Newspaper Archive of
Beverly Hills Weekly
Beverly Hills, California
April 24, 2014     Beverly Hills Weekly
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April 24, 2014

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rights and responsibilities ourselves. There's so much emphasis on science and math, which of course are important areas in there are federal rewards to school districts for achievement in those areas, but I think that at least of equal if not more importance is having our students understand as they become adult citizens what their rights and responsibilities are under our form of gov- ernment. You are a Beverly High graduate. Who inspired and influenced you on your career path? ]The late Beverly High social studies teacher] Salvatore Occhipinti really made history and civics education come alive. He interested me in public affairs and he'd quiz us on what was happening in the newspapers, Time, Newsweek and so forth. It wasn't just dry stuff. It was not done in an abstract way but he would make [a] living, breathing, [story] out of history so that made it very important. There was [also] Ms. Eunice [Schimdt] who taught literature. I had [a former Hawthorne] English teacher Ms. Murphy [who] really taught me [a] great love for grammar and for parsing sentences. Being able to write well and correctly was a very important part of my training obviously for what I ultimately ended up doing. Those were three teachers who sort of stick out in my mind from that far back. Don't forget I was class of 1957 so you ask me to go back quite a ways. How did you meet your wife, Barbara? My wife, like myself and three sons, is a graduate of Beverly High, and she went to Hawthorne as well. She was the editor of [the student newspaper] "Highlights." She was four years behind me [and] was class of 1961. We met through my sister, Rita George, who was also a classmate of my wife. The two of them were very close friends. Barbara was also dating the next-door neigh- bor of mine, [who] would come to me for advice occasionally on how to deal with Barbara. Eventually, when that relationship broke up, I asked Barbara out. She was the first of my little sister's friends [who I asked] out on a date. We got engaged within a matter of a few months, and married in January 1966. She's been a real partner in my career as well as in other aspects of my 48-year marriage to her. When I did my oral history and it was decided to turn that into a hardback book, she read through it twice and helped edit it. What advice would you give people who want to pursue a similar route as you? I think the best path I think in terms of being prepared for law school is to study history and to have a good use of the English language. I would say getting on the bench, having a very career legal experience, having experience in trial court and not just doing paperwork is very helpful, and being involved in community affairs as well because you need well-rounded people to serve on the bench. Your sons graduated from Beverly Hills as well. What are they up to? Our eldest son Eric is managing a law firm Browne George Ross [LLP] in Century City that does business litigation. They're trial law- yers primarily. Our middle son Andrew is a professional pho- tographer and he has had exhibits in California and abroad as well. Our youngest son Chris is in the business side of the entertainment industry and he specializes in focusing on literary properties and transform- ing them into film or television productions. His wife is Rebecca and they have two little daugh- ters, Charlotte and Maya. We've certainly encouraged them to find their own path, and we would be supportive that they should do what they wanted to do, it's just too important. I certainly didn't try to drill into any of the three of them that they should be lawyers. What's in store for the future for you? Now that I'm finished with the book and with having some appearances involving the book, I'm on two committees: Think Long for California [which] is trying to improve the structure of California government [and] coming up with some reforms; and I'm also on a United Nations commission that meets in different parts of the world every six monhs, coming up with some recommendations to update the United Nations Universal Charter of Human Rights. There had been advances in the last 65 years, especially in the areas of women's rights and gay rights, that probably suggest some revisions in the UN Declaration, although they would have to be adopted of course by the UN General Assembly. Then I'm continuing to work on the matter of civics education for young people. Watch Josh Gross" interview with Ronald George on "Beverly Hills View," online at or on BHTVIO on May 5 at 4:30 p.m., May 6 at 6:30 p.m., May 7 at 3:30 p,m., May 8 at 11:00 p.m., and May 9 at 6:30 p.m. The Draft 20] 4 Short Range Transportation Plan is available for public comment. The Plan highlights how Metro is delivering on projects and programs over the next ten years. Attend a Community Meeting in your area: April 29, 2o14, 6:3opm CENTRAL/METRO LOS ANGELES Metro Headquarters Board Room 3rd Floor One Gateway Plaza Los Angeles, CA 90012 April 30, 2o14, 6:3opm NORTH LOS ANGELES COUNTY American Heroes Park Community Building 642 W Jackman St Lancaster, CA 93534 " May 1, 2014, 6:3opm WESTSI DE ClTI ES Plummer Park Community Center 7377 Santa Monica BI West Hollywood, CA 90046 For the full meeting schedule and more information, visit 4 or call the hotline at 213.922.2833. If you are not able to attend a meeting, you can still submit comments by May 12, 2Ol 4 to: I Countywide Planning & Development One Gateway Plaza - Mail Stop: 99-23-2 Los Angeles, CA 90012 Attention: Robert Cilix U All Metro meetings are held in ADA accessible facilities. Translations and other ADA accommodations are available by calling 213.922.2833 at least 72 hours in advance. L/ 323.466.3876 - _ Espafiol Ting Vie.'t 0 2.mjhplh pyCCK. April 24-April 30, 2014 Page 9