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Edmund G. Brown, Jr. papers

Identifier: 0217


The Edmund G. Brown, Jr. papers comprise the papers of Jerry Brown during his tenure as California Secretary of State (1971-1975) and his first two terms as the Governor of California (1975-1983). Over the course of his career, Jerry Brown has served as the California Secretary of State (1971-1975), the 34th Governor of California (1975-1983), the Mayor of Oakland (1999-2007), the Attorney General of California (2007-2011), and the 39th Governor of California (2011-2019).


  • circa 1971-1987


Conditions Governing Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. Advance notice required for access.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Biographical / Historical

[Adapted from Jerry Brown's website, accessed on July 6, 2020:]

Edmund G. Brown Jr., known as Jerry, was born in San Francisco on April 7, 1938. He attended both public and parochial schools, graduating from St. Ignatius High School in 1955. He completed freshman year at the University of Santa Clara before entering Sacred Heart Novitiate, a Jesuit seminary in August 1956. In 1960, he left the Society of Jesus and enrolled at the University of California at Berkeley. He received his B.A. degree in Classics the next year and then entered Yale Law School, where he graduated in 1964. Following law school, Brown worked as a law clerk at the California Supreme Court, traveled and studied in Mexico and Latin America and then took up residence in Los Angeles, working for the prestigious law firm, Tuttle & Taylor. In 1969, Brown was elected to the Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees, placing first in a field of 124. In 1970, he was elected California Secretary of State.

Brown was elected Governor in 1974 and reelected in 1978, by a margin of 21%. Brown's second term as Governor ended in January of 1983. After his governorship, Brown lectured widely, led delegations to China and the Soviet Union, studied Spanish in Mexico, spent six months in Japan studying Japanese culture and Buddhist practice, worked with Mother Teresa in India at the Home for the Dying, and traveled to Bangladesh as a CARE ambassador of good will during the floods of 1987. Brown again practiced law in Los Angeles and in 1989 became chairman of the state Democratic Party. He resigned that position in 1991, expressing frustration with the growing influence of money in politics, and sought the 1992 Democratic Presidential nomination.

In 1998, Brown ran for mayor of Oakland against 11 other candidates and won in the primary with 59% of the vote. Brown was reelected in 2002 with 64% of the vote.

On June 18, 2005, Brown married Anne Gust in a ceremony officiated by Senator Diane Feinstein. Later the same day, they had a Catholic ceremony at St. Agnes, the San Francisco church where Jerry was baptized and his parents were married. The marriage is the first for both.

Jerry Brown was elected California's 31st Attorney General on November 6, 2006. Brown's margin of victory, 18-points, was greater than that of any other candidate for statewide office. In 2010, Brown was elected for his third gubernatorial term, which lasted from 2011 to 2019.


2000 Linear Feet (2000 boxes)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Edmund G. Brown, Jr., 1985 and 2019.

Scope and Contents / Processing Information

As of 2020, the Edmund G. Brown, Jr. papers are still largely unprocessed due to past restrictions governing access to the collection.

An early inventory of the Edmund G. Brown, Jr. papers divided the collection into five series:

  • Governor's Office, 1975-1983
  • Campaign Office, 1973-1982
  • Personal Office and Residence
  • Secretary of State
  • Institute for National Strategy
  • Title
    Finding aid for the Edmund G. Brown, Jr. papers
    Publish Basic
    Jacqueline Morin and Tiffany Chu
    Description rules
    Describing Archives: A Content Standard
    Language of description
    Script of description
    Language of description note

    Revision Statements

    • 2012: finding aid revision description not supplied
    • 2019 May: Finding aid updated by Bo Doub to include 2019 accrual of materials (boxes A-24-2a, F-39-10a, and F-39-10b).
    • 2020: Finding aid updated by Bo Doub: added to collection-level notes and created new container records using an inventory created by Backstage Library Works.

    Repository Details

    Part of the USC Libraries Special Collections Repository

    Doheny Memorial Library 206
    3550 Trousdale Parkway
    Los Angeles California 90089-0189 United States