Evelle Jansen Younger (June 19, 1918 – May 4, 1989) was California Attorney General from 1971 to 1979. Described as an exponent of steadfast moderation, he was nonetheless instrumental in enlarging the scope and power of the state's environmental protection law. Political friends included Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald R. Ford. Against incumbent Jerry Brown, who was then at the height of his popularity, Younger was the unsuccessful Republican Party nominee for Governor of California in 1978. His wife, Mildred, had a promising political career as a centrist Republican in the 1950s until she lost her voice by injuries suffered in a car crash. The Youngers' only child, Eric E. Younger, became a Superior Court Judge.
A native of Nebraska, Younger became an FBI Special Agent after law school. At the age of 24, when he was one of J. Edgar Hoover's top agents, Younger became a member of CIA forerunner the Office of Strategic Services, serving in the Burma-China-India theater during World War II. He also served in Korea. One of Younger's contributions as Attorney General was to the development of the California Environmental Quality Act. Younger advocated for a broad interpretation of its applicability, filing a brief in the landmark case Friends of Mammoth v. Board of Supervisors (1972). The ruling on the case, which included language drawing upon Younger's brief, transformed CEQA from a mild and insignificant statement of policy to a pervasive and transformative regulatory measure by defining "project" to include all private activities requiring public permits. Younger also helped draft legislation that refined and expanded CEQA...
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