Jerry Brown

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Edmund Gerald "Jerry" Brown Jr. (born April 7, 1938) is an American politician who served as the 34th and 39th Governor of California from 1975 to 1983 and from 2011 to 2019. A member of the Democratic Party, Brown served as California Attorney General from 2007 to 2011. He was both the oldest and sixth-youngest Governor of California as a consequence of the 28-year gap between his second and third terms.

Jerry Brown was born in San Francisco as the son of Bernice Layne Brown and Pat Brown, who served as the 32nd Governor of California (1959–1967). After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley and Yale University, he began his political career as a member of the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees (1969–1971). He was elected to serve as the 23rd Secretary of State of California from 1971 to 1975.

At 36, Brown was elected to his first term as Governor of California in 1974, making him the youngest California Governor in 111 years. In 1978, he won his second term. During and following his first governorship, Brown ran as a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1976, 1980 and 1992. He declined to pursue a third term in 1982, instead of making an unsuccessful run for the United States Senate that same year. After traveling abroad, he returned to California and served as Chairman of the California Democratic Party (1989–1991), attempting to run for the Senate once more in 1992.

After six years out of politics, Brown returned to public life, serving as Mayor of Oakland (1999–2007), then as Attorney General of California (2007–2011). He ran for his third and fourth terms as California Governor in 2010 and 2014, his eligibility to do so having stemmed from California's constitutional grandfather clause. On October 7, 2013, he became the longest-serving chief executive in the history of California, surpassing Earl Warren.

Brown was born in San Francisco, California, the only son of four children born to District Attorney of San Francisco and later Governor of California, Edmund Gerald "Pat" Brown Sr., and his wife, Bernice Layne.[1] Brown's father was of half Irish and half German descent.[2] His great-grandfather August Schuckman, a German immigrant, settled in California in 1852 during the California Gold Rush.[3]

Brown was a member of the California Cadet Corps at St. Ignatius High School, where he graduated in 1955.[4][5] In 1955, Brown entered Santa Clara University for a year and left to attend Sacred Heart Novitiate, a Jesuit novice house in Los Gatos, intent on becoming a Catholic priest.[6][7] Brown resided at the novitiate from August 1956 to January 1960 before enrolling at the University of California, Berkeley, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Classics in 1961.[6][8] With his tuition paid for by the Louis Lurie Foundation,[9] including a $675 scholarship in 1963,[10] Brown went on to Yale Law School and graduated with a Bachelor of Laws in 1964.[1] After law school, Brown worked as a law clerk for California Supreme Court Justice Mathew Tobriner.

Returning to California, Brown took the state bar exam and passed on his second attempt.[11] He then settled in Los Angeles and joined the law firm of Tuttle & Taylor. In 1969, Brown ran for the newly created Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees, which oversaw community colleges in the city and placed first in a field of 124.[12]