La Jolla philanthropist Murray Galinson is dead at age 75


By Susan DeMaggio

Murray Galinson, 75, of La Jolla, who was an influential force in San Diego’s business, political and philanthropic worlds for decades, died Thursday, Jan. 3.

The family reports that he died unexpectedly.

A longtime friend said Galinson recently had surgery to remove a tumor between his brain and spinal cord, but didn’t know if that was a contributing factor in his death.

Galinson is survived by his wife, Elaine, three children and eight grandchildren. No details are yet available on memorial or funeral arrangements.

Upon learning of his passing San Diego Mayor Bob Filner said of Galinson, “A wonderful man who committed his talents and resources to making life better for the citizens of the city he loved. We also loved him and will greatly miss him.”

Last year, Galinson wrote two guest columns for the

La Jolla Light

, “Do voters have the power to insist on civil dialogue from candidates seeking election?”

and “We need to extol spirit of civility on college campuses”

Galinson was an attorney and law professor who embraced politics as a Democrat, and served in leadership roles with groups such as the Galinson Family Foundation, Price Legacy Corp., Price Charities, the Leichtag Foundation, the Weingart Foundation and San Diego Grantmakers, among others.

“You may not have known him, but you should know we have lost one of our finest — ever,” said George Mitrovich, president of The City Club of San Diego in the obituary published in the U-T.

Galinson received a Ph.D. in Human Behavior from United States International University, his law degree from University of Minnesota Law School, and his B.A. in Psychology from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (1958). He served as past Chairman of the Board for California State University in Long Beach (2001-2009) and San Diego National Bank (1982-2009).

Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) issued the following statement from Washington, D.C. on Jan. 4, regarding the passing of his friend Murray Galinson:

“My wife, Lynn, and I are greatly saddened by the unexpected death of our friend Murray. We’ve had the privilege of being included in many of the political and civic-minded events he and Elaine have hosted in their home. And I’ve had the great privilege and great honor to know him, work with him, and in many ways, to learn from this wise, kind, and thoughtful leader.

“Murray was a huge influence on our community because his business and political acumen were as great as his sense of civic duty, and because his huge heart guided his tremendous generosity.

“When life in politics became lonely, I could always count on Murray’s good sense and good humor to encourage me. I was honored to have his support in every one of my political campaigns, but the bigger honor was being able to call him my good friend. I will miss him very much.”

District 1 City Councilwoman Sherri Lightner, who received Galinson’s support during her recent reelection campaign, added:

“The death of Murray Galinson is a huge loss for his family, whom he loved dearly, his friends and for the city as a whole. He was passionate about doing good and doing it in the right way. I am glad to have known him and to have benefitted from his advice and worldview. Murray was an amazing person and his enthusiasm for good works will be missed.”