Jane Goodall named Rose Parade grand marshal

Wednesday , April 25, 2012 - 5:13 PM

Rose Parade Jane Goodall

Chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall embraces a bouquet of roses after being named as the grand marshal...

Rosanna Xia

LOS ANGELES -- In a ceremony Wednesday morning, the Tournament of Roses announced Jane Goodall -- the renowned chimpanzee expert and endangered species activist -- will be grand marshal of the 2013 Rose Parade in Pasadena.

Goodall, who will ride in the 124th Rose Parade, will personify the 2013 theme of "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" which "is about seizing the moment, throwing off the realistic cares of our daily lives and charging forth confidently," said Tournament of Roses President Sally M. Bixby, when the theme was revealed earlier this year.

"I can think of no one whose life has better exemplified our theme and message than Dr. Jane Goodall," Bixby said in a statement. "Dr. Goodall is now an international icon, but it is her passion for discovery and how she has used her celebrity for the betterment of the world that has drawn us to her."

Goodall, who traveled in 1960 from England to present-day Tanzania, continues to research and work on behalf of wild chimpanzees and the environment. She founded the Jane Goodall Institute, a global nonprofit that works to protect endangered species in Tanzania's Gombe National Park.

Goodall, with a stuffed chimpanzee in hand, smiled and made the greeting that she would often make to the chimps in Tanzania.

"It's a surprising honor for me. I was a little startled when I was asked to be the grand marshal," she said. "As most of you know, I spent many, many years of my life with the wild chimpanzees in Africa -- kind of different from Pasadena."

The announcement of grand marshal came early this year -- the last grand marshal, Iraq war veteran and "Dancing With the Stars" contestant J.R. Martinez, was named in November.

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(c)2012 the Los Angeles Times

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