Ronald S.W. Lew

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Ronald S.W. Lew
Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California
In office
May 7, 1987 – September 19, 2006
Appointed by Ronald Reagan
Preceded by Laughlin Edward Waters, Sr.
Succeeded by George H. Wu
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge
In office
Appointed by Governor George Deukmejian
Los Angeles Municipal Court Judge
In office
Appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
Personal details
Born (1941-09-19) September 19, 1941 (age 75)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Spouse(s) Mamie
Alma mater Loyola Marymount University
Southwestern Law School

Ronald S.W. Lew (Chinese name: 刘成威; born September 19, 1941) is a Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Outside of Hawaii, Judge Lew was the first Chinese-American appointed to the federal bench after being appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1987. He is a graduate of Loyola High School (Los Angeles), and he earned his undergraduate degree from Loyola Marymount University in 1964, and his J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law in 1971. [1].

Judge Lew was appointed to the District Court upon the recommendation of Attorney Hochman, the father of Assistant United States Attorney Nathan Hochman, who regularly practiced in front of Lew.[citation needed]

Early career[edit]

Prior to his federal appointment, Judge Lew had served on both the Municipal Court and Superior Court for Los Angeles and had worked for the Los Angeles City Attorney. Judge Lew is a respected figure in Los Angeles.[1]

In 1976, Mayor Tom Bradley appointed Judge Lew to the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension Commission, on which he served for six years.


Judge Lew is married to Mamie. They have four children (three girls and a boy).

Awards and honors[edit]

In 2001, Judge Lew was awarded the Historymakers Award by the Los Angeles Chinese American Museum in law and justice[2] He was also honored by the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California (CHSSC) as one of the Chinese American Pioneers in Law in 2005.



Legal offices
Preceded by
Laughlin Edward Waters, Sr.
Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California
Succeeded by
George H. Wu