(born April 7, 1938) is an American retired politician who served as the 34th and 39th governor of California from 1975 to 1983 and from 2011 to 2019.
A member of the Democratic Party, Brown served as California Attorney General from 2007 to 2011.
He was both the oldest and sixth-youngest governor of California as a consequence of the 28-year gap between his second and third terms.
Upon completing his fourth term in office, Brown became the third longest-serving governor in United States history, serving 16 years and 7 days in office.Brown was born in San Francisco as the son of Bernice Layne Brown and Pat Brown, who served as the 32nd governor of California (1959–1967).
After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley and Yale University, he began his political career as a member of the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees (1969–1971).
He was elected to serve as the 23rd Secretary of State of California from 1971 to 1975.
At 36, Brown was elected to his first term as governor of California in 1974, making him the youngest California governor in 111 years.
In 1978, he won his second term.
During and following his first governorship, Brown ran as a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1976, 1980 and 1992.
He declined to pursue a third term in 1982, instead making an unsuccessful run for the United States Senate that same year.
After traveling abroad, he returned to California and served as Chairman of the California Democratic Party (1989–1991), attempting to run for the Senate once more in 1992.
After six years out of politics, Brown returned to public life, serving as Mayor of Oakland (1999–2007), and then as Attorney General of California (2007–2011).
He ran for his third and fourth terms as California governor in 2010 and 2014, his eligibility to do so having stemmed from California's constitutional grandfather clause.
On October 7, 2013, he became the longest-serving chief executive in the history of California, surpassing Earl Warren.