Long Beach, California , United States
|| July 06, 1928
|Died||May 08, 2018
Dec 29, 2020 07:27pm
Caucasian - Episcopalian -
|Info||Born in Menands, New York, Deukmejian grew up there as well. He is the son of Armenian immigrants from Iran. He graduated a B.A. in Sociology from Siena College in 1949. He then earned a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from St. John's University in 1952. From 1953 to 1955, he served as a lawyer in the U.S. Army's Judge Advocate General's Corps. |
He moved to California in 1955, where his sister, Mrs. Anna Ashjian, already lived. His sister introduced him to Gloria Saatjian, whose parents were also Armenian immigrants. They married in 1958 and had three children, two daughters, born in 1965 and 1970 and one son, born in 1967.
In California, he first entered private practice, but soon entered politics. He was elected to the California State Assembly in 1962, representing Long Beach. In 1966, he moved to the State Senate. By 1969, he was the majority leader in the State Senate. He first ran for Attorney General of California in 1970, finishing fourth in the Republican primary. He won the election for Attorney General in 1978 and served from 1979 to 1983.
In 1982, he was elected to his first term as Governor of California, defeating Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley in the general election by a margin so narrow that on election night, some news organizations had even made early projections of a Bradley victory. He defeated Bradley by a 61% to 37% landslide in their 1986 rematch. Deukmejian served as governor from 1983 to 1991.
Asked why he ran for the office of Governor, Deukmejian replied, "Attorneys General don't appoint judges - Governors do." During his eight- year term, Deukmejian appointed 1,000 judges, and by the time he left office, he had appointed the majority of California State Supreme Court Justices then serving on the bench.