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50 Years Of Public Life: A Look At Gov. Jerry Brown's Career

California Gov. Jerry Brown talks during an interview in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018.
Associated Press
California Gov. Jerry Brown talks during an interview in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018.

California Gov. Jerry Brown leaves office Jan. 7 after a political career that spanned nearly 50 years. Here's a look at key moments in the life of the state's longest-serving governor :

— 1938: Edmund Gerald Brown Jr., known as Jerry, is born in San Francisco to Bernice Brown and Edmund Gerald Brown Sr., known as Pat Brown.

— 1955: Jerry Brown graduates from St. Ignatius High School in San Francisco.


— 1956: Jerry Brown enrolls at the Jesuit seminary Sacred Heart Novitiate in Los Gatos and plans to become a Catholic priest.

— 1959: Pat Brown, a Democrat, is elected governor of California.

— 1960-61: Jerry Brown, instead of becoming a priest, attends the University of California-Berkeley and graduates with a degree in Classics.

— 1964: Jerry Brown graduates from Yale Law School and goes on to work at a Los Angeles law firm.

— 1966: Pat Brown loses his run for a third term as governor to Republican Ronald Reagan.


— 1969: Jerry Brown wins his first political race, becoming a trustee for the Los Angeles Community College District.

— 1970: Jerry Brown is elected secretary of state on a transparency platform and helped create California's campaign ethics watchdog through a 1974 ballot measure.

— 1974: Jerry Brown, a Democrat, wins the governorship against Republican Houston Flournoy, the state treasurer, after Reagan decided not to seek a third term. At 36, Brown is California's youngest governor in more than a century.

— 1976: Jerry Brown announces run for president but loses the Democratic nomination to Jimmy Carter.

— 1978: Jerry Brown is elected to a second term as California governor; voters pass Proposition 13, a ballot measure that radically reshapes California's tax system.

— 1980: Jerry Brown again runs for president, but his challenge to Carter is disrupted by Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy.

— 1982: Jerry Brown runs for U.S. Senate but loses to Republican Pete Wilson, the San Diego mayor who later becomes governor.

— 1983: Jerry Brown's second term as governor ends.

— 1983-1988: Jerry Brown is out of public office, traveling to Japan to study Zen Buddhism and India to work with Mother Theresa.

— 1988-1991: Jerry Brown serves as chairman of the California Democratic Party.

— 1992: Jerry Brown runs for president a third time, losing the Democratic nomination to Bill Clinton in a bitter campaign.

— 1995: Jerry Brown begins dating Anne Gust, a Gap executive.

— 1998: Brown is elected mayor of Oakland.

— 2005: Jerry Brown and Anne Gust are married in a ceremony officiated by Democratic U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

— 2006: Brown is elected attorney general of California, a job his father held before becoming governor.

— 2010: Brown is re-elected as California governor, defeating Republican Meg Whitman to win a third term. He surpasses Earl Warren's record as the longest-serving California governor.

— 2014: Brown wins a fourth term as California governor.

— Jan. 7, 2019: Jerry Brown, 80, will leave office as California's longest-serving and oldest governor.