Back to former California governors
Earl Warren

Gov. Earl Warren

  • January 4, 1943 - October 5, 1953
  • Republican
  • March 19, 1891
  • July 9, 1974
  • California
  • University of California
  • Married Nina Palmquist Meyers; six children
  • Resigned
  • Supreme Court
  • Army


EARL WARREN was born in Los Angeles, California, on March 19, 1891. He graduated from the University of California in 1912, and earned a law degree from there two years later. In 1917, Warren enlisted in the U.S. Army as a private, and rose to the rank of first lieutenant. After his military service, he served as clerk to the judiciary committee of the California Assembly in 1919, and was Oakland’s deputy attorney from 1919 to 1920. Warren served Alameda County as deputy district attorney from 1920 to 1923, chief deputy district attorney from 1923 to 1925, and district attorney from 1925 to 1929. He also served as California’s attorney general from 1939 to 1943, and was a delegate to the 1944 Republican National Convention. On November 3, 1942, he was elected governor of California, and on January 4, 1943 he was sworn into office. He was reelected to a second term in 1946, and a third term in 1951. During his tenure, the United Nations Charter was signed in San Francisco in 1946, and subsidies were made for child-care centers. Unemployment insurance increased, the state sales tax was reduced, and pensions for the elderly were raised. Warren also supported the internment of Japanese-Americans during his term, a position he later regretted. In 1953, President Eisenhower appointed Governor Warren to the U.S. Supreme Court as chief justice. Resigning from the governor’s office on October 5, 1953, Warren served as chief justice until 1969. He also served on several boards, and in 1963 was the chairman of the commission investigating the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Governor Earl Warren died in Washington D.C., on July 9, 1974, and is buried at the Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.


Official Records: California State Archives

Image source: California State Library: Governors' Gallery

Governors of California 1849-2002

The Political Graveyard

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Recent California Governors