine, and a BCM research project which focuses on diabetes in Hispanics.

Ms. Mendenhall Sosa, in 2008, gave the largest gift by an individual donor to the University of St. Thomas, a Hispanic-serving institution, to establish the Mendenhall Achievement Center. Her legacy will provide integrated advising, counseling, and tutoring services.

She serves on the Baylor College of Medicine Board of Trustees, the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s Board of Directors, CHRISTUS Foundation for HealthCare, and the Archdiocese Development Board. She also served the Harris County CPS, the University of St. Thomas, Catholic Charities, Ronald McDonald House, and Houston Ballet.

Ms. Mendenhall Sosa has received numerous awards in recognition of her service to the Houston community.

She is presently married to Frank Sosa. She has one son, Oniel, and two grandchildren.

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Don Wang
Inducted 2009

Don Wang, one of the organizing directors of Houston-based MetroBank, focuses his energy on growing his banking business and giving generously of his time to promote a more culturally diverse community.

Mr. Wang helped found MetroBank in 1987 to meet the financial needs of various ethnic communities in Houston. Mr. Wang serves as board chairman of the bank. He has also served as chairman of the New Era Life Insurance Company since 1989.

Active in a number of business organizations, Mr. Wang has been a longtime board member of the Greater Houston Partnership and Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. He has served as board chairman of the Chinese Senior Estate – HUD Senior Housing Project and also served the Harris County Hospital District, Metropolitan Transit Authority, St. Thomas University and the Export/Import Bank of the U.S.

Mr. Wang has a demonstrated history of community leadership in Houston. He has actively promoted Asian businesses and has played a principal role in building relationships between different communities. He was president of the Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce of North America from 1991-92 and has been active with the Houston Asian Chamber of Commerce.

His many awards include the 1999 International Executive of the Year from the Greater Houston Partnership and Houston Kiwanis Club, 1999 Asian-American Entrepreneur Award, 50th Year Humanitarian Award presented by the National Conference for Community and Justice in 1999, and the 2004 Arrival Award from UH Law Center.

Mr. Wang earned a bachelors of science degree from National Chung Hsing University and a masters in science degree from Utah State University.

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Kathryn J. Whitmire
Inducted 2010

Kathy Whitmire blazed a trail to Houston City Hall as the first woman elected to any City office in Houston. She was voted city controller in 1977 and served two two-year terms before being elected Houston’s first woman mayor and completing five terms from 1982 through 1991. She also served as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Texas Municipal League.

Ms. Whitmire led the campaign to diversify Houston’s economy and market the city nationally and internationally, resulting in new economic growth. During her mayoral tenure, she tripled Houston’s park space and expanded cultural resources while reducing the cost of government. She obtained voter approval of more than $1 billion in bonds for capital improvements and made major upgrades in the City’s public transportation, emergency medical services, police services and wastewater treatment.

Long an advocate for Houston’s scenic environment, Ms. Whitmire received Scenic America’s 1990 Stafford Award for national leadership in beautifying America. She later chaired the Board of Directors of Scenic America.

Since leaving office in 1992, Ms. Whitmire has taught at Rice University, Harvard University and the University of Maryland and has lectured extensively on women’s leadership, local government, economic development and community leadership to audiences throughout the U. S. as well as in many countries in Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

A native of Houston, Ms. Whitmire was educated in Houston public schools. A Certified Public Accountant, she earned Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Science in Accountancy degrees from the University of Houston.

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Ed Wulfe
Inducted 2006

Ed Wulfe has forged a can-do reputation and strong leadership role in commercial real estate and community service.

After graduating from Texas A&M University and beginning his career as a mechanical engineer, Mr. Wulfe migrated to real estate and spent 17 years at Weingarten Realty Investors. In 1985, he founded Wulfe & Co., a commercial real estate brokerage, development and property management firm.

His redevelopment of Gulfgate Center and revitalization of the area generated 2003 Landmark Awards for “Best Commercial Real Estate Rehabilitation/Renovation Project” and “Best Impact on the Community Project.” The company’s renovation of Meyerland Plaza earned Legacy Awards for “Deals That Made a Difference” in 1995 and 1996.

Mr. Wulfe served as president of the Houston Symphony, chairman of the Mayor’s Real Estate Strategies Task Force, chairman of the Mayor’s Main Street Coalition leading the redevelopment of Main Street into a “signature boulevard” and successfully chaired the 2003 citywide referendum to expand Houston’s light rail and transit systems. He also chaired Holocaust Museum Houston and Urban Land Institute’s Houston District Council, and was president of Congregation Emanuel.

He was named a 2006 Texas Legend by Cadillac, received the 2005 Texas Legends Award from the Galleria Chamber of Commerce, the 2005 Exemplary Leader Award from the American Leadership Forum, the 2004 Rice Design Alliance Award, the Park People’s 2004 Leadership Award, and Houston Business Journal’s 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award in commercial real estate. In 2002, he received the American Jewish Committee's Human Relations Award and was Scenic Houston's 2001 Scenic Visionary.

He and his wife, Lorraine, enjoy six daughters and 10 grandchildren.

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John W. Young
Inducted 2002

John Young is one of the most decorated figures in American aerospace history, serving with distinction in virtually every area of manned space flight. Mr. Young is the recipient of more than 100 major awards, including the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1980 and three NASA Distinguished Service medals. He is a member of the National Aviation Hall of Fame and U.S. Astronauts Hall of Fame.

A fixture at Houston’s Johnson Space Center and an active astronaut since 1962, Mr. Young was the first person to fly in space six times, logging more than 835 hours in space. His first flight was aboard Gemini 3 in 1965, the first manned Gemini mission. He was commander on Gemini 10 in 1966 and was the command module pilot on the Apollo 10 mission that orbited the moon in 1969. On his fourth flight, Apollo 16 in 1972, Mr. Young explored the moon’s surface, collecting 200 pounds of rocks and driving 16 miles on a lunar rover. In 1981, Young was commander on the first Space Shuttle flight, which culminated with the first winged reentry vehicle to return from space to a runway landing. In 1983, he led a six-man crew on the first Spacelab mission.

John Young has also served in a series of administrative capacities at Johnson Space Center, most recently as technical associate director responsible for technical, operational and safety oversight.

John Young served in the Korean War and retired from the Navy as a captain in 1976 after 25 years of active military service.

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ZZ Top
Inducted 2006

ZZ Top enjoys the undisputed claim to being the longest running major rock band with its original personnel intact – guitarist Billy F. Gibbons, bassist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard. Known throughout the world as “That Little Ol’ Band From Texas,” the trio’s enduring track record of rock, blues, and boogie paved the way for their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.

It was in Houston in the waning days of 1969 that ZZ Top coalesced from the core of two rival bands, Billy’s Moving Sidewalks and Frank and Dusty’s American Blues. In 1973, their third album, Tres Hombres, catapulted them to national attention with the hit “La Grange,” still one of the band’s signature pieces. It was soon followed by another enduring smash hit, “Tush,” from Fandango! Houston treasured them with Mayor Fred Hofheinz declaring November 27, 1975, as ZZ Top Day, the first of many such honors that would follow.

ZZ Top’s breakthrough album, Eliminator, was released in 1983 and has sold more than 10 million copies in the U.S. alone. The album’s three smash singles – “Gimme All Your Lovin’, “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Legs” – swiftly transformed the innovative musicians into icons. The 15 original albums released since the band’s inception, including Rio Grande Mud, Deguello, Afterburner and Antenna, underscore their rock preeminence.

The trio has sold millions of records over the course of its career and has been officially designated as Heroes of the State of Texas. Through it all, Gibbons, Hill and Beard have remained ambassadors for Houston, the city where their music first began.