Remembering Governor George Deukmejian

George Deukmejian, 1928–2018*

Former California Governor George Deukmejian passed away on May 8 at age 89. Deukmejian was Governor from 1983–1991 and served on the California Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors from 1992–2000.

CalChamber President/CEO Allan Zaremberg, who worked as an advisor and Legislative Secretary to the Governor, issued the following statement:

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of Governor George Deukmejian, one of the most popular leaders in California’s history. Governor Deukmejian’s humility, integrity, and passion for doing what was best for California is a model for all who seek public service.

“He inspired me and many others by his compassion for all Californians, by his commitment that government help those who cannot help themselves, and his empathy for those who suffered political oppression.

“He served the people through his unparalleled leadership on public safety, quality judicial appointments, fiscal stewardship, response to natural disasters such as the Loma Prieta earthquake, and doing the unexpected, including—his effort to create the first assault weapons ban.

“During his time in office, the Governor eliminated a huge deficit without raising taxes, balanced the budget during each of the eight years he was governor, and created a reserve for emergencies.

“His policies encouraging job creation and economic growth resulted in over 3 million additional jobs and one of the longest periods of economic prosperity in state history.

“Governor Deukmejian made a huge impact on the State of California and on the lives of those of us who had the honor to work with him.

“The San Francisco Chronicle carried a wonderful quote about the Governor from his final State of the State address. He said, ‘Like so many others, I became Californian not by birth but by choice. I adopted a state whose opportunities are as boundless as its beauty, whose future is as bright as its sunshine, and whose possibilities are as varied as its people.’”

*1983 Photo by Marc Longwood

In this November 9, 1987 Associated Press file photo, Governor George Deukmejian (right) meets with legislative leaders in his office at the State Capitol in Sacramento. Clockwise from left are Senate President Pro Tem David Roberti; Allan Zaremberg, the Governor’s legislative liaison (now CalChamber president/CEO); Senate Republican Leader Ken Maddy; and Assembly Speaker Willie Brown. AP Photo/Walt Zeboski
Governor George Deukmejian (left) and CalChamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg