Unruh, Jesse M.

Unruh, Jesse M. (Marvin)

(1922–87) public official; born in Newton, Kans. A sharecropper's son, he put himself through college on the G.I. bill, working for a railway freight company afterward. As a Democratic Californian assemblyman (1951–69), he increased the assembly's power and professionalism, becoming speaker in 1961. A shrewd politician, he managed Pat Brown's and Robert Kennedy's campaigns in California. He became state treasurer in 1974.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.