Brown, Willie: Moscone's focus on others' needs


Willie Brown: I think George’s mother was probably responsible for the foundation of George’s being so willing to undertake the business of trying to help change things. George was unyielding in his demand for equal treatment of people. I had not frankly come across and non-Black person that was so focused at such a tender age. But that was George. George saw no color, saw no race, saw no age. And it wasn’t a programmed response. It was totally and completely natural. Totally and completely natural. And George was, in many cases, inattentive to some of his own personal surroundings. I told you George was an honor student at Hastings; much smarter than all the rest of us. And came time to take the BAR, George couldn’t take the BAR. You graduated law school, and then you take the BAR examination to get your license. George was an honors graduate, but he couldn’t take the BAR because he had not filled out the forms for application in time to take the BAR. But that was George just being inattentive to his own needs while taking care of anybody else. No one ever believed that he would ever have a problem passing the BAR simply because of his great performance in law school. And it was true. When he did take the BAR six to seven months later, it’s only given twice a year, he passed it with a breeze, and became a reader. i.e. a grader of other people’s examination.


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The Moscone oral history interviews are part of the George Moscone Collection, MSS 328.

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections and Archives, University of the Pacific Library

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