Fundraiser Lunch to be Held June 22 for Judge Gabbert

Friends, Community will gather at Mario's Place for a Time To Tell Stories

Judge John Gabbert

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – UC Riverside’s Citizens University Committee will hold a special luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, June 22 at Mario’s Place, 3646 Mission Inn Blvd., to honor the memory of The Honorable John G. Gabbert, one of Riverside’s most prominent citizens. He died in December at the age of 104.

Gabbert and others successfully lobbied members of the legislature for the creation of the UC Riverside campus. 

“In honor of his life, the CUC invites friends, family and community members to come celebrate what would have been his 105th birthday,” said Jeff Kraus, director of community relations at UC Riverside. The cost is $100 and proceeds benefit the Judge John Gabbert CUC Endowed Scholarship Fund to support UC Riverside students from the Inland area.

The law firm Best, Best and Krieger is co-sponsoring the event. Reserve a space by Thursday, June 19 by contacting Robin Clark at or (951) 827-5184.

Gabbert was a founding member of the UC Riverside Foundation Board of Trustees, serving from 1980 through 1998 and was the first recipient of the UCR Foundation’s Trustee’s Award for Extraordinary Service. He also received the UC Riverside Founders Award and the CUC’s Outstanding Service Award. His other awards include the Riverside Bar Association Krieger Service Award and The Leo A. Deegan Inns of the Court Award. 

Last year the Citizens University Committee established an endowed scholarship in his name to provide scholarships to UCR students from the Inland area.

In another project in the last few years, UCR Extension created a history of John Gabbert’s life and put it on two DVDs.

Born in Oxnard, California in 1909, Gabbert moved to Riverside at the age of three when his father, John R. Gabbert, purchased a half-interest in the Enterprisenewspaper. He attended Riverside-area schools until his family moved to South Pasadena in 1925. He graduated from South Pasadena HS, then returned to Riverside in 1927 to attend Riverside Community College. From there he earned his bachelor’s degree at Occidental College, then went on to earn a law degree at the Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkeley in 1934.

Gabbert became a deputy district attorney in Riverside in 1935 and, in 1938, he joined Raymond and Eugene Best’s law firm and became a partner in 1941. He served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1945 as a special agent in the Criminal Investigation Division, being admitted to practice before the Philippine Supreme Court in1945. He returned to Best, Best, Gabbert and Krieger after the war but left the firm for good in 1949 when he was appointed as a judge on the Riverside County Superior Court.

He served with the court until 1970, when Governor Ronald Reagan appointed him to Fourth District Court of Appeals. He retired from the bench in 1974.

Reserve a space by Thursday, June 19 by contacting Robin Clark at or (951) 827-5184.

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-4756

Additional Contacts

Robin Clark
Tel: (909) 827-5184.

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