California Governors Gallery 1848 to PresentLoading
  • Peter Hardeman Burnett: 1849-1851

    Peter Hardeman Burnett: 1849-1851

    Born 1807-Died 1895. Burnett signed into law the creation of the state's original 27 counties, including Sacramento. (Richard L. Johnson Collection, 2005/67/08/23)
    Sacramento Center for History
  • John McDougal: 1851-1852

    John McDougal: 1851-1852

    Born 1818-Died 1866. McDougal represented the Sacramento District at the Constitutional Convention of 1849. (Eleanor McClatchy Collection, 1982/005/6422)
    Sacramento Center for History
  • John Bigler: 1852-1856

    John Bigler: 1852-1856

    Born 1805-Died 1871. The 1854 Legislature honored Bigler by naming a lake for him. By 1870, Bigler Lake had been renamed Lake Tahoe. (Eleanor McClatchy Collection, 1982/005/6444)
    Sacramento Center for History
  • J. Neely Johnson: 1856-1858

    J. Neely Johnson: 1856-1858

    Born 1825-Died 1872. Johnson served as Sacramento's city attorney and became the state's youngest governor at age 30. (Sacramento Trust for Historic Preservation Collection, 1998/726/0754)
    Sacramento Center for History
  • John B. Weller: 1858-1860.

    Born 1812-Died 1872. Weller argued that California should become an independent republic if the northern and southern states separated over slavery. (California Department of General Services)
  • Milton S. Latham: 1860

    Born 1827-Died 1882. Latham was 32 years old when elected governor. Two days after his inauguration, the Assembly appointed him to replace U.S Sen. David C. Broderick, who was killed in a duel.(California Department of General Services)
  • John G. Downey: 1860-1862

    Born 1827-Died 1894. Born in Roscommon County, Ireland, Downey was California’s first foreign-born governor. (California Department of General Services)
  • Leland Stanford : 1862-1863

    Leland Stanford: 1862-1863

    Born 1824-Died 1893. Stanford organized the Sacramento Library Association and was one of the "Big Four" builders of the Central Pacific portion of the transcontinental railroad. He was also California's first Republican governor. (Eleanor McClatchy Collection, 1982/005/6384)
    Sacramento Center for History
  • Frederick F. Low: 1863-1867

    Born 1828-Died 1894. Low was the first California governor to serve a four-year term. He advocated the development of a state university system, calling for the use of land grants to expand higher education. (California Department of General Services)
  • Henry H. Haight: 1867-1871

    Born 1825-Died 1878. California’s debt fell during Haight’s administration. He was instrumental in establishing the University of California and the State Board of Health. (California Department of General Services)
  • Newton Booth: 1871-1875

    Born 1825-Died 1892.During Booth’s term, the state’s debt continued to fall and the construction of the state Capitol was completed. (California Department of General Services)
  • Romualdo Pacheco: 1875-1875

    Romualdo Pacheco: 1875-1875

    Born 1831-Died 1899. Pacheco was the first California-born governor to serve the state. (Eleanor McClatchy Collection,1982/005/6376 )
    Sacramento Center for History
  • William Irwin: 1875-1880

    Born 1827-Died 1886. Paper money was introduced in the state, despite Irwin’s insistence that California continue to use “hard” gold and silver currency. (California Department of General Services)
  • George C. Perkins: 1880-1883

    Born 1839-Died 1923. Perkins was the first California governor to serve under the new state constitution.(California Department of General Services)
  • George Stoneman: 1883-1887

    George Stoneman: 1883-1887

    Born 1822-Died 1894. Stoneman advocated for prison reform and rehabilitating prisoners through parole. He appears here with the Native Sons of the Golden West and Sacramento Pioneer Association leaders in front of the Crocker Art Museum. (Eleanor McClatchy Collection, 1982/005/0391)
    Sacramento Center for History
  • Washington Bartlett: 1887

    Born 1824-Died 1887. Bartlett died nine months in office after suffering a severe stroke. (California Department of General Services)
  • Robert W. Waterman: 1887-1891

    Born 1826-Died 1891. As lieutenant governor, Waterman succeeded Washington Bartlett, who died in office. Waterman made his fortune in ranching, silver and gold mining and other enterprises. He showed no tolerance for dishonesty in government and tried to run the state like a business.(California Department of General Services)
  • Henry H. Markman: 1891-1895

    Born 1840-Died 1923. California was hit by an economic depression during Markman’s tenure. To attract new residents to the state, he promoted the successful 1894 Mid-Winter Exposition in San Francisco. (California Department of General Services)
  • James Budd: 1895-1899

    James Budd: 1895-1899

    Born 1851-Died 1908. Budd graduated in 1973 with the first four-year class from the University of California at Berkeley. In protest of the Southern Pacific Railroad, he campaigned for governor by using a buckboard carriage. (City of Sacramento Collection, 1999/X-05/01)
    Sacramento Center for History
  • 20  Henry Gage: 1899-1903

    Henry Gage: 1899-1903

    Born 1852-Died 1924. Gage negotiated the settlement of a major labor strike in San Francisco by threatening to impose martial law if both sides did not compromise. (City of Sacramento Collection, 1999/X-05/01)
    Sacramento Center for History
  • George C. Pardee: 1903-1907

    Born 1857-Died 1941. Pardee was a physician as well as a politician. He championed conservation measures, including the preservation of forest and water resources in the state. (California Department of General Services)
  • James Gillett: 1907-1911

    James Gillett: 1907-1911

    Born 1860-Died 1937. Gillett pioneered the state highway system as automobiles became more and more common. Here is Gov. Gillett speaking at the opening of the National Irrigation Congress in Sacramento, 1907. (Eugene Hepting Collection, 1985/024/3897)
    Sacramento Center for History
  • C.C. Young: 1927-1931

    Born 1869-Died 1947. During Young’s administration, the Metropolitan Water District was created, and classes began at the new University of California, Los Angeles. (California Department of General Services)
  • William D. Stephens: 1917-1923

    Born 1859-Died 1944. Stephens rose from railroad laborer and grocery clerk to become a congressman, lieutenant governor and finally governor. His administration was marred by threats, extortion and bombings. Labor radicals bombed the Governor’s Mansion in 1917. (California Department of General Services)
  • Hiram Johnson: 1911-1917

    Hiram Johnson: 1911-1917

    Born 1866-Died 1945. Johnson was born and raised in Sacramento. He was the first governor elected using the direct primary system. He is pictured here with Charles K. McClatchy of the Sacramento Bee. (Eleanor McClatchy Collection, 1982/005/8000)
    Sacramento Center for History
  • Friend Richardson: 1923-1927

    Friend Richardson: 1923-1927

    Born 1864-Died 1943. As a Quaker, Richardson ran a "no frills" administration at the Capitol and the governor's mansion. He frequently vetoed spending bills, and his efforts left a $20 million surplus in the treasury. Richardson is seen here in 1924 with the Frank Domingo family, recent winners of an automobile at the California State Fair. (Linda Webber Collection, 1997/067/001)
    Sacramento Center for History
  • James Rolph Jr.: 1931-1934

    James Rolph: 1931-1934

    Born 1869-Died 1934. Serving during the Great Depression, "Sunny" Jim Rolph instituted the California sales tax, known as "Pennies for Jimmy." He is seen here with his pet dog. (City of Sacramento Collection, 2005/001/0121)
    Sacramento Center for History
  • Frank Merriam: 1934-1939

    Frank Merriam: 1934-1939

    Born 1865-Died 1955. Merriam assumed office on Rolph's death in 1934. He was well known for fighting corruption in public office, particularly against lobbyist Artie Samish. In this image, Gov. Merriam reviews the display for the California State Fair in the Capitol rotunda. (Eleanor McClatchy Collection, 1982/005/5752)
    Sacramento Center for History
  • Culbert Olson: 1939-1943

    Culbert Olson: 1939-1943

    Born 1876-Died 1962. A supporter of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, Olson accomplished a few reforms, particularly in the care of the mentally ill. He is seen here at Sacramento's Del Paso Country Club with well-known celebrities, from left, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Babe Ruth, c. 1940. (Eleanor McClatchy Collection, 1982/005/5812)
    Sacramento Center for History
  • Earl Warren: 1943-1953

    Earl Warren: 1943-1953

    Born 1891-Died 1974. Gov. Warren would go on to become chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1953. He was also the running mate of unsuccessful presidential candidate Thomas Dewey in 1948. He chaired the Warren Commission, which investigated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Warren poses with his Capitol staff, c. 1944. (Eleanor McClatchy Collection, 1982/005/6073)
    Sacramento Center for History
  • Goodwin Jess Knight: 1953-1959

    Goodwin Jess Knight: 1953-1959

    Born 1896-Died 1970. Knight's major achievements included water conservation and the development of the Feather River Project. (Harry Sweet Collection, 1977/024/081)
    Sacramento Center for History
  • Edmund Gerald "Pat" Brown, Sr.: 1959-1967

    Edmund Gerald "Pat" Brown: 1959-1967

    Born 1905-Died 1996. A California native, Brown achieved a statewide water plan and improvements in higher education. He also ended the practice of cross-filing for political candidates. He greets two former governors, Goodwin Knight and Earl Warren, in this 1966 photograph. (Frank Christy Collection, 1998/722/1974)
    Sacramento Center for History
  • Ronald Reagan: 1967-1975

    Ronald Reagan: 1967-1975

    Born 1911-Died 2004. Reagan holds the distinction of being the only California governor to become president of the United States. In this photograph, he addresses a joint session of the Legislature regarding the budget for 1967-1968. (Frank Christy Collection, 1998/722/1986)
    Sacramento Center for History
  • Edmund Gerald "Jerry" Brown Jr.: 1975-1983; 2011-

    Edmund Gerald "Jerry" Brown Jr.: 1975-1983

    Born 1938. Brown holds the distinction of being the only governor to return to office after serving years earlier. He focused on energy efficiency and alternative power sources. Here he tests a telephone powered by photovoltaic cells. (Sacramento Bee Collection, 1983/001/SBPM Sun, Solar 7-11-1979 Michael Williamson)
    Michael Williamson | The Sacramento Bee
  • George Deukmejian: 1983-1991

    George Deukmejian: 1983-1991

    Born 1928. Among his accomplishments, Deukmejian is credited with promoting sound economic policies that led to the creation of more than 2.8 million new jobs. He also made education a priority of his administration. He appears here with his wife, Gloria, at his swearing-in ceremony in 1987. (Sacramento Bee Collection, 1983/001/Skip Shuman 1-5-1987)
    Skip Shuman | The Sacramento Bee
  • Pete Wilson: 1991-1999

    Pete Wilson: 1991-1999

    Born 1933. Wilson focused on health reform issues, worker's compensation and education. He also signed into law the "three strikes" legislation. In this photograph, he is seen touring McClellan Air Force Base with a group of statewide officials. (Sacramento Bee Collection, 1983/001/Skip Shuman 4-24-1993)
    Skip Shuman | The Sacramento Bee
  • Joseph Graham "Gray" Davis: 1999-2003

    Joseph Graham "Gray" Davis: 1999-2003

    Born 1942. Davis has the distinction of being the only governor to lose the governorship through recall by popular vote in 2003. He focused his efforts on keeping jobs in California. Here he speaks to students at McClatchy High School in Sacramento. (Sacramento Bee, 1983/001/Jose Osorio 1-6-2000.)
    Jose Osorio | The Sacramento Bee
  • 38 Arnold Schwarzenegger: 2003-2011

    Arnold Schwarzenegger: 2003-2011

    Born 1947. Schwarzenegger became governor in the special election that recalled Gray Davis. During his tenure he struggled with chronic budget deficits. He also advocated for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the minimum wage and updating the workers' compensation system.
    Randy Pench | The Sacramento Bee
  • Jerry Brown sworn in as Governor

    Edmund Gerald "Jerry" Brown Jr.: 2011-date.

    Born 1938. Jerry Brown, with his wife, Anne Gust Brown by his side is sworn in by Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of the California State Supreme Court, right, during his inauguration at Memorial Auditorium. Monday, January 3, 2011. (Sacramento Bee photo by Randy Pench.)
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