Orange County is a county in Southern California, United States. Its county seat is Santa Ana. According to the 2000 Census, its population was 2,846,289, making it the second most populous county in the state of California, and the fifth most populous in the United States. The state of California estimates its population as of 2008 to be 3,121,251 people, dropping its rank to third, behind San Diego County.
Whereas most population centers in the United States tend to be identified by a major city, there is no defined urban center to Orange County as there generally is in other areas with one dominant municipal entity. It is almost uniformly suburban, except for some older urban areas such as downtown Santa Ana. Five Orange County cities have populations exceeding 170,000.
It is also a famous tourist destination, as the county is home to such attractions as Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm. It is often portrayed in the media as an affluent and politically powerful region. It is at the center of Southern California's Tech Coast, with Irvine being the primary business hub.
Thirty-four incorporated cities are located in Orange County; the newest is Aliso Viejo, with Anaheim being the oldest. According to The Wall Street Journal, in 2005, Orange County was the second most expensive housing market in the United States with a median home price of $650,000.
A severe drought in the 1860s devastated the prevailing industry, cattle ranching, and much land came into the possession of Richard O'Neill, Sr., James Irvine and other land barons. In 1887, silver was discovered in the Santa Ana Mountains, attracting settlers via the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific Railroads. This growth led the California legislature to divide Los Angeles County and create Orange County as a separate political entity on March 11, 1889. It was named for its most famous product (However, there was already a town by the name of Orange, California that was not named for the fruit, but rather for Orange County, Virginia), but other citrus crops, avocados, and oil extraction were also important to the early economy.
Orange County benefited from the July 4, 1904 completion of the Pacific Electric Railway, a trolley connecting Los Angeles with Santa Ana and Newport Beach . The link made Orange County an accessible weekend retreat for celebrities of early Hollywood. It was deemed so significant that the city of Pacific City changed its name to Huntington Beach in honor of Henry Huntington, president of the Pacific Electric and nephew of robber baron Collis Huntington. Transportation further improved with the completion of the State Route and U.S. Route 101 (now mostly Interstate 5) in the 1920s.
Agriculture, such as the boysenberry which was made famous by Buena Park native Walter Knott, began to decline after World War II but the county's prosperity soared. The completion of Interstate 5 in 1954 helped make Orange County a bedroom community for many who moved to Southern California to work in aerospace and manufacturing. Orange County received a further boost in 1955 with the opening of Disneyland.
In the 1980s, the population topped two million for the first time; Orange County had become the second-most populated county in California.
A spectacular investment fund melt-down in 1994 led to the criminal prosecution of County of Orange treasurer Robert Citron. The county lost at least $1.5 billion through high-risk investments in derivatives. On December 6, 1994, the County of Orange declared Chapter 9 bankruptcy, from which it emerged in June 1995. The Orange County bankruptcy was the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.
In recent years, the county has been characterized by conflict between the older more historic northern and newer southern cities over development, the building of new toll roads, and a recently defeated proposal to build an international airport at the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station that would have reduced operations at the existing John Wayne Airport.
In 2005, a few months after the California Lottery joined the multi-state Mega Millions lottery game, a ticket sold in Anaheim that was shared by seven people won a jackpot worth $315 million, the first time Mega Millions was won in the state. The group chose the $180 million cash option.
Orange County is bordered on the southwest by the Pacific Ocean, on the north by Los Angeles County, on the northeast by San Bernardino County, on the northeast by Riverside County, and on the southeast by San Diego County.
The northwestern part of the county lies on the coastal plain of the Los Angeles Basin, while the southeastern end rises into the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. Most of Orange County's population reside in one of two shallow coastal valleys that lie in the basin, the Santa Ana Valley and the Saddleback Valley. The Santa Ana Mountains lie within the eastern boundaries of the county and of the Cleveland National Forest. The high point is Santiago Peak (5,687 ft/1,733 m), about 20 mi (32 km) east of Santa Ana. Santiago Peak and nearby Modjeska Peak, just shorter, form a ridge known as Saddleback, visible from almost everywhere in the county. The Peralta Hills extend westward from the Santa Ana Mountains through the communities of Anaheim Hills, Orange, and ending in Olive. The Loma Ridge is another prominent feature, running parallel to the Santa Ana Mountains through the central part of the county, separated from the taller mountains to the east by Santiago Canyon.
The Santa Ana River is the county's principal watercourse, flowing through the middle of the county from Northeast to Southwest. Its major tributary to the South and East is Santiago Creek. Other watercourses within the county include Aliso Creek, San Juan Creek, and Horsethief Creek. In the North, the San Gabriel River also briefly crosses into Orange County and exits into the Pacific on the Los Angeles-Orange County line between the cities of Long Beach and Seal Beach. Laguna Beach is home to the county's only natural lakes, Laguna Lakes, which are formed by water rising up against an underground fault.
Residents sometimes figuratively divide the county into "North orange County" and "South County" (meaning Northwest and Southeast --following the county's natural diagonal orientation along the local coastline). This is more of a cultural and demographic distinction perpetuated by the popular television shows "The OC" and "Laguna Beach," between the older areas closer to Los Angeles, and the more affluent and recently developed areas to the South and East. A transition between older and newer development may be considered to exist roughly parallel to State Route 55 (aka the Costa Mesa Freeway). This transition is accentuated by large flanking tracts of sparsely developed area occupied until recent years by agriculture and military airfields.
While there is a natural topographical Northeast-to-Southwest transition from inland elevations to the lower coastal band, there is no formal geographical division between North and South County. Perpendicular to that gradient, the Santa Ana River roughly divides the county between northwestern and southeastern sectors (about 40% to 60% respectively, by area), but does not represent any apparent economic, political or cultural differences, nor does it significantly affect distribution of travel, housing, commerce, industry or agriculture from one side to the other.
According to Census Bureau's 2006 American Community Survey the racial or ethnic makeup of the county was 64.76% White (46.92% White Non-Hispanic), 16.05% Asian, 0.33% Pacific Islander, 1.72% African American, 0.38% Native American, 14.32% from other races, and 2.44% from two or more races. 32.89% of the population were Hispanic of any race. 30.49% of the population was foreign born.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,846,289 people, 935,287 households, and 667,794 families residing in the county, making Orange County the second most populous county in California. The population density was 1,392/km² (3,606/sq mi). There were 969,484 housing units at an average density of 474/km² (1,228/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 64.81% White, 13.59% Asian, 1.67% African American, 0.70% Native American, 0.31% Pacific Islander, 14.80% from other races, and 4.12% from two or more races. 30.76% are Hispanic or Latino of any race. 8.9% were of German, 6.9% English and 6.0% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000. 58.6% spoke English, 25.3% Spanish, 4.7% Vietnamese, 1.9% Korean, 1.5% Chinese or Mandarin and 1.2% Tagalog as their first language.
In 1990, still according to the census there were 2,410,556 people residing in the county. The racial makeup of the county was 78.60% White, 10.34% Asian or Pacific Islander, 1.77% African American, 0.50% Native American, and 8.79% from other races. 23.43% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 935,287 households out of which 37.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.9% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.6% were non-families. 21.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.00 and the average family size was 3.48.
The population is diverse age-wise, with 27.0% under the age of 18, 9.4% from 18 to 24, 33.2% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 9.9% 65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years. For every 100 females there were 99.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.7 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $61,899, and the median income for a family was $75,700. Males had a median income of $45,059 versus $34,026 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,826. About 7.0% of families and 10.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.2% of those under age 18 and 6.2% of those age 65 or over.
|Santa Ana||One Broadway Plaza||497||37||(under construction)|
|Costa Mesa||Center Tower||285||21||1985|
|Costa Mesa||Plaza Tower||282||21||1992|
|Santa Ana||Macarthur Skyline Tower 1||278||25||(Under Construction)|
|Santa Ana||Macarthur Skyline Tower 2||278||25||(Under Construction)|
|Irvine||Jamboree Center - 5 Park Plaza||263||19||1990|
|Irvine||Jamboree Center - 4 Park Plaza||263||19||1990|
|Irvine||Jamboree Center - 3 Park Plaza||263||19||1990|
|Irvine||Edison International Tower||263||19||N/A|
|Irvine||Opus Center Irvine II||246||14||2002|
|Irvine||Wells Fargo Center||230||18||1990|
|Orange||Doubletree Hotel Anaheim||N/A||20||1986|
|Newport Beach||The Islands Hotel (Formerly the Four Seasons)||N/A||20||1986|
|Newport Beach||610 Tower||N/A||18||N/A|
|Costa Mesa||Park Tower||240||17||1979|
|Newport Beach||660 Tower||N/A||17||N/A|
|Newport Beach||620 Tower||N/A||17||1970|
|Irvine||Irvine Marriott (Koll Center Irvine)||N/A||17||N/A|
|Anaheim||Anaheim Marriot - Palms Tower||N/A||19||N/A|
|Costa Mesa||Westin South Coast Plaza||N/A||17||N/A|
|Orange||1100 Executive Tower||210||16||N/A|
|Santa Ana||Xerox Centre||N/A||16||1988|
|Newport Beach||Marriott Newport Beach Hotel||N/A||16||N/A|
|Garden Grove||Hyatt Regency Orange County||N/A||16||1987|
|Anaheim||Anaheim Marriott - Oasis Tower||N/A||16||N/A|
|Costa Mesa||DiTech.com Tower (Two Town Center)||213||15||N/A|
|Costa Mesa||Comerica Bank Tower (Two Town Center)||213||15||N/A|
|Buena Park||Knott's Supreme Scream (amusement ride)||312||N/A||N/A|
|Anaheim||Disney California Adventure's Hollywood Tower of Terror (amusement ride)||199||---||2004|
|Anaheim||Anaheim Convention Center|
Other notable structures include the Ronald Reagan Federal Building and Courthouse in Santa Ana, the largest building in the county; the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, the largest house of worship in California; the historic Balboa Pavilion in Newport Beach; the Huntington Beach Pier; and the restored Mission San Juan Capistrano.
Some of the most exclusive (and expensive) neighborhoods in the U.S. are located here, many along the Orange County Coast, and some in north Orange County. Historical points of interest include Mission San Juan Capistrano (destination of migrating swallows), and the Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Museum in Yorba Linda. The Nixon Home is a National Historic Landmark, as is the home of a very different character, Madam Helena Modjeska, in Modjeska Canyon on Santiago Creek.
Since the premiere in fall 2003 of the hit FOX series The OC, and the 2007 Bravo series "The Real Housewives of Orange County" tourism has increased with travelers from across the globe hoping to see the sights seen in the show. However, the former was not filmed anywhere in Orange County.
It should be noted that among the Christian population, the majority of the population with German ancestry follows the various Protestant denominations while the ethnic Irish, Hispanic, Vietnamese and other populations follow Roman Catholicism. There are about 1.04 million Catholics in Orange County Also, there are about 35 synagogues to serve the sizeable Jewish community in the county.
Orange County is the place in which Kim Stanley Robinson's Three Californias Trilogy is set. These books depict three different futures of the Orange County (survivors of a nuclear war in The Wild Shore, a developer's dream gone mad in The Gold Coast, and an ecotopian utopia in Pacific Edge). Philip K. Dick's novel A Scanner Darkly was also set in Orange County.
From his first novel, "Laguna Heat," to more recent books such as "California Girl," mystery-writer T. Jefferson Parker has set many of his novels in Orange County.
Orange County has also been used as a shooting location for several films and television programs. Examples of movies at least partially shot in Orange County are Tom Hanks's That Thing You Do, the Coen Brothers' The Man Who Wasn't There, and the Martin Lawrence movie Big Momma's House. All three of which were filmed in or around the Old Towne Plaza in the City of Orange.
The Major League Baseball team in Orange County is the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who won the World Series in 2002. In 2005, new owner Arte Moreno wanted to change its name back to the original "Los Angeles" in order to better tap into the Los Angeles media market, the second largest in the country, which includes Orange County. However, the standing agreement with the city of Anaheim demanded that they have "Anaheim" in the name, so they became the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. This name change was hotly disputed by the city of Anaheim and the Los Angeles Dodgers, who wanted sole possession of the title "Los Angeles," but the change stood and still stands today, which prompted a lawsuit by the City of Anaheim against Angels owner Arte Moreno, and the city lost. It has been widely unpopular in Orange County , although attendance has increased.
The county's National Hockey League team, the Anaheim Ducks, won the 2007 Stanley Cup beating the Ottawa Senators. They also came close to winning the 2003 Stanley Cup finals after winning three games in a seven-game series against the New Jersey Devils.
The Orange County Flyers are a Golden Baseball League team based in Fullerton, California. The league is not affiliated with Major League Baseball. The Flyers were sold on March 21, 2007 to an Orange County investment group, making them the first Golden Baseball League team to ever be sold. Before their sale, the Flyers were called the Fullerton Flyers, but on March 28, 2007 they became the Orange County Flyers; they kept their team colors (blue and orange) and home games are still played at Cal State Fullerton's Goodwin Field.
The Orange County Blue Star is a USL Premier Development League soccer club. They play at Orange Coast College. Among those who have played for OCBS are Jürgen Klinsmann, the former German star and Germany's 2006 World Cup coach, who played under an assumed name.
Orange County Roller Girls - an All Female Flat Track Roller Derby League formed in 2006 and actively plays (bouts) at various locations in Orange County. Many of the leagues bouts are played against teams from other cities throughout the United States.
The L.A. Salsa played at Cal State Fullerton's Titan Stadium in 1993-94 in the American Professional Soccer League (APSL), at the time the top soccer league in the U.S. The Salsa, whose general manager was former Cosmos star Ricky Davis and its coach former Brazil star Rildo Menezes, also played some games at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park, California, attempting a season in Mexico's second-tier Primera A Division. That attempt was cancelled after several games when FIFA and CONCACAF ruled a club could not play in two leagues in separate countries. The Salsa lost to the Colorado Foxes in the 1993 APSL final at Cal State Fullerton.
The county was the home of the Orange County Buzz basketball team of the American Basketball Association (ABA). In May 2006, the NBA Development League's L.A. Clippers-affiliated team announced their move to Carson, California.
Anaheim was also the home of the prior American Basketball Association franchise known as the Anaheim Amigos in the mid-sixties.
The Southern California Sun was an American football team based out of Anaheim that played in the World Football League in 1974 and 1975. Their records were 13-7 in 1974 and 7-5 in 1975. Their home stadium was Anaheim Stadium.
Seven other public officials are elected at-large: the County Assessor, Auditor-Controller, Clerk-Recorder, District Attorney, Sheriff-Coroner, Treasurer-Tax Collector and Public Administrator. Since 2008, the Orange County Sheriff's Department has been led by Sheriff-Coroner Sandra Hutchens. Her predecessor, Mike Carona, resigned earlier in the year to defend himself against corruption charges.
|2004||59.7% 641,832||39.0% 419,239||1.3% 14,328|
|2000||55.8% 541,299||40.4% 391,819||3.9% 37,787|
|1996||51.7% 446,717||37.9% 327,485||10.5% 90,374|
|1992||43.9% 426,613||31.6% 306,930||24.6% 239,006|
|1988||67.7% 586,230||31.1% 269,013||1.2% 10,064|
|1984||74.7% 635,013||24.3% 206,272||1.0% 8,792|
|1980||67.9% 529,797||22.6% 176,704||9.5% 73,711|
|1976||62.2% 408,632||35.3% 232,246||2.5% 16,555|
|1972||68.3% 448,291||26.9% 176,847||4.8% 31,515|
|1968||63.1% 314,905||29.9% 148,869||7.0% 34,933|
|1964||55.9% 224,196||44.0% 176,539||0.1% 430|
|1960||60.8% 174,891||38.9% 112,007||0.2% 701|
|1956||67.4% 113,510||32.6% 54,895||0.9% 1,474|
|1952||70.4% 77,548||29.6% 32,530||0.7% 844|
In Congress, representatives whose districts are completely or partially in the county include Republicans Ed Royce (CA-40), Gary Miller (CA-42), Ken Calvert (CA-44), Dana Rohrabacher (CA-46), and John Campbell (CA-48), and Democrat Loretta Sanchez (CA-47). In the State Senate, Senators whose districts are completely or partially in the county include Republicans Bob Margett (SD-29), Dick Ackerman (SD-33), Tom Harman (SD-35), and Mark Wyland (SD-38), and Democrat Lou Correa (SD-34). In the State Assembly, Assemblymembers whose districts are completely or partially in the county include Republicans Bob Huff (AD-60), Jim Silva (AD-67), Van Tran (AD-68), Chuck DeVore (AD-70), Todd Spitzer (AD-71), Michael D. Duvall (AD-72), and Mimi Walters (AD-73), and Democrats Tony Mendoza (AD-56) and Jose Solorio (AD-69).
According to the Orange County Registrar of Voters, as of December 26, 2006, Orange County had 1,501,843 registered voters. Of these registered voters, 47.78% (717,546) are registered Republicans, and 30.08% (451,706) are registered Democrats, giving the Republicans a registration advantage of 17.7% (265,840) – or over a quarter of a million voters. An additional 18.19% (273,215) declined to state a political party, and the remaining 3.95% (59,376) are registered with minor political parties.
Orange County has produced such notable Republicans as President Richard Nixon (born in Yorba Linda and lived in San Clemente), U.S. Senator John F. Seymour (previously mayor of Anaheim), and U.S. Senator Thomas Kuchel (of Anaheim). Former Congressman Chris Cox (of Newport Beach), a White House counsel for President Ronald Reagan, is currently chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Orange County was also home to former Republican Congressman John G. Schmitz, a presidential candidate in 1972 from the ultra-conservative American Independent Party and the father of Mary Kay Letourneau. In 1996, Curt Pringle (currently mayor of Anaheim) became the first Republican-elected Speaker of the California State Assembly in decades.
While the growth of the county's Hispanic and Asian populations in recent decades has significantly influenced the culture of Orange County, its conservative reputation has remained largely intact. Partisan voter registration patterns of Hispanics, Asians and other ethnic minorities in the county have tended to reflect the surrounding demographics, with resultant Republican majorities in all but the central portion of the county. When Democrat Loretta Sanchez defeated veteran Republican Bob Dornan in the congressional contest of 1996, she was continuing a trend of Democratic representation of that district that had been interrupted by Dornan's 1984 upset of former Congressman Jerry Patterson. Until 1992, Sanchez herself was a Republican, and she is viewed as having moderate or even conservative positions on many issues.
Republicans have responded to the influx of ethnic immigrants by making more explicit efforts to court the Hispanic and Asian vote. In 2004, George W. Bush captured 60% of the county's vote, up from 56% in 2000, despite a higher Democratic popular vote compared with the 2000 election. Although Barbara Boxer won statewide, and fared better in Orange County than she did in 1998, Republican Bill Jones defeated her in the county, 51% to 43%. And while the 39% that John Kerry received is higher than the percentage Bill Clinton won in both 1992 and 1996, the percentage of the vote George W. Bush received in 2004 (60% of the vote) is the highest any presidential candidate has received since 1988, showing a still-dominant GOP presence in the county. In 2006, Senator Dianne Feinstein won 45% of the vote in the county, the highest margin of a Democrat in a Senate race in over four decades. In terms of voter registration, the Democratic Party has a plurality or majority of registrations only in the cities of Santa Ana, Stanton, and Buena Park (though they are virtually tied with the Republicans in Garden Grove).
The county features prominently in the book Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right by Lisa McGirr. She argues that the county's conservative political orientation in the 20th century owed much to its settlement by Midwestern transplants, who reacted strongly to communist sympathies, the civil rights movement, and the turmoil of the 1960s in nearby Los Angeles — across the "Orange Curtain."
In the 1970s and 1980s, Orange County was one of California's leading Republican voting blocs and a sub-culture of residents to hold "Middle American" values that emphasized a capitalist religious morality in contrast to West coast progressive liberalism that well existed there.
Orange County has a high portion of Republican voters from culturally conservative Asian-American, Middle Eastern and Latino immigrants, many came as refugees from wars and dictatorships, are strongly loyal to policies of the Republican party to defeat communism and radical Islamist terrorism. High numbers of Vietnamese-Americans in Garden Grove and Westminster are also Republican loyalists for the party's anti-communist policies. Vietnamese Americans registered Republicans outnumber Democrats at a rate of 55% to 22%. Republican Assemblyman Van Tran was elected to become the first Vietnamese-American to serve in a state legislature and is tied with Texan Hubert Vo as the highest-ranking elected Vietnamese-American in the United States. In the 2007 Special Election for the vacant county supervisor seat following Democrat Lou Correa's election to the state senate, two Vietnamese-American Republican candidates topped the list of 10 candidates, separated from each other by only 7 votes, making the Board of Supervisors all-Republican.
Many Orange County residents commute to universities colleges in neighboring counties, including Whittier Law School, Whittier College, California State University, Long Beach and the California Polytechnic State University, Pomona, which are next to the Los Angeles County - Orange County border. From southern Orange County, it is also possible to commute to the University of California at San Diego and the California State University, San Marcos. In addition, some institutions not based in Orange County operate satellite campuses, including the University of Southern California and Pepperdine University. Some Orange County residents are in commuting distance of the University of California at Riverside. The county Department of Education oversees 28 school districts.
The bus network comprises 6,542 stops on 77 lines, running along most major streets, and accounts for 210,000 boardings a day. The fleet of 817 buses is gradually being replaced by LNG-powered vehicles, which already represent over 40% of the total.
Starting in 1992, Metrolink has operated three commuter rail lines through Orange County, and has also maintained Rail-to-Rail service with parallel Amtrak service. On a typical weekday, over 40 trains run along the Orange County Line, the 91 Line and the Inland Empire-Orange County Line. Along with Metrolink riders on parallel Amtrak lines, these lines generate approximately 15,000 boardings per weekday. Metrolink also began offering weekend service on the Orange County Line and the Inland Empire-Orange County line in the summer of 2006. As ridership has steadily increased in the region, new stations have opened at Anaheim Canyon, Buena Park, Tustin, and Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo. Stations at Placentia and Yorba Linda are proposed for future construction.
Orange County's first public Monorail line is undergoing Environmental impact assessment. This line will connect the Disneyland Resort, Convention Center, and Angel Stadium to the proposed "ARTIC" transportation hub, in the city of Anaheim.
Additionally, three Bus Rapid Transit lines will be making their debut in 2008. These lines will run along Harbor Boulevard, Westminister Boulevard/17th Street, and Brea to Irvine. The Brea to Irvine BRT route will link Brea, Fullerton, Anaheim, Orange, Santa Ana, Costa Mesa and Irvine. Five major transportation centers will be served, including the Fullerton Transportation Center, the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC), the Depot at Santa Ana, John Wayne Airport and the Irvine Transportation Center.
Orange County's only major airport is John Wayne Airport. Although its abbreviation (SNA) refers to Santa Ana, the airport is in fact located in unincorporated territory surrounded by the cities of Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, and Irvine. Unincorprated Orange County (including the John Wayne Airport) have mailing addresses which goes through the Santa Ana Post Office, which is why they came up with SNA as the IATA Code for the this airport. The actual Destination Moniker which appears on most Arrival/Departure Monitors in airports throughout the United States is "Orange County," which is the common nickname used for the OMB Metropolitan Designation: Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, California. Its modern Thomas F. Riley Terminal handles over 8 million passengers annually through 14 different airlines.
Due to Orange County's proximity to Los Angeles, the entertainment capital of the United States, many film and media celebrities have moved or bought second homes in the county. Actor John Wayne, who lived in Newport Beach, is the namesake for Orange County's John Wayne Airport. Orange County has also produced many homegrown celebrities, including golfer Tiger Woods, basketball players Dennis Rodman and Kobe Bryant , a number of professional ballplayers, including retired slugger Mark McGwire, actor Kevin Costner, comedian/actors Steve Martin and Will Ferrell, actresses Michelle Pfeiffer and Diane Keaton, and singers Chester Bennington, Bonnie Raitt, Gwen Stefani, Jeff Buckley, Marc Cherry creator and executive producer of Desperate Housewives was from Fullerton, and Drake Bell.
The county's most famous resident was perhaps Richard Nixon, the 37th President of the United States, who was born in Yorba Linda and lived in San Clemente for several years following his resignation. His presidential library is in Yorba Linda.