Levi, meet Betty. Betty, Levi.

Levi Strauss & Co.
July 7, 2010

It’s not every day you hear our founder Levi Strauss mentioned in the same breath with Betty White.

But this is one of those days.

Both are among those announced today as 2010 inductees to the California Hall of Fame.

Conceived by First Lady Maria Shriver, the Hall of Fame, honors “legendary people who embody California’s innovative spirit and have made their mark on history.”

I’d say Levi Strauss fits that description.

Originally from Bavaria, Levi sailed to the United States in 1847 to join family in New York. He left for San Francisco in February of 1853, just one week after becoming an American citizen.

Twenty years later, he partnered with Jacob Davis, a tailor in Reno, Nevada, who had started making men’s work pants with metal rivets for strength. In 1873 these two immigrants – the tailor and the merchant – combined their talents to create the most American of garments: the blue jean.

Levi is in good company. In addition to comedienne and animal rights activist White, other Hall of Fame inductees this year include governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown, film-maker James Cameron, artist Wayne Thiebaud, tennis champion Serena Williams, stage and screen star Barbra Streisand, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and six others. You can find the complete list at the California Museum website.

As if Betty White wasn’t good company enough, here’s the guy who helped create blue jeans honored in the same event as the guy who helped create Facebook. That’s proof that this California pioneer – and his Levi’s® jeans – have stood the test of time.

Cheers to Levi Strauss – and all of this year’s honorees!