1. News & Issues

Profile of Jerry Brown, California Governor

By

Profile of Jerry Brown, California Governor David Paul Morris/Getty Images

Jerry Brown, California Attorney General:

Jerry Brown, former two-term California governor from 1977 to 1983, was again elected California governor on November 2, 2010. Brown now serves as California Attorney General.

Long admired by California liberals despite his fiscal conservatism , Brown has for decades supported issues as environmentalism and conservation, public education, and lately consumer protections, which he pursued with zeal as Attorney General.

As Oakland mayor from from 1999 to 2007, Brown gained a new appreciation for law and order issues.

Brown made unsuccessful runs to be the Democratic presidential nominee in 1976, 1980 and 1992.

The 2010 California Governor's Race:

Democrat Brown was opposed by political neophyte, billionaire Meg Whitman who made a fortune as CEO of eBay.

The candidates held widely divergent plans to return California to solid economic footings. Brown supported a path that, working closely with the legislature and labor unions, embraced:

  • "Live within our means
  • "Return power and decision-making to the local level
  • "No new taxes without voter approval."

Whitman supported reducing and eliminating business taxes, and replacing thousands of state employees by outsourcing and privatizing state services. She supported development of nuclear energy plants in California.

Jerry Brown on the Issues:

As governor, Brown was notoriously conservative on fiscal matters, especially spending, resulting in a substantial state budget surplus.

Brown's 2010 campaign had dozens of well-developed plans for dealing with vital issues, including:

Jerry Brown's Political Career:

  • 1969 to 1971 - Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees
  • 1971 to 1975 - California Secretary of State
  • 1975 to 1983 - California Governor
  • 1989 to 1991 - California Democratic Party Chair
  • 1999 to 2007 - Mayor of Oakland, California
  • 2007 to present - California Attorney General

From 1995 to 1998, Brown hosted a daily radio talk show program on Bay Area progressive station KPFK.

Personal Data:

  • Birth - On April 7, 1938 in San Francisco to attorney Edmund G. Brown and wife Bernice, the only son of four children born to this staunch Roman Catholic family.

  • Education - Attended private Catholic schools, then Santa Clara University, followed by three years in a Jesuit seminary. B.A. in classics from UC Berkeley, 1961. J.D. from Yale University Law School, 1964.

  • Family - Married in 2005 to attorney Anne Gust. No children.

  • Religious faith - Roman Catholic
Brown's father, who served as state governor from 1959 to 1967, pioneered construction of the California Aqueduct System and grew the state university systems.

Jerry Brown's Unique Persona:

An apt description was penned by American Conservative in 2009: "By turns eccentric and ambitious, spacey and shrewd, Brown has shown more faces in the last four decades than any ordinary statesman: a conventional heir to a political dynasty, a hippie-monkish governor with a taste for visionary ideas, a populist insurgent and talk-show host who rubbed shoulders with the radical Left, a nuts-and-bolts mayor of a corroded California city."

As a young, provocative governor, Brown refused to move into the Governor's mansion or use a requisite limo. Instead, he resided in a tiny apartment and drove a small Plymouth sedan.

  1. About.com
  2. News & Issues
  3. US Liberal Politics
  4. Liberal Leaders
  5. Democratic State Leaders
  6. Jerry Brown Profile - Profile of Jerry Brown, California Governor - Jerry Brown Bio

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.