Birthday: August 5, 1941
Age: 79 Years, 79 Year Old Males
Sun Sign: Leo
Also Known As: Gilbert Salvadore Iberri Garcetti
Born in: Los Angeles, California, United States
Famous as: Former District Attorney of LA County.
Spouse/Ex-: Sukey Garcetti
father: Salvador Garcetti
mother: Juanita Iberri
children: Dana Garcetti, ric Garcetti
U.S. State: California
City: Los Angeles
education: University of California, Los Angeles, UCLA School of Law, University of Southern California
Gil Garcetti is an American statesman who started his professional career as a trial prosecutor and went on to become the district attorney of LA County. Gil was in the public eye and garnered a lot of media attention when the Los Angeles Superior County Court presided over the dual-murder trial hearing of O.J. Simpson—an ex-NLF player. His office had to face huge flak and condemnation from the public and the media for announcing a “not-guilty” verdict against O.J. Simpson instead of awarding a severe sentence. He was nevertheless reelected as chief deputy district attorney, the setback and controversies notwithstanding. Following his retirement from the district attorney office of LA County, he served at the ‘Los Angeles City Ethics Commission’ for five years. Garcetti is also well-known for his philanthropic efforts, having created a charity for funding the education of Afro-American and Latino students. He is also an accomplished photographer and has exploited his photographic skills for promoting philanthropic causes. His poignant snapshots of West African landscapes that captured the water crisis in graphic detail, stirred a non-profit-organisation into making efforts for boring wells in the 18 countries comprising West Africa. His photographs have been displayed in several exhibitions, and he has penned a total of 7 books on photography.
Childhood & Early Life
Gil Garcetti was born on 5 August 1941, in Los Angeles, California to Juanita Iberri and Salvador Garcetti. Salvador Garcetti who is of Italian ancestry, was born in Chihuahua, Mexico but migrated to the US, following the hanging of Gil’s grandfather in the wake of the Mexican Revolution in 1910.
Juanita Iberri, Gil’s mother, was born and brought up in Arizona. Juanita’s father was a Mexican while her mother was of Irish-Mexican descent.
Gil Garcetti, after earning his bachelor’s degree in management from the University of Southern California, attended the UCLA School of Law in Los Angeles, receiving a ‘Jurisprudence Doctor’ degree after completing his law course. Following the successful completion of his internship program, he joined as a prosecuting officer in Los Angeles County’s district attorney office.
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Career as a Deputy Chief and Chief District Attorney
Beginning his professional career as a prosecuting attorney, Gil Garcetti soon rose through the ranks to be promoted to a managerial position, and in due course took charge as chief deputy district attorney in 1984. As the chief deputy district attorney, he was subordinate only to Ira Reiner, who served as district attorney from 1984-1992.
After serving as a public prosecutor for nearly 25 years, Gil contested the 1992 elections for the position of district attorney and was voted into office. He again ran for the office in 2000 and was elected for a 2nd term.
He served for a total of 32 years in LA County as a prosecutor, including 8 years as the district attorney. During his long tenure, he presided over more than a 1000 prosecutions, many of which were extraordinarily high-profile, attracting the attention of the entire nation and receiving widespread media coverage.
Garcetti, as the district attorney, supervised the trial proceedings of Menendez brothers, O.J. Simpson, and the LAPD police officers implicated for thrashing Rodney King, a taxi driver. Gil, during his more than 30 years of service, directed 1100 subordinate prosecutors to focus on tackling serious crimes and domestic violence.
LA County district attorney office was still smarting from the repercussion of the ‘Rodney King’ incident in 1991 that had garnered unprecedented publicity when Gil entered the fray for the prime post.
A footage showing Rodney, a cab driver, being beaten blue and black by Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers provided the spark for the LA Riots of 1992.
Garcetti’s first term as the district attorney is remembered for his overseeing the minutiae of the trial of O.J. Simpson who was alleged to have murdered his ex-wife and a restaurant waiter'. The trial turned out to be a protracted and costly one with Simpson being pronounced ‘not-guilty’.
The double-murder trial of O.J. Simpson dragged on for 11 months, proving to be extremely controversial, and was noted as the ‘most publicized’ prosecution in US history, according to ‘USA Today’. However the verdict did not have any impact on Gil’s reelection prospects as he was elected for a second term as district attorney in 1996.
Gil, during his second term, channelized his efforts on resolving countless cases involving welfare funds fraud, hate crimes, and domestic violence. At the same time, he took a very tough stance in dealing with street gangs and desperadoes of Los Angeles.
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His attempt for a third term proved to be unsuccessful as he got unwittingly involved in the Rampart Scandal in which over 70 police officers of the Rampart Division of LAPD were charged with misconduct.
Life After Retirement
Gil Garcetti’s 32-year stint as a public prosecutor in LA County culminated with his debacle in the 2000 elections.
He was appointed as an official of the Los Angeles City Council’s ‘Ethics Commission’ by Alex Padilla, the governing body’s president in 2002.
Towards the end of 2002, he was awarded a fellowship in politics by the JFK School of Government at Harvard University. As a fellow of the ‘Institute of Politics’, he instructed a colloquium on the subject, “The Interaction of the Criminal Justice System, Race, Politics, and the Media”.
He has also frequently addressed audiences, speaking about his numerous books and projects on photography, notable amongst these being his lectures on career change and digging wells for supplying potable water in West African nations.
An Avid Photographer and Philanthropist
Gil Garcetti has revealed several times in numerous interview sessions that he was instinctively drawn towards photography from an early age. It was usual for him to keep a camera in his briefcase for as long as he served as a district attorney.
His chance photographing of an ironworker engaged in construction work in the Los Angeles’s Walt Disney Concert Hall, paved the way for a career in photography. He published his snaps of the ironworkers in the form of a book, ‘Iron: Erecting the Walt Disney Concert Hall’ in 2002.
Garcetti’s first book on photography extolled the ironworkers and their high-level of craftsmanship. He went on to publish six more books on photography all of which focused on graphic illustration. Through these books, he attempted to draw the attention of one and all that were interested in and capable of contributing to social causes.
'Dance in Cuba', a photographic treatise celebrated the indomitable spirit of the Cuban people who despite living in dire poverty, expressed their existence dexterously through dance. Two of his books, ‘Water Is Key’ and ‘Paris: Women on Bicycles’ emphasized on cleaning up the environment for ameliorating the ‘quality of life’ of the common people.
His collection of photographs have been displayed in several art and photography exhibitions all over the world including the UN (New York), UNESCO (Paris), Fowler Museum (USA), and the National Building Museum (Washington).
He established a charitable institution for furnishing financial support to Afro-American and Latino students. He has vehemently campaigned against ‘capital punishment’, advocating for its replacement with life imprisonment. Amongst all his diverse humanitarian activities, the most noteworthy was his sustained and relentless campaign to make drinkable water accessible to West Africans.
He went to West Africa for the first time in 2001 and his visit was sponsored by ‘Conrad N. Hilton Foundation’—a charitable trust founded by the hotelier, Conrad N. Hilton. He visited West Africa a total of five times and during his trips, he captured innumerable snapshots of the vast region.
His compilation of photographs on West Africa took the form of a photography book titled, “Water is Key: A Better Future for Africa”, whose publication was financially endorsed by Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.
An all-female panel of Los Angeles was so impressed by Gil’s snaps of West Africa that its chairperson, Barbara Goldberg, eventually established a nonprofit foundation with the objective of boring wells in Western Africa. Garcetti has made it his lifelong mission to keep endeavoring for funds to drill wells for supplying safe water.
Gil Garcetti married Susan Roth on 25 September 1963. The couple has a son, Eric, who is presently Los Angeles’s mayor, and a daughter, Dana Garcetti-Boldt, an acupuncturist. Dana Garcetti once served in the LA County as a deputy district attorney.