Betty White Receives California ‘Woman of the Year’ Honor

by Emily Morgan

Betty White has lived nearly a century, and the actress and comedic icon is still receiving awards. Recently, the state of California announced that White would be the recipient of the 50th Assembly District’s 2021 “Woman of the Year.”

Assemblymember Richard Bloom honored the legend and animal rights advocate with the award on Monday, March 15. The virtual ceremony recognized White and other women from the state in part of Women’s History Month.

“I am surprised and honored to be recognized for Woman of the Year,” White said. “It is good to be 99.”

Before the event, Bloom spoke highly of White, saying, “Betty White is often called a national treasure.” She added, “She is known not only for her prolific television career, but also for trailblazing a path for women pursuing careers in television, and her staunch animal welfare advocacy.”

White, a seven-time Emmy Award winner, was the first woman to produce a sitcom and was one of the first women to work in front of and behind the camera.

“Betty White represents the best of Hollywood and the business of entertainment,” Bloom continued. “A staple on the television screen, she has brought laughter into the homes of generations of families. She is adamant on using her considerable platform to bring awareness to improving the lives of animals, and always with kindness, warmth, and humor.”

Betty White Recognized for Decades-Long Entertainment Career & Animal Advocacy

Although she has a passion for television and film, it seems like it comes second to her love for animals. For decades, White has been an active supporter and advocate for all animals. Even at 99-years-old, she makes sure she continues her efforts in animal advocacy. She’s currently a trustee of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association. She serves as President Emeritus of Morris Animal Foundation, where she has been a trustee since the early ’70s.

This award isn’t the first time the state of California has honored the icon. In 2006, the City of Los Angeles honored her at the Los Angeles Zoo as “Ambassador to the Animals.”

Later in 2010, the U.S. Forest Service made her an honorary forest ranger. The Los Angeles Zoo also made her an honorary zookeeper— two titles she wanted since White’s childhood.

During her 80 year-career, White has earned numerous awards that include eight Emmy awards, three American Comedy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild awards, and a Grammy. She also has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The Guinness World Records gave her the title: “Longest TV Career for an Entertainer (Female).” Reuters named White the world’s “Most Trusted Celebrity.”