The most prominent Armenian American to hold high political office in the United States, and one of the most popular two time governors in the history of California, (Courken) George Deukmejian, often called “Iron Duke” for his lifelong dedication to public safety and rule of law, passed away from natural causes on May 8th.
AGBU extends its sincere condolences to his survivors and all those whose lives were positively touched and improved through his public actions and personal convictions. This includes the Armenian people whose cause he vocally championed throughout his public life despite the political risks his advocacy for genocide recognition may have posed.
Considered a politician of great integrity, he was respected on both sides of the aisle and credited for his ability to work with members of both parties to enact legislation of great consequence to the state in the areas of transportation, law and order, gun control and public safety to name but a few. Many have said that the Armenian genocide informed his lifelong quest for justice and anti-violence.
“Today, another son of the Armenian nation joins the ranks of other extraordinary Armenian American public figures, including Kirk Kerkorian and our own former AGBU president Alex Manoogian. They have left an indelible legacy of hope and inspiration to those seeking to balance worldly success with giving back to their fellow Armenians,” stated AGBU President Berge Setrakian on behalf of the worldwide organization. “George Deukmejian was a shining example of effective leadership to both his country and the community that shaped his character and world view.”