Evelle J. Younger

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Evelle Younger
Evelle J. Younger (1).jpg
26th Attorney General of California
In office
GovernorRonald Reagan
Jerry Brown
Preceded byThomas C. Lynch
Succeeded byGeorge Deukmejian
35th Los Angeles County District Attorney
In office
Preceded byWilliam B. McKesson
Succeeded byJoseph P. Busch
Personal details
Evelle Jansen Younger

(1918-06-19)June 19, 1918
Stamford, Nebraska, U.S.
DiedMay 4, 1989(1989-05-04) (aged 70)
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
Resting placeLos Angeles National Cemetery
West Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Battles/warsWorld War II
Korean War

Evelle Jansen Younger (June 19, 1918 – May 4, 1989) was an American attorney who served as the California Attorney General from 1971 to 1979. Prior to his career as Attorney General, he served as the district attorney in Los Angeles where he oversaw the prosecutions of both Charles Manson and Sirhan Sirhan. In 1978, he had an unsuccessful run as the Republican Party nominee for Governor of California and retired from politics a year later.

He joined the firm Buchalter, Nemer, Fields, & Younger as a senior partner in 1979 where he worked until his death a decade later.

Early life and education[edit]

Younger was a second cousin twice removed of the Younger Brothers, a notable 19th-century gang of American outlaws that are often associated with the Jesse James gang.[1] He was born in Stamford, Nebraska in 1918[1] and received his law degree from Nebraska University.[2]


After graduating law school, Younger became an FBI Special Agent. At the age of 24, when he was one of J. Edgar Hoover's top agents, Younger became a member of CIA forerunner the Office of Strategic Services, serving in the Burma-China-India theater during World War II.[3]

Younger served in the United States Army during World War II as well as Korea.[4] He was a municipal judge in California from 1953 to 1958 and a superior court judge in California from 1958 to 1964, when he became district attorney of Los Angeles County.[5] He also rose to the rank of Major General in the US Air Force Reserve, and was the first to be promoted to the rank of Brigadier General (Reserve) as a Special Agent in the AF Office of Special Investigations.[1]

Early in his career as a judge, Younger hosted KTLA's weekly crime drama "Armchair Detective," and was later a consultant and presiding judge on the reality show "Traffic Court" on KABC-TV. He also authored the book Judge and Prosecutor in Traffic Court.[6]

During his time as the Los Angeles district attorney, he oversaw criminal cases which included the prosecutions of Charles Manson and Sirhan Sirhan. He is the first prosecutor in the United States to prosecute mass felony charges against college campus demonstrators in the 1960s.[1] Younger was elected as the 26th Attorney General of California, the first Republican in a generation to do so.[1]

As the Attorney General, Younger helped develop the California Environmental Quality Act. He also advocated for a broad interpretation of its applicability, filing a brief in the landmark case Friends of Mammoth v. Board of Supervisors in 1972. The ruling in the case was considered one of the most important for environmental rulings, requiring an evaluation of environmental impact prior to any public agency sanction of new construction.[1] In the 1978 Republican primary, Younger defeated Edward M. Davis, Kenneth L. Maddy, and Pete Wilson to win the Republican gubernatorial nomination.[5] He was defeated in the general election by incumbent Jerry Brown.[7]

Younger retired from public service in 1979 and joined the firm Buchalter, Nemer, Fields, & Younger as a senior partner (named Buchalter, Nemer, Fields, Chrystie and Younger at the time).[8]

Personal life[edit]

Younger married Mildred Eberhard on July 3, 1942. Their son, Eric, was born in San Francisco in 1943.[9] Younger died in 1989, and is interred in the Los Angeles National Cemetery in Los Angeles, California alongside his wife, Mildred Eberhard Younger, who died in 2006.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Grace, Roger M. (17 September 2008). "Evelle J. Younger: Related to Wild West Outlaws and to Nation's Founding Fathers". Metropiltan News-Enterprise.
  2. ^ Balzar, John (5 May 1989). "Ex-Atty. Gen. Evelle Younger Is Dead at 70". The Los Angeles Times.
  3. ^ Richard Smith, OSS: The Secret History of America's First Central Intelligence Agency, p. 18.
  4. ^ EVELLE J. YOUNGER, District Attorney, 1964-1971; retrieved 18/1/15.
  5. ^ a b Michaelson, Judith (10 October 1978). "Evelle Younger - His Long Walk Between Political Raindrops". The Los Angeles Times.
  6. ^ Grace, Roger M. (3 April 2003). "Evelle J. Younger: a Real-Life Judge Portrays a Judge on Television". Metropolitan news-Enterprise.
  7. ^ Grace, Roger M. (2 December 2008). "Younger's Gubernatorial Loss Attributed to Hawaii Trip, Kidney Stone, Marijuana Stance". Metropolitan News-Enterprise.
  8. ^ "Younger Joins Firm". Sonoma West Times. 11 January 1979.
  9. ^ Woo, Elaine (16 November 2006). "Obituary of Mildred Younger, 86; GOP activist, wife of former state attorney general."". L.A. Times. Retrieved 16 March 2019.

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
William B. McKesson
Los Angeles County District Attorney
Succeeded by
Joseph P. Busch
Preceded by
Thomas C. Lynch
California Attorney General
Succeeded by
George Deukmejian
Party political offices
Preceded by
Houston I. Flournoy
Republican Party nominee for Governor of California
Succeeded by
George Deukmejian