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La Jollan Murray Galinson, Philanthropist, Dies at 75

Businessman was a Democratic mentor—an influential force in national and local politics.

La Jollan Murray Galinson, Philanthropist, Dies at 75

Updated: Friday, Jan. 4 at 1:20 p.m.

Murray Galinson, a longtime San Diego banker and philanthropist, died Thursday. He was 75.

“Murray Galinson was a visionary leader of the Jewish community in San Diego and worldwide, a successful businessperson and an influential force in national, state and local politics,” said a notice sent out by Congregation Beth Israel. “He was a gentleman who made time to mentor many young, up and-and-coming leaders.”

Galinson, a Democrat, reportedly moved to San Diego in 1970 to teach law at Cal Western School of Law. He served as president of the  San Diego National Bank for 25 years and was a founding partner of La Jolla MJ Management Co., a privately held real estate investment firm.

Galinson became involved in politics in his native Minnesota and was deputy director of former Vice President Walter Mondale's 1984 presidential campaign.   

While a supporter of Democratic candidates, Galinson crossed party lines to back GOP mayors Pete Wilson and Jerry Sanders.   

“Murray Galinson was a wonderful human being who made a tremendous impact on our city,” City Council President Todd Gloria wrote his Twitter page. “His leadership will be missed.”   

In the UT San Diego, San Diego City Club President George Mitrovich said Galinson was "one of San Diego's greatest citizens."

"You may not have known him, but you should know we have lost of our finest—ever," Mitrovich said in a Facebook post, according to the U-T.

He donated at least $123,000 to Democratic candidates or committees in the past year.

Congressman Scott Peters said, "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,” Peters said in a release from his office on Friday afternoon.

He chaired the San Diego Advisory Board for Police Community Relations, the San Diego Citizens Review Board for Police Practices, UC San Diego Chancellors Associates, and the San Diego Blue Ribbon Task Force on Violence.

He also served on number boards including the Jewish Funder’s Network, Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego, Jewish Federation of San Diego County, the Leichtag Foundation, the Galinson Family Foundation, the Weingart Foundation and AIPAC.

U-T San Diego reported that Galinson recently had surgery to remove a tumor between his brain and spinal cord, but it was unknown whether the procedure played a role in his death.    

Galinson is survived by his wife, Elaine, daughter Laura, sons Jeffrey and Rick, grandfather of eight.

Congregation Beth Israel said a service will be Monday afternoon at 1 p.m.

—City News Service contributed to this report

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