Gerald Brown (June 4, 1915 - December 9, 2005)

Associate Justice, February 4, 1963 - March 16, 1965
Presiding Justice, March 16, 1965 - June 3, 1985

Born on June 4, 1915 in Chamberlain, South Dakota, Gerald Brown was the son of the first president of the South Dakota State Bar Association and grandson of a presiding justice of the South Dakota Supreme Court. In 1933, he graduated valedictorian of his high school class and came to California to attend the University of Southern California from which he would graduate as a member of Phi Beta Kappa Society in 1937. He received his law degree from Yale University Law School in 1941 and was admitted to the California Bar on December 8, 1942. He then practiced law in Los Angeles with O'Melveny & Myers (1942-1943) and the Santa Fe Railway Company (1944-1947) before moving to Riverside, where he was a member of the law firm of Best, Best & Krieger from 1949 to 1963. Following his father's footsteps, he attended Oxford University in England as a Rhodes Scholar before his move to Riverside and obtained his M.A. in 1949. The Browns were the first father-son Rhodes Scholars from the United States. Governor Edmund G. Brown, Sr. appointed him Associate Justice of the Fourth District Court of Appeal on January 30, 1963. The oath of office was administered on February 4th. Two years later on March 16, 1965, Governor Brown elevated him to Presiding Justice upon the retirement of Presiding Justice Lloyd Griffin. With the creation of Division Two in San Bernardino in 1965, he and Associate Justices Martin Coughlin and Vincent Whelan were the last justices to hear cases for the entire Fourth District. He became the Administrative Presiding Justice for the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District in 1970 -- an office he held until his retirement on June 3, 1985. He twice served as a member of the Judicial Council, 1971 to 1975 and 1981 to 1985. As a jurist, he was renowned for his concise and plainly written opinions; as a Presiding Justice, he was renowned for overseeing an extremely efficient intermediate appellate court. His vast interests beyond the law carried him into retirement, including motorcycling, classical music, lawn bowling, photography and world traveling.

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