Former San Diego City Councilman, State Legislator Jim Ellis Has Died

Former San Diego city councilman and state legislator Jim Ellis has died. Ellis passed away on April 10 at the age of 88.

“He was a quiet, not boisterous, kind of legislator,” recalled his wife, Carol Bentley Ellis, herself a former member of the California State Assembly. “He did an awful lot people weren’t aware of.”

Ellis spent practically his whole life serving the public. From 1948 to 1970, he was enlisted in the Navy. He completed three tours in Vietnam aboard F-8 Cursaders and earned a Bronze Star, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, three Navy Commendation Medals and 11 Air Medals. When he got out of the service, Ellis opened a successful car rental business. It was a new car rental fee in San Diego that spurred his decision to run for City Council in 1973. He won. Three years later, he ran for Assembly, making property tax reform a top priority. He later served in the State Senate and on the Agricultural Labor Relations Board.

From strengthening penalties on child pornography possession to job training programs for prisoners, “he always took on issues he didn’t think were right,” said his wife. The two have four children, eight grandchildren, and nine great grandchildren.

Read more about the life and work of Jim Ellis here


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