Gray Davis

Davis, Gray (Joseph Graham Davis, Jr.), 1942–, U.S. politician, b. the Bronx, N.Y. A graduate of Stanford Univ. (1964) and Columbia Univ. Law School (1967), he entered the army and served in Vietnam (1968–69). Active in California Democratic politics, he was Gov. Jerry Brown's chief of staff, served in the state assembly (1983–87), and was elected state controller (1987–95) and lieutenant governor (1995–99) before winning the governorship in 1998. In office, he was generally moderate on most issues, but strongly conservative in his attitude toward crime and punishment. He was reelected in 2002, but a troubled economic situation and a well-financed petition drive led to his recall in 2003.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. History: Biographies