They're among the most talented and gifted men in the Bay Area. And on Thursday, President Barack Obama honored them at the White House.
The president awarded the National Medal of Arts and the Humanities at a ceremony in the East Room. Obama praised each of the two dozen recipients as "figures at the top of their fields."
"All of today's honorees work in an age where the stories we tell and the technologies we use to tell, are more diverse than ever before," Obama said.
Bay Area playwright, actor and director Luis Valdez was praised for bringing the Chicano culture to the stage, film and television.
In addition, Stanford professor and best-selling author Dr. Abraham Verghese was honored for his contributions to the fields of medicine, teaching and writing.