Edmund G. Brown Jr., known as Jerry, was born in San Francisco, CA. He received his B.A. degree in Classics at the University of California, Berkeley in 1961, and graduated from Yale Law School in 1964.
Following law school, Brown clerked for California Supreme Court Justice Mathew Tobriner and worked for the law firm Tuttle & Taylor. In 1969, he was elected, from a field of 124 candidates, to the Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees. In 1970, he was elected California Secretary of State. During his term, Brown helped pass the California Fair Political Practices Act and he personally argued before the state Supreme Court and won against Gulf, Mobile and Standard Oil for election law violations.
Jerry Brown was elected Governor in 1974 and reelected in 1978, by over one million votes.
During Governor Brown’s tenure, California produced 25% of the nation's new jobs. He established the first agricultural labor relations law in the country, enacted collective bargaining for teachers and other public employees, brought about the country's first building and appliance energy efficiency standards and made California the leader in solar and alternative energy. Brown also enacted hundreds of tough anti-crime measures and established the Career Criminal Prosecution Program, the Career Criminal Apprehension Program and the Crime Resistance Task Force.
In 1998, Brown ran for mayor of Oakland against 11 other candidates and won in the primary with 59% of the vote and was re-elected in 2002 with 64% of the vote. Mayor Brown accomplished three major goals: reducing crime over 30 percent, revitalizing downtown with 10,000 new housing units and establishing public charter schools.
Brown personally founded the Oakland School for the Arts and the Oakland Military Institute. Both schools serve students from the 6th grade through the 12th and are among the best performing schools in Oakland.
In January 2007, Brown was sworn-in as California’s 31st Attorney General after winning the election by the the largest margin of victory of any statewide race except the U.S. Senate. In addition to the constitutional responsibilities as chief law enforcement officer of the state, Attorney General Brown is carrying out three top priorities: protecting the environment, fighting crime, and defending workers from exploitation.
Brown has stood up to the federal government for failing to set greenhouse gas emissions limits on aircraft, ocean-going vessels and motor vehicles. Brown's Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement has cracked down on vicious street gangs that were extensively trafficking guns and drugs across California. Last year, Brown and Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton seized 541 guns from 1,000 dangerous individuals barred from firearms possession because of violent felony convictions. Brown has also recently sued construction and janitorial companies for exploiting their workers, denying mandatory benefits, and paying below minimum wage.