George Pederson, Santa Clarita mayor in 1994, served in the U.S. Navy during and after World War II (1943 to 1946).
About George Pederson
George Ludvig Pederson, Santa Clarita mayor in 1994, was born in Madagascar on Dec. 4, 1924, the last child of a family of Lutheran missionaries. In Los Angeles in 1954, Pederson joined the Sheriff's Department
and was stationed at the Wayside Honor Ranch in Castaic — later known as the Pitchess Detention Center, where he would finish his law enforcement career in 1984 as commander.
In the 1970s, Pederson helped establish what became the Santa Clarita Valley Boys and Girls Club, and he became even more active in volunteer activities after retirement. In 1986 he helped gather
signatures for the successful city of Santa Clarita formation effort, and he won a City Council seat in 1992 on his first try. He was affectionately known as Santa Clarita's "earthquake mayor"
because of his service in that position in the aftermath of the devastating 1994 Northridge earthquake.
Retiring from the council after one term, in 1996 he ran unsuccessfully for state Assembly. (He garnered the most votes in Santa Clarita but lost to George Runner.) In recognition of his longtime
volunteer service — he was a witty and ever-present emcee at nearly every charity fundraiser in town — he was named Santa Clarita Valley Man of the Year in 1997.
A resident of Valencia, he died at age 90 on May 9, 2015, leaving behind a daughter (Terry Breitinger), two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.