We are pleased to announce the 2019 Honorees:
Cedric “The Entertainer”
Charismatic actor/comedian Cedric “The Entertainer” is best known for his many crowd-pleasing performances in such hit films as Barbershop, Be Cool, Intolerable Cruelty, and The Original Kings of Comedy, to name a few.
Additionally, on the big screen, Cedric was most recently seen co-starring opposite Chris Rock in the hit comedy feature Top Five; and in starring cameos alongside Marlon Wayans in the box office hits A Haunted House and the sequel, A Haunted House 2.
The multi-talented funny-man has also starred opposite Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks in the comedy feature Larry Crowne; as well as shared the marquee in Cadillac Records with Adrien Brody and Beyonce Knowles.
In July 2006, Cedric’s first-ever HBO Comedy Special, Cedric The Entertainer:Taking You Higher, was the highest rated special of that year for the network.
In November 2008, Cedric made his Broadway debut in David Mamet’s masterpiece American Buffalo…His performance was singled out for critical praise.
Celebrated for his outstanding work over the years, some notable career accolades for the multi-talented funny man include nabbing: THE AFTRA AWARD OF EXCELLENCE IN TELEVISION PROGRAMMING; a record-breaking 4 consecutive NAACP Image Awards for “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series”. In 1994, Cedric received THE RICHARD PRYOR COMIC OF THE YEAR AWARD from BET for his ground-breaking work as host of Def Comedy Jam and BET’s Comic View.
Now helming his own production company, A BIRD AND A BEAR ENTERTAINMENT, Cedric develops and produces feature films.
Cedric’s universal appeal, versatility, and tremendous career successes spanning television, live performances, and film have solidified his standing as one of the premier entertainers in the world.
As a philanthropist, Cedric founded THE CEDRIC ‘THE ENTER- TAINER’ CHARITABLE FOUNDATION which provides college scholarships and outreach programs to enhance the lives of inner-city youth and their families in his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. Cedric has awarded hundreds of scholarships and countless incentives through his foundation.
Hall of Fame wide receiver and three-time Super Bowl champion Jerry Rice is widely regarded as the best wide receiver to ever play in the National Football League, and arguably the greatest player of all time. During his 15-year career with the San Francisco 49ers, Rice won three Super Bowls (Super Bowl XXIII (’88), Super Bowl XXIV (’89) and SB XXIX (’94)) and one Super Bowl MVP. He enjoyed three seasons with the Oakland Raiders, including a Super Bowl appearance and one season with the Seattle Seahawks before retiring in 2005. Rice was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in January 2010, his first year of eligibility.
Rice’s meticulous preparation and work ethic during his 20-year NFL career became legendary. He holds 36 NFL records – a record in itself. Has scored the most touchdowns in NFL history (208) and holds virtually every significant career receiving record, including receptions (1,549), yards receiving (22,895), all-purpose yards (23,546), touchdown receptions (197) and consecutive games with at least one catch (274).
After his retirement, Rice’s celebrity has grown beyond the football field. He finished second in the second season of the ABC hit-reali- ty show Dancing with the Stars and has appeared on NBC’s Deal or No Deal and Law and Order SVU, FOX’s Don’t Forget the Lyrics, CBS’s The Class, CW’s The Game and One Tree Hill, Spike TV’s Pros vs. Joes, ABC’s American Inventor and The Biggest Loser. Rice took his love of golf on the Big Break’s 20th season, leading his team to victory against other NFL Legends on Big Break NFL Puerto Rico. He was a football analyst for ESPN and also co-hosted “Sports Sundays” with Raj Mathai on the San Jose NBC local affiliate. This success off the field and renowned work ethic has appealed numerous corporations to Rice, who is working as a brand ambassador/spokesperson for NIKE, Fanatics and Tri Star to name a few. Rice was recently named the San Francisco 49ers Foundation Honorary Chairman to aid in the foundation’s mission to educate and empower Bay Area youth.
Born in Crawford, Mississippi, Rice did not start playing football until he was a sophomore in high school. Despite becoming an All-State player, Rice was not recruited by many major college football programs and attended Mississippi Valley State University, a Division I-AA school. As a senior, he broke NCAA records for receptions, yards and touchdowns and acquired the nickname “World” because there wasn’t a ball in the world he couldn’t catch. MVSU later renamed its football stadium Rice-Totten Stadium in honor of Rice and quarterback Willie Totten. He was elected into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
In 1985, Rice caught the eye of future 49ers Hall of Fame head coach Bill Walsh who drafted him with the 16th overall pick in the 1985 draft. In only his second season, Rice set the NFL record for touchdown receptions with 22 – a feat even more significant because the season was shortened to 12 games because of the players’ strike. By the late 1980s, Rice had become one of the biggest receiving threats in the NFL, teaming with Hall of Fame quarterbacks Joe Montana and Steve Young to win three champion- ships. After leaving the 49ers, Rice continued to excel, having his 13th and 14th 1,000-yard receiving seasons and scoring his 200th TD in 2002 with Oakland.
During his career, Rice was selected to the Pro Bowl a record 13 times, won the NFL Most Valuable Player Award in 1987 and was Super Bowl MVP in Super Bowl XXIII. In 1999, he was ranked No. 2 in The Sport- ing News’ list of 100 Greatest Football Players – the highest-ranked active player and receiver – and in 2010, was voted the No. 1 player in the NFL Network’s The Top 100: NFL’s Greatest Players.
Rice resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and has four children.
Pete Rose was born April 14, 1941, in Cincinnati, Ohio, one of four siblings. As a child, he was a member of the Order of DeMolay and was encouraged by his parents to participate in sports. He played baseball and football at Western Hills High School. In his freshman year, he earned the starting running back position. In the spring of 1960, he joined the Class AA team where he played catcher, second base and shortstop and compiled a .626 batting average. The Reds, who had recently traded away a number of prospects who turned out to be very good, decided to take a chance on Pete. Upon his graduation from high school, Rose signed a professional contract.
Peter Rose, aka “Charlie Hustle”, is a former professional base- ball player and manager. Rose played in Major League Baseball from 1963 to 1986, and managed from 1984 to 1989. As a player, he had Batting Average of .303, a total number of 4,256 Hits, 160 Home Runs, and 1,314 Runs Batted In (RBI). He was a 17-time All-Star, a 3-time World Series Champion, an NL MVP, a World Series MVP, the NL Rookie of the Year in 1963, and a 2-time Gold Glove Award recipient. He has his Cincinnati Reds No. 14 retired and is a part of the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame.
After retiring as a player, Rose remained with the Reds as the manager until August 24, 1989. He had a career record of 426–388 as a manager, where he ranks fifth in Reds history for managerial wins. During Rose’s four full seasons as manager, from 1985 to 1988, the Reds posted four second-place finishes in the NL West division.
In 1999, Rose was selected as an outfielder on the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. To be selected onto the team, a panel of experts first compiled a list of the 100 greatest players from the past century. Fans then voted on the players using paper and online platforms. As a result, he received the loudest ovation of the All-Century team members from the crowd at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia.
Mike Tyson is a larger-than-life legend– both in and out of the ring. Tenacious, talented, and thrilling to watch, Tyson embodies the grit and electrifying excitement of the sport.
With nicknames such as “Iron” Mike, Kid Dynamite, and The Baddest Man on the Planet, it’s no surprise that Tyson’s legacy is the stuff of a legend. Tyson was one of the most feared boxers in the ring, and one look at his resume proves he is one of boxing’s greats: Aside from having been the undisputed heavyweight champion, Tyson holds the record as the youngest boxer to win the WBC, WBA and IBF world heavyweight titles. He was the first heavyweight boxer to hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles simultaneously. In 2011 Tyson was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame and in 2013 he was inaugurated into the Las Vegas Hall of Fame.
Tyson’s enduring mass appeal owes not only to his incomparable athleticism, but to his huge personality and unrivaled showmanship. His ability to work a crowd extends far beyond the ring- Tyson’s career in entertainment spans everything from blockbuster movies (The Hangover and The Hangover 2), to documentaries. In 2015, Mike worked with director Bert Marcus on a star-studded documen- tary, Champs that examines like lives in and out of the ring of the boxing greats. In recent years Mike has starred alongside Donnie Yen in the well-received film Ip Man 3 and appeared in the Meet The Blacks, A Madea Family Funeral, Kickboxer Retaliation and more.
Tyson is also making a major name for himself in television. He not only starred in his own docu-series on FOX Sports 1, Being Mike Tyson in the Fall of 2013—his most recent project, a Warner Brothers hit animated series, Mike Tyson Mysteries which airs on Adult Swim, recently completed its four year run. In 2017, Tyson joined FOX’s hit series, SUPERHUMAN, which will continue into its second season this summer. Tyson is a New York Times best selling author. He released his memoir Undisputed Truth in the Fall of 2013. He teamed up with writer Larry “Ratso” Sloman again in his second book Iron Ambition: My Life Wirh Cus D’Amato which was released on May 30th, 2017.
Beyond film and television, the world of theater has also Tyson with open arms and monumental success: Over the past three years, he has been touring nationally and internationally with his critically acclaimed Broadway one-man show Mike Tyson: UNDIS- PUTED TRUTH, which also aired as an HBO special. After a successful run at the MGM Grand’s Hollywood Theater, the show debuted on Broadway under famed director Spike Lee on July 31st, 2012. The show has come full circle and Mike continued his hotly-anticipated residency at the MGM in the fall of 2016 and still tours around the country. Undisputed Truth is the raw, no-holds barred life story of the legend himself – as it has never been told before. In the show, Tyson unveils never-before-told stories, peeling back layers of tragedy and public turmoil while unfolding his tale of triumph and survival. In an up-close-and-per- sonal setting featuring images, music and video, Tyson shares the stories of his life and experiences as a professional athlete and controversies in and out of the ring. Theatrical, intimate, and unprecedented, this show will reveal the man behind the myth.
In 2018, Mike began his newest venture as an entrepreneur, opening up Tyson Ranch where he works to create cannabis based products like Copper Gel to help alleviate pain. In addition to entrepreneurship, he’s also started a podcast, HotBoxin where he talks with some of the greatest sports legends, actors and more.
A devoted husband and loving father, Tyson splits his time between Los Angeles and Las Vegas with his wife Kiki and their children.
Richard Merkin, M.D.
Richard Merkin founded Heritage in 1979. Heritage was the first global risk medical group in the United States. Heritage comprises 50 medical groups, 15 urgent care centers, home health agencies, surgeryi-centers, and hospice care. Dr. Merkin’s innovations and research endeavors in an ever-changing healthcare environment has led to the formation of multiple public and private companies. He has been recognized by HealthLeaders Media as one of the top 20 healthcare leaders in the nation, and “Fast Company Magazine” named Heritage as one of the most innovative global healthcare companies for 2012. Seeking cutting edge solutions to achieve healthier outcomes, Dr. Merkin created the $3 million Heritage Health Prize Competition, challenging entrants to create an algorithm that will predict avoidable hospitalizations The competition had 39,000 entries from 41 countries. Dr. Merkin and Heritage Provider Network also sponsor the Heritage Healthcare Innovation Awards that recognize and honor extraordinary healthcare innovations. The competition had 39,000 entries from 41 countries.
Dr. Merkin is on the Board of Trustees at the California Institute of Technology and the Board of Overseers at the Keck School of Medicine, and the cofounder of Faster Cures. He recently developed a six country drug development program supporting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. He has established foundations, initiatives, professorships and the Merkin Institute for Transformative Technologies in Healthcare at the Broad Institute at Harvard and MIT (stem cell research), UCLA (Nanosystem Institute and Neural Regeneration), Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute, the Brookings Institution (Reform and Clinical Leadership for Healthcare reform), the City of Hope (Gene Therapy and Immunology), Beijing’s Tsinghua University, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, University of California San Francisco, Harvard University Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.