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30th Governor of
California, January 4, 1943 - October 5, 1953

Born:  March 19, 1891, in Los Angeles, California

Died:  July 9, 1974, in Washington, D.C.

Marriage:  Nina Palmquist Meyers (1925), 6 children


Earl Warren is remembered for his years as Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. He also has the distinction of being the only person to be elected three times as governor of California, serving for almost eleven years.


Early Life

Warren was the fifth governor to be a native of California. He was born in Los Angeles but went to school in Bakersfield. He graduated from the University of California and then from Boalt Hall of Law (1914), and began a law practice in San Francisco and Oakland. Warren enlisted in the army during the First World War. He was sent to officers’ training, and left the military with the rank of first lieutenant.



In 1919 Warren returned to California and held various appointed and elected offices, including district attorney of Alameda county (1925-38) and attorney general of California (1939-43). He had a reputation as an effective reformer when he was elected as governor.



As governor, Warren faced the post-World War II population boom in California and the resulting problems in housing, jobs, schools, and medical care. Transportation was also an issue. Warren once called California “a state on wheels” in calling for more highway construction. Warren had a good working relationship with the legislature, and much of his program was passed each year.

In 1948 Governor Warren was the vice-presidential running mate for Thomas E. Dewey in the Republican Party’s unsuccessful bid for the White House. This brought Warren more prominently into the national scene.


Later Years

Warren had announced that he would not run for a fourth term when, on September 30, 1953, President Eisenhower appointed him as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He resigned as governor four days later to begin a 16-year tenure as Chief Justice, remembered for his 1954 ruling on desegregation of schools and his chairmanship of the 1964 commission investigating the assassination of President Kennedy. Warren retired in Washington, D.C. where he died in 1974. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.


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