Alice A. Lytle, 1939 – 2018

Alice A. Lytle Photo

Alice A. Lytle, a ground breaking jurist, who was the first African American Superior Court judge in California, died Dec. 21, 2018 after a short illness. Alice A. Lytle’s papers are available in the Gerth Special Collections & University Archives. 

Alice Lytle was born on March 2, 1939 in Jersey City, New Jersey. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Public Health from Hunter College in New York City and her J.D. from Hastings College of Law in San Francisco. After law school, she served under the Administration of California’s Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., first as Deputy Legal Affairs Secretary and then as Chief, Division of the Fair Employment Practices. She rose to a cabinet position as the Secretary, State and Consumer Service Agency. In 1982, Governor Brown appointed her to the Sacramento Municipal Court. Alice Lytle was the first African-American woman to serve on the Sacramento Court and, in 1998 upon the unification of the courts, she became the first female African-American Superior Court judge in California. Her terms spanned 20 years.