California two-term Governor, George Deukmejian, dies at 89

The State of California is in mourning for one of its most distinguished leaders, George Deukmejian

George Deukmejian was the son of Armenian immigrants, and he was to rise to the highest office in one of the most prosperous States in the Union.

Deukmejian ran and won, and was elected governor twice, and was one of the few politicians to be admired by both Republicans and Democrats since his decisions were always for the good of the people with complete disregard for party lines. 

After a lifetime of work for the people of his State, Deukmejian died at 89 on the 8th of May 2018,  at his home in Long Beach. His former Chief of Staff, Steve Merksamer, made a statement in which he announced his death and expressed his sorrow, reported the NewYork Times on the 8th of May 2018.

“He had such an understated manner, you almost missed how pervasive and effective he was in his governorship.”

Kevin Starr, NewYork Times , 2012

In 1983, Deukmejian, who was then California’s attorney general, ran for governor determined to reform the California judicial system, which he felt was too soft on crime. As governor, Deukmejian appointed more than 1,000 judges, many of whom are still active in California’s law courts.

Faced with a vicious recession that had unemployment soaring to an all-time high of 11.2 percent, he pared gubernatorial spending rather than raising taxes on the struggling population. 

Throughout his career as governor, Deukmejian worked quietly and efficiently to change the heavy state bureaucracy and bolster the local economy and investment.

As a Governor and as a man he was universally admired and respected and left behind him a legacy of public works that is unequaled in the State of California.