Matt Fong

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Matt Fong
30th Treasurer of California
In office
January 2, 1995 (1995-01-02) – January 4, 1999 (1999-01-04)
GovernorPete Wilson
Preceded byKathleen Brown
Succeeded byPhil Angelides
Personal details
Matthew Kipling Fong

(1953-11-20)November 20, 1953
Alameda, California, U.S.
DiedJune 1, 2011(2011-06-01) (aged 57)
Pasadena, California, U.S.
Resting placeUnited States Air Force Academy Cemetery
Political partyRepublican
SpousePaula Fong
EducationUnited States Air Force Academy (BS)
Pepperdine University (MBA)
Southwestern Law School (JD)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Air Force
Years of service1975–1990
RankLieutenant Colonel
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese鄺傑靈
Simplified Chinese邝杰灵

Matthew Kipling Fong (November 20, 1953 – June 1, 2011)[1] was an American Republican politician who served as the 30th California State Treasurer. He was a government appointee, finance industry director, and consultant after retiring from the Air Force Reserve. As of 2024, Fong is the very last Republican to formally serve as California State Treasurer to date.

Life and education[edit]

Fong was born in Alameda, California. He was the adopted son of March Fong Eu, a Democrat who served as the 25th California Secretary of State.[2][1] He graduated from Skyline High School, and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree at the United States Air Force Academy in 1975.

In 1982, he received an MBA at Pepperdine University, and in 1985 attained his J.D. degree at the Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles.[2][1]

Public career[edit]

Fong retired from his Air Force Reserve assignment at The Pentagon, serving as an adviser to the U.S. Secretary of the Air Force on budget and finance[3] with the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserve.[2][1]

California politics[edit]

In 1990, Fong unsuccessfully ran for California State Controller, where he lost to Democrat Gray Davis.[4] In 1991, Fong was appointed to the State Board of Equalization by Governor Pete Wilson.[2] Fong would serve as Vice Chairman of the board from 1991 to 1994.[5]

In 1994, Fong ran to succeed Kathleen Brown as State Treasurer. Fong defeated Democrat Phil Angelides to secure a four-year term beginning in January 1995.[2][1]

In the 1998 U.S. Senate election, he unsuccessfully challenged incumbent California Senator Barbara Boxer.[2][1] Fong earned endorsements from national Republican leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and House Speaker Newt Gingrich.[6]

Private sector career[edit]

He was president of the Strategic Advisory Group, providing counsel to CEOs and senior executives on strategy and business development. He was also Special Counsel to the law firm of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton.[2] Fong held Series 7 and 63 securities licenses and was a principal of Belstar Group, a New York-based asset manager.[3]

Fong was an independent director of TCW Group's complex of mutual funds. He also served on two technology start-up companies' boards of directors—one dealing with earthquake detection devices (Seismic Warning Systems) and the other involved with energy-saving devices (American Grid).[3]

U.S. President George W. Bush appointed Fong chairman of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Advisory Board.[2] Fong also served as a Regent of Pepperdine University[1] and a Trustee of Southwestern University School of Law.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Fong lived in Pasadena, California with his wife, Paula, with whom he had two children: Matthew II and Jade. Fong died of cancer in his Pasadena home on June 1, 2011. He was buried at the United States Air Force Academy Cemetery in Colorado Springs, Colorado. At the time of his death he was survived by his mother, his wife, and children.[2][1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h York, Anthony (June 2, 2011). "Matt Fong dies at 57; former California state treasurer". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on September 11, 2014. Retrieved July 6, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Richman, Josh (June 1, 2011). "Former state Treasurer Matt Fong dies at 57". Oakland Tribune.
  3. ^ a b c d "Earthquake Early Warning from Seismic Warning Systems - About Us - Board of Directors". Seismic Warning Systems. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved June 1, 2011.
  4. ^ York, Anthony (June 2, 2011). "Matt Fong dies at 57; former California state treasurer". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 2, 2022.
  5. ^ "Matthew K. Fong." Notable Asian Americans. Gale Research, 1995. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2008. Document Number: K1620000046. Fee. Updated: December 30, 1995. Retrieved December 12, 1995.
  6. ^ Janofsky, Michael (August 14, 1998). "California G.O.P. Senate Nominee Goes From Long Shot to Star". The New York Times. Retrieved December 12, 2008.

Further reading[edit]

  • Fong, Matt. "California Crisis a Golden Opportunity for Voters." Sacramento Bee, March 22, 1992.
  • Fong, Matt. "Unfair Taxes Are Hurting State Revenue by Killing Jobs," Sacramento Bee, October 4, 1992.
  • Lin, Sam Chu. "Matt Fong Scopes Asian Pacific American Economic Opportunities." Asian Week, February 4, 1994.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by Republican nominee for Controller of California
Succeeded by
Preceded by Republican nominee for Treasurer of California
Succeeded by
Preceded by Republican nominee for
U.S. Senator from California (Class 3)

Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Treasurer of California
January 2, 1995 – January 4, 1999
Succeeded by