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10 Native San Franciscans

Posted: 06/07/2012 6:12 pm

A lot of people move to and through San Francisco. Let's note 10 who were born here.

JERRY GARCIA

Maybe no individual inhabits the latter 20th Century San Francisco aesthetic better than Jerry Garcia, maybe because he invented it. Free form, soulful, stoned, and maybe a little sad, this guy put Haight/Ashbury, the jam band, and tie-dye on the map. Pioneered the phenomenon of not caring about money while driving a BMW 7-series.

San Francisco Attribute: He's Jerry Garcia, dammit.

JACK LONDON

Jack London, born John Griffith Chaney in 1876, near Third and Brannon Streets, was the real deal. As many a San Franciscan aspires to do, London found phenomenal success as a writer of critically acclaimed fiction as well as important non-fiction. He enjoyed exploring nature, revered animals, and advocated fervently for workers rights, unions and socialism. He also built a big fancy house in Hawaii and enjoyed trips to Hawaii and Bohemian Grove.

San Francisco Attribute: Rich Socialist.

STEVE JOBS

What hasn't been said about this guy? Innovator on a par with Edison. Industrialist on a par with Ford. Titan of computing, music distribution, film and telecommunications. Original hipster a-hole with big ideas, a bigger attitude and disdain for you.

San Francisco Attribute: Millionaire on acid.

JERRY BROWN

If you've come to San Francisco from somewhere else, you might find yourself thinking that we're not as freaky as our reputation led you to believe. We're not predominantly socialist or even all that touchy-feely. Whatever it once was, the San Francisco establishment reflects a fairly centrist, pragmatic, cerebral, buttoned-down zeitgeist (see also: Dianne Feinstein). And though outsiders once called him Governor Moonbeam, Jerry is, and always has been, the perfect embodiment if the City's real ethos.

San Francisco Attribute: Not as liberal as we'd like.

ANSEL ADAMS

This guy loved our natural surroundings so much he actually made Yosemite and Big Sur look better in photographs. With his white beard, beatific smile and glint in his eye, he looks how an old San Francisco dude should: having a good time and happy to be outside.

San Francisco Attribute: Often looks stoned.

STEPHEN BREYER

There are only nine Supreme Court Justices and native San Franciscan Stephen Breyer has sat on the bench since 1994. Son of a legal counsel to the San Francisco Board of Education, Justice Breyer graduated from Lowell High School and Stanford. He has cast votes in support of Al Gore in 2000, Roe v. Wade and gun control. Like San Francisco itself, Justice Breyer has been referred to as "mostly liberal."

San Francisco attribute: Married to a psychologist

MARGARET CHO

Sometimes San Francisco lives up to its reputation and, if it were a person, it might look like Margaret Cho: Asian, heavily tattooed and smiling wryly. A graduate of San Francisco School of the Arts, Cho is loud, bawdy, sex-positive, and sometimes a little angry. She is a longtime friend to the LGBT community and active in campaigning for civil and human rights.

San Francisco Attribute: Has served on the board of Good Vibrations

BUGS BUNNY (MEL BLANC)

It may be easy to forget, but Bugs Bunny was a bigger TV star than Miley Cyrus, a more recognizable cultural icon than Justin Beiber, and more subversive than Bart Simpson and Stewey combined. He was a scourge of hunters, a lover of opera and a sarcastic wise-cracker. He preferred his carrots straight from the garden and would have fit right in as a San Franciscan. The man who gave him his voice, Mel Blanc, was born here in 1908.

San Francisco Attribute: Cross dresser

MONICA LEWINSKY

She might have grown up in, and embodied attributes of, LA but it turns out this Oval Office seductress was born here in SF. Do people under the age of 25 even know who she is?

San Francisco Attribute: Leans Democrat

O.J. SIMPSON

One of the greatest running backs in football history, OJ was the first player to rush for 2,000 yards in one season (when a season was 14 games) and from 1972 to 1976, he averaged 1,540 rushing yards per season and 5.1 yards per carry. Take that, passing game. He started his football career at Galileo High School (where likely there isn't even a picture of him in the lobby) and ended it with the 49ers. But, as with Monica Lewinsky, San Franciscans are happy to credit LA as his home.

San Francisco Attribute: Simmering anger, sense of entitlement, narcissist.

 
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