Updated Dec. 13, 6:15 a.m.
William Alfred Newsom III has died, just weeks after watching Californians elect his son Gavin governor and weeks before Inauguration Day. He was 84.
Newsom worked for billionaire businessman Gordon Getty and ran the San Francisco district attorney campaign for Pat Brown, who later became California governor. Pat’s son, Jerry Brown, later appointed Newsom to the Placer County Superior Court and then a state Court of Appeals during the younger Brown’s first stint as governor.
Those ties to the Getty and Brown families helped jump-start Gavin Newsom’s business and political careers.
Outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown offered his condolences to Newsom and his family, and declared that state Capitol flags would be flown at half-staff in honor of the elder Newsom.
"Anne and I extend our deepest condolences to the entire Newsom family," Brown said in his statement. "Bill 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."
The elder Newsom separated from his wife when Gavin was 2 years old, and they divorced three years later.
Gavin Newsom told Capital Public Radio in a campaign interview this fall that he spent occasional weekends and summers during his childhood with his father, who moved from San Francisco to Placer County.
“He was about social justice. He was about racial justice, economic justice,” Newsom said of his father. “He was cause oriented, big environmentalist — involved in every major environmental cause in the state — and certainly drove my political bias, which was around the dinner table with him, and really created a cause orientation in my life.”
Governor-elect Newsom’s transition team said in a statement that William Newsom died Wednesday morning at his home in San Francisco. “Justice Newsom was a proud, lifelong Californian, a public servant of profound accomplishment and a powerful voice for individual rights and environmental protection.”
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