Catherine "Kate" G. Stern was born on November 19, 1910 in New York, but moved with her family to Los Angeles, California during her elementary school years. She attended Los Angeles High School before enrolling at UCLA where she received a B.A. Degree in English with a minor in Psychology in 1932. Between 1945 and 1960, Stern became involved with various organizations. She began her community efforts with the PTA and then moved on to coordinating councils. She volunteered for the Red Cross at their neuro-psychiatric hospital, she was Chair of the Wilshire Coordinating Council where she formed the first Human Relations Committee, and she served as a member for Governor Pat Brown's Advisory Committee. While serving on the Advisory Committee, she was selected as a delegate to attend the White House Conference for Children and Youth in Washington D.C.
From 1953 to 1991, Stern served on the Board of Directors for the Community Relations Conference of Southern California. From 1960 to 1973, she served on the Board of Directors for the Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation Council and as Chair for the Urban Affairs Commission of Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation. She was commissioner of the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations, President of the L.A. County Commission from 1966-1968, a member of the Board of Directors for Regional Planning Association, and Chair for the "Agony of City Conference" and "Agony of County Conference." In addition, she served on the subcommittee for the Citizen's Advisory Council to L.A. County Regional Planning Commission, the Los Angeles City Social Service commission from 1973-1983, and the KCET Community Advisory Committee from 1979-1989. She received the UCLA Distinguished Alumni Award for Community Service 1985.
In addition to her work as a social activist for civil and human rights, Stern also began studying art in 1971 with such notable artists as Robert Bizinsky, Kero Antoyan, and Barbara Hagan. Stern was a member of the Los Angeles Art Association and had over 30 private shows. She was married to Meyer Stern, a former insurance executive, with whom she had two children, Mathilde and Dean. Catherine Stern died on September 23, 2010.