F. F. Houser, 85; Superior Court Judge, Lt. Governor, Legislator

Frederick F. Houser, California’s lieutenant governor under Earl Warren, a three-term member of the state Assembly in the 1930s and early ‘40s and most recently a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, has died at age 85.

Don Schweitzer, a family member, said the retired lawmaker and jurist died Monday in a Laguna Beach hospital after a heart attack. He had been living in Laguna Beach after retiring from the bench in 1966.

A native of Los Angeles, he was born the son of Frederick W. Houser Sr., who became an associate justice of the state Supreme Court and Sara Wilde, one of the first women lawyers in California.

Houser was raised in Alhambra, attended UCLA where he was student body president in 1926 and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1929.


He was elected to the Republican County Central Committee and first elected to the state Assembly in 1930, when he was 25. He served a total of three terms and in 1942 was elected lieutenant governor for one four-year term.

He had also been an unsuccessful congressional candidate three times in the 1930s.

In 1944 he made a run at the U.S. Senate but was defeated by the Democratic incumbent, Sheridan Downey. He served out his term as lieutenant governor and in 1946 was elected to the Superior Court bench, retiring in 1966.

In 1948 he had been chosen UCLA’s Alumni of the Year.


His survivors include his wife, Dorothy, a niece and two nephews. In lieu of flowers the family is asking contributions to the UCLA Scholarship Fund.