Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Former California Judge Newsom Dies at 84
By admin
Published 6 years ago on
December 13, 2018

Share

SACRAMENTO — William Newsom III, a former California judge, environmental advocate and the father of governor-elect Gavin Newsom, died Wednesday after a long illness. He was 84.

“He may not have gotten to see Gavin sworn in. But he saw Gavin elected governor of this state, which was a great source of pride for Billy.” — John Burton, a close friend of William Newsom’s and former member of Congress from California
“Justice Newsom was a proud, lifelong Californian, a public servant of profound accomplishment and a powerful voice for individual rights and environmental protection,” Nathan Click, a spokesman for Gavin Newsom, said in a statement announcing the death.
It comes less than a month before Gavin Newsom will be sworn in as California’s 40th governor.
“He may not have gotten to see Gavin sworn in. But he saw Gavin elected governor of this state, which was a great source of pride for Billy,” said John Burton, a close friend of William Newsom’s and former member of Congress from California.
Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Newsom to the Placer County Superior Court in 1975, during Brown’s first term as governor, and later put Newsom on the state Court of Appeals in 1978. He retired in 1995.
He was a staunch advocate for environmental protection, serving on the board of the Sierra Club Foundation, the group’s charitable arm, and of the Environmental Defense Fund. Occasionally Newsom was restricted in how much environmental advocacy he could do while serving as a judge, former Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope said. He and Newsom were close friends, with Newsom serving as the best man in Pope’s wedding.

Shaping Views on Drug Policy and Racial Justice

In addition to Gavin, Newsom is survived by a daughter, Hilary. He and their mother, Tessa Menzies, divorced when Gavin Newsom, 51, was young.

“He had an amazing life. He was an amazing influence on me.” — Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom
William Newsom made a home in the community of Dutch Flat in the Sierra Nevada foothills and fell in love with the landscape and nature there, Pope said. It inspired him to help form the Mountain Lion Foundation and lead a 1990 ballot measure to ban mountain lion hunting.
“That was his country,” Pope said.
During his gubernatorial run, Gavin Newsom said his favorite memories with his father were spent camping and backpacking along California’s rivers. His father once had a river otter as a pet, he said. His father also helped shape his views on drug policy and racial justice.
“He had an amazing life. He was an amazing influence on me,” Newsom said.
On the court of appeals, Newsom ruled on a diverse array of cases from the right of privacy for HIV-positive health care patients to the liability of the San Francisco 49ers over a player’s crippling knee injury. In one prominent case, he ruled the prestigious Bohemian Club, a men’s club north of San Francisco that counted Ronald Reagan as a member, could not enforce a ban on hiring women.

Connections to the Getty Family

In a statement, Brown said Newsom was “a longtime friend, a champion of the environment and someone whom I was proud to appoint to the superior court and court of appeal.”
Newsom was a close friend of Gordon Getty, the son of oil magnate J. Paul Getty, and managed his personal finances. During Gavin Newsom’s gubernatorial run, critics painted him as a son of wealth and privilege because of his connections to the Getty family. Gordon Getty helped finance Newsom’s first wine shop in 1992, which later grew into a successful business line.
William Newsom’s friends said he was thoughtful, witty and well read.
Pope, his longtime friend, recalled that Newsom even looked for ways to stave off boredom during his frequent drives from the foothills to San Francisco for court sessions. On occasion, he’d place a book of poetry on the steering wheel to read while driving.
After learning that, Pope joked, he never wanted to share the highway with Newsom again.
“He had a very, very active mind,” Pope said.

DON'T MISS

Young Republicans on Why Their Party Isn’t Reaching Gen Z (And What They Can Do About It)

DON'T MISS

JD Vance Puts the Con in Conservatism

DON'T MISS

UC Merced Finally Annexed Into City Limits After Two Decades

DON'T MISS

Donors Challenged Fresno Pacific to Match Their $1.5M Gift. Was the Goal Reached?

DON'T MISS

Garlic, Curry, Fresh Corn – Would You Scream for This Ice Cream?

DON'T MISS

Meet Po: A Gentle Superhero Looking for a Home

DON'T MISS

Largest Housing Provider for Migrant Children Engaged in Pervasive Sexual Abuse, US Says

DON'T MISS

25 Million Watched Trump’s Speech at the RNC on Thursday

DON'T MISS

City Wants Hard Reset on Art Hop. Don’t Expect Food Trucks or Vendors in August.

DON'T MISS

More Victims Come Forward in Dinuba Sex Assault Case

UP NEXT

911 Systems Disrupted in at Least 3 States

UP NEXT

Mourners Gather for Funeral of Man Slain at Trump Rally in Pennsylvania

UP NEXT

Widespread Technology Outage Disrupts Flights, Banks, Media Outlets and Companies Around the World

UP NEXT

Founder of Fandango Dies After Plunge From Manhattan Hotel

UP NEXT

Rally Shooter Had Photos of Trump, Biden and Other US Officials on His Phone, AP Sources Say

UP NEXT

The Last Cards Have Been Dealt as the Iconic Mirage Closes Its Doors on the Las Vegas Strip

UP NEXT

Visalia Man Faces Third Strike for Serial Burglary

UP NEXT

US Army Honors Nisei Combat Unit That Helped Liberate Tuscany From Nazi-Fascist Forces in WWII

UP NEXT

Majority of Americans, Including Republicans, Back Biden’s Supreme Court Term Limit Plan

UP NEXT

Fresno Police Arrest Suspect in 2023 Shooting Death

Donors Challenged Fresno Pacific to Match Their $1.5M Gift. Was the Goal Reached?

14 hours ago

Garlic, Curry, Fresh Corn – Would You Scream for This Ice Cream?

14 hours ago

Meet Po: A Gentle Superhero Looking for a Home

14 hours ago

Largest Housing Provider for Migrant Children Engaged in Pervasive Sexual Abuse, US Says

1 day ago

25 Million Watched Trump’s Speech at the RNC on Thursday

1 day ago

City Wants Hard Reset on Art Hop. Don’t Expect Food Trucks or Vendors in August.

1 day ago

More Victims Come Forward in Dinuba Sex Assault Case

1 day ago

‘Twisters’ Is the Long-Awaited Sequel to ‘Twister.’ Where to See It in Fresno.

1 day ago

Fresno Offers Free Movie Tickets for Seniors to Beat the Heat

1 day ago

Mexican President Calls Donald Trump ‘a Friend’ and Says He’ll Warn Him Against Closing Border

1 day ago

Young Republicans on Why Their Party Isn’t Reaching Gen Z (And What They Can Do About It)

Polls show that two-thirds of voters aged 18-24 say they don’t identify with the G.O.P. We asked young Republicans why. – By The New Y...

7 hours ago

Photo of President Donald Trump
7 hours ago

Young Republicans on Why Their Party Isn’t Reaching Gen Z (And What They Can Do About It)

9 hours ago

JD Vance Puts the Con in Conservatism

11 hours ago

UC Merced Finally Annexed Into City Limits After Two Decades

14 hours ago

Donors Challenged Fresno Pacific to Match Their $1.5M Gift. Was the Goal Reached?

14 hours ago

Garlic, Curry, Fresh Corn – Would You Scream for This Ice Cream?

14 hours ago

Meet Po: A Gentle Superhero Looking for a Home

1 day ago

Largest Housing Provider for Migrant Children Engaged in Pervasive Sexual Abuse, US Says

1 day ago

25 Million Watched Trump’s Speech at the RNC on Thursday

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend