9 May, 2018 10:14

George Deukmejian, ex-governor of California, dies

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Two-term California Gov. George Deukmejian, whose anti-spending credo earned him the nickname “The Iron Duke,” died Tuesday of natural causes. He was 89.

The Republican spent three decades in California politics as an assemblyman, senator, state attorney general and governor. He was elected as the state’s 35th governor in 1982 when a massive absentee voting campaign edged him just ahead of Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley.

“It was a real comeback,” said Ken Khachigian, a longtime friend of Deukmejian who recalled the governor-elect celebrating his win with a bowl of his favorite ice cream.

Deukmejian's family statement reads: 

"Today, we mourn the loss of George Deukmejian, our father, and our mother’s loving husband of 61 years.  Our father passed away at home with his family by his side a few weeks short of his 90th birthday.  The son of Armenian immigrants, he lived a wonderful life.  He was a fine, decent man of integrity and character who was tremendously proud of his Armenian heritage.  He loved his family and his friends and was forever grateful to the many loyal people who believed in him and served in his administrations.   We miss him deeply.  Our family will hold private services and, at a date to be determined, a public memorial.”