Thursday, September 27, 2007
Leo Tarcissus McCarthy (1930-2007) served as the Democratic Lieutenant Governor of California from 1983 to 1995. Born in Auckland, New Zealand, he moved with his parents to San Francisco at the age of four. McCarthy received his B.A. in history from the University of San Francisco and a law degree from San Francisco Law School. McCarthy served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War.
McCarthy was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1963. In 1968, he was elected to the State Assembly, serving as Speaker of the Assembly from 1974 to 1980. McCarthy was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1982 and was re-elected in 1986. In 1988, McCarthy ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate against the Republican incumbent, Pete Wilson. He won a third term as Lieutenant Governor in 1990. In 1992, McCarthy entered the Democratic primary election for the U.S. Senate, but lost the nomination to Congresswoman (now Senator) Barbara Boxer. McCarthy continued as Lieutenant Governor until 1995.
Upon leaving politics, McCarthy created an investment company and helped found the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good at the University of San Francisco. After a long illness, McCarthy died in 2007. Here is his obituary from the S.F. Chronicle.