Historical League Historymakers

Historymakers are men and women who have distinguished themselves with noted achievements in such diverse areas as the arts, athletics, communications, community service, education and entertainment, and who have maintained their ties to Arizona.
Members of the Central Arizona Chapter of the Arizona Historical Society and members of the Historical League nominate living men and women for this honor. The names are submitted to a panel of notable Arizonans, who are of diverse backgrounds, for final selection.

These selected honorees were honored at the Gala on March 4, 2017. The highlight of the evening was a video program telling each Historymaker’s unique life story and accomplishments.

Ed Beauvais founded America West Airlines in 1981 and served as the company’s first CEO. The company grew rapidly and eventually merged with US Airways, which then went on to merge with today’s American Airlines. By establishing Phoenix as the corporate home and operational hub for America West, Ed contributed significantly to the rapid growth of Phoenix and Sky Harbor Airport. He continues to serve as a management consultant for airline and aviation companies.

Wink Crigler grew up on and continues to operate the X Diamond Ranch near Greer. She founded and is the curator for the ranch’s Little House Museum, which displays artifacts from the Old West. Wink was recognized as Arizona’s top ranch manager in 2011 and was named as an Arizona Culturekeeper by the Arizona Historical Foundation in 2012. She is highly respected for her contributions to conservation planning, resource and livestock management, and community service.

The Honorable Jon Kyl served as a Republican in the U.S. House from 1987 to 1995 and in the U.S. Senate from 1995 to 2013. He is a widely respected conservative and is recognized for his expertise in water law. In 2010, Time magazine called him one of the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2014, Arizona State University established the Kyl Center for Water Policy at Morrison Institute, where he lends his expertise and leadership. Today he practices law with the Washington-based Covington and Burling and is a visiting fellow with the American Enterprise Institute.

The Papp Family – Marilyn, Harry and Rosellen – is well known for supporting educational institutions, culture and the arts. The Papps came to Arizona in 1977 when the late L. Roy Papp, a former U.S. director and ambassador to the Asian Development Bank, opened an investment counseling firm in Phoenix. Marilyn and Roy built one of the world’s finest collections of Chinese art and have given significant works to the Phoenix Art Museum. The family’s generosity has benefited many Arizona organizations, including the Phoenix Zoo, the Phoenix Art Museum, the Desert Botanical Garden, Arizona State University, Arizona Theatre Company, Arizona Opera and Ballet Arizona.

Robert Spetzler, M.D., is a world-renowned neurosurgeon. Since 1985, he has been the director of the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix. Under his leadership, the institute has grown from a regional facility to an internationally recognized center of neurological excellence. He publishes extensively in medical journals and is recognized for his innovations in neurosurgery. He also serves as the Chair of Neurosurgery at the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix.

Dr. Warren H. Stewart, Sr. has served as the pastor of First Institutional Baptist Church of
Phoenix since 1977. He is widely known for his leadership in establishing an Arizona state holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was the chairman of the board of the National Immigration Forum and continues to serve on the board. Dr. Stewart also has written several books to provide guidance in building and strengthening African-American congregations and the broader community.

The Historical League has hosted the Historymakers Gala and Recognition Program since 1992 with the purpose of
- Raising funds for education, exhibits, and other programs that assist the AZ Heritage Center at Papago Park.
- Contributing to the museum’s artifact, oral history and photograph collections.
- Increasing public awareness of the 80,000-square-foot history museum.
- Recognizing and honoring outstanding living Arizonans and celebrating Arizona’s statehood day, February 14, 1912.

Meet our Historymakers

Alphabetical List