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Roy Romer
Romer in 2019
Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District
In office
June 7, 2000 – November 13, 2006
Preceded byRamon C. Cortines (acting)
Succeeded byDavid L. Brewer III
General Chair of the Democratic National Committee
In office
January 21, 1997 – September 25, 1999
Served with Steven Grossman (national chair)
Preceded byChris Dodd
Succeeded byEd Rendell
Chair of the National Governors Association
In office
August 4, 1992 – August 17, 1993
Preceded byJohn Ashcroft
Succeeded byCarroll A. Campbell Jr.
39th Governor of Colorado
In office
January 13, 1987 – January 12, 1999
LieutenantMike Callihan
Samuel H. Cassidy
Gail Schoettler
Preceded byRichard Lamm
Succeeded byBill Owens
Treasurer of Colorado
In office
March 23, 1977 – January 13, 1987
GovernorRichard Lamm
Preceded bySam Brown
Succeeded byGail Schoettler
Personal details
Roy Rudolf Romer

(1928-10-31) October 31, 1928 (age 95)
Garden City, Kansas, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseBea Miller (died 2023)
Children7 (including Paul and Chris)
EducationColorado State University (BA)
University of Colorado Boulder (LLB)
Yale University
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Air Force
Battles/warsKorean War

Roy Rudolf Romer (born October 31, 1928) is an American politician who served as the 39th Governor of Colorado from 1987 to 1999, and subsequently as the superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District from 2000 to 2006.

Background and personal life

Romer was born in Garden City, Kansas, on October 31, 1928, the son of Margaret Elizabeth (Snyder) and Irving Rudolph Romer.[1][2] He grew up in the southeastern Colorado town of Holly. Romer received a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics from Colorado State University in 1950, where he served for one year as President of the Associated Students of Colorado State University. He later received a law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1952.[1] He also studied ethics for one year at Yale Divinity School, and was a legal officer in the U.S. Air Force.

Romer was married to Beatrice Miller Romer for 70 years, until her death in 2023.[3] They had seven children, including Paul Romer, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, and Chris Romer, who was elected to a Colorado State Senate seat from Denver in 2006.[4] His granddaughter, Rachel Romer is the co-founder and CEO of Guild Education.[5]

Early professional activities

In the 1950s and 1960s, Romer was an attorney in Denver. He was also active in the management of his family's agricultural operations throughout Colorado.[citation needed]

Political career

Colorado state government

Romer as governor.

Romer served in the Colorado House of Representatives from 1958 to 1962 and in the Colorado Senate from 1962 to 1966. In 1966, Romer unsuccessfully challenged Republican U.S. Senator Gordon Allott.

Romer was Colorado State Treasurer from 1977 to 1987 (winning re-election to full four-year terms in 1978 and 1982), and a member of the governor's cabinet. Romer was first elected as governor in 1986, and re-elected in 1990 and 1994; he was the second Colorado governor to serve three terms.[6] In 1997, Romer, along with Utah Governor Michael O. Leavitt and Wyoming Governor Jim Geringer, led a bipartisan team of 19 state governors in the founding of Western Governors University.

National political positions

Romer chaired the Democratic Governors Association in 1991. In 1992, he was co-chairman of the Democratic National Platform Committee. Romer served as national vice chair of the Democratic Leadership Council, and was a national co-chairman of the Clinton-Gore '96 campaign. In 1997, Romer was elected to serve as general chairman of the Democratic National Committee.[1]

From 1992 to 1993, Romer served as chair of the National Governors Association.[1] In 1994–1995 he chaired the Education Commission of the States, and in 1995, was part of a bipartisan effort by the nation's governors to reform Medicaid.[citation needed]

Romer v. Evans

In law, his name is associated with the anti-discrimination suit Romer v. Evans that was brought to the Supreme Court during his tenure as Governor of Colorado. Though he was opposed to the amendment to the Constitution of Colorado in question, he defended the law, which prevented protected status based upon homosexuality or bisexuality, in state and federal court in his position as Governor during litigation. The Supreme Court ultimately ruled against the state's defense of Amendment 2, that it had “a rational relationship to legitimate state interests". The Court then invalidated Amendment 2 under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Federal Constitution. The state ultimately failed to give a "rational basis" to the purpose of the law. The case did not go as far to ruling that gays and lesbians are protected as intermediate or strict scrutiny under the Fourteenth Amendment and left that question to lower federal and state courts to decide.

Romer v. Grant

In October 2004, Roy Romer and the Los Angeles Unified School District filed suit in the United States District Court, Central District of California against David Grant, a former student of the Los Angeles Unified School District. The suit cited false endorsement of the Lanham Act, violation of the Can-Spam Act, California Statutory Cyber Piracy, violation of the right of publicity under California statutory and common law, and California statutory unfair competition.[citation needed]

The lawsuit alleged David Grant attempted to lure the district's 700,000 students to a pornographic website. Roy Romer and the Los Angeles Unified School District subsequently settled the suit by paying Grant $360,000.00 in exchange for the domain name[citation needed]

Professional activities

On June 7, 2000,[7] he became Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, where he served for six years. On October 12, 2006, the Los Angeles Board of Education unanimously named David L. Brewer III as his successor.

On April 25, 2007, Roy Romer began his service as the chairman and lead spokesman for Strong American Schools, a nonprofit project responsible for running Ed in 08, an information and initiative campaign funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Eli and Edythe Broad foundation, aimed at encouraging 2008 presidential contenders to include education in their campaign policies.[8]

Honors and awards

In 2008, Roy Romer Middle School, in Los Angeles was named after him and it was first opened to students in September of that year. [9]


  1. ^ a b c d Moore, Maloy, ed. (June 7, 2000). "Roy R. Romer". Los Angeles Times. p. A20. Retrieved February 28, 2024 – via
  2. ^ Irene English Shoemaker (1990). Van Buskirk, a legacy from New Amsterdam: a genealogy of the descendants of Lauren Andriessen and Jannetje Jans, married New Amsterdam 12 December 1658. R.W. Shoemaker.
  3. ^ Birkeland, Bente (September 12, 2023). "Bea Romer, former Colorado first lady — and lifelong advocate for early childhood education — has died". Colorado Public Radio. Retrieved February 28, 2024.
  4. ^ Woodruff, Judy (February 6, 1998). "Romer Acknowledges Extramarital Relationship". CNN.
  5. ^ Wilson, Alexandra; Adams, Susan (December 31, 2019). "Class Act: This 31-Year-Old's Company Rocketed To A $1 Billion Valuation Helping Workers Get Degrees". Forbes. Retrieved April 4, 2021.
  6. ^ The Colorado constitution now limits governors to two consecutive terms and eight years in office ("Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 27, 2008. Retrieved March 24, 2007.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link))
  7. ^ "Colorado Ex-Governor Takes Schools Post". The New York Times. The Associated Press. June 7, 2000.
  8. ^ Herszenhorn, David M. (April 25, 2007). "Billionaires Start $60 Million Schools Effort". The New York Times.
  9. ^ "School starts today for LAUSD students". Torrance Daily Breeze. September 3, 2008.
Party political offices Preceded byRobert Knous Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Colorado(Class 2) 1966 Succeeded byFloyd K. Haskell Preceded byRichard Lamm Democratic nominee Governor of Colorado 1986, 1990, 1994 Succeeded byGail Schoettler Preceded byDick Celeste Chair of the Democratic Governors Association 1990–1991 Succeeded byJohn D. Waihe'e III Preceded byChris Dodd General Chair of the Democratic National Committee 1997–1999 Served alongside: Steven Grossman (National Chair) Succeeded byEd Rendell Political offices Preceded bySam Brown Treasurer of Colorado 1977–1987 Succeeded byGail Schoettler Preceded byRichard Lamm Governor of Colorado 1987–1999 Succeeded byBill Owens Preceded byJohn Ashcroft Chair of the National Governors Association 1992–1993 Succeeded byCarroll Campbell Academic offices Preceded byRamon C. CortinesActing Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District 2000–2006 Succeeded byDavid Brewer U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial) Preceded byMartha McSallyas Former US Senator Order of precedence of the United States Within Colorado Succeeded byBill Owensas Former Governor Preceded byDave Heinemanas Former Governor Order of precedence of the United States Outside Colorado