The Man Who Mentored Cesar Chavez is Headed to California’s Hall of Fame

By Jamilah King Jun 23, 2014

Like any good community organizer, Fred Ross spent the majority of his life content to live in the background while his protegé, Cesar Chavez, got all the attention. But now, Ross’ son, Fred Ross Jr., is on a mission to make sure that his father’s work is remembered. That work got a big boost with news that Ross will be inducted into California’s Hall of Fame.

Over the last couple of years, Ross Jr. has led a movement to draw attention to his father’s work. Though Ross Jr. was unsuccessful in his campaign last year to get his dad a Presidential Medal of Freedom – the nation’s highest civilian honor, and one that was bestowed upon Chávez and Huerta – he says the Hall of Fame recognition is an important step.

"The effort last year put him on the map," Ross Jr. said. "The California Hall of Fame award is a significant recognition, the most significant recognition his life and legacy have been given."

The elder Ross died in 1992 at the age of 82. He’s part of hte 8th class of the California Hall of Fame, which also includes Kareem Abdul-Jabar, Joan Didion and Francis Ford Coppola.