Dr. Larry L. Berg, 74, native of Rockwell City, long-time commentator on California and national politics and founder of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics and Government at the University of Southern California, passed away at his home in Calabasas, CA, on November 28th.

As Executive Director of the Unruh Institute, Dr. Berg acquired a reputation as one of the most insightful political analysts of his era. Under his leadership the Unruh Institute of Politics hosted forums on a variety of public policy issues attracting both national and state political and policy leaders. Because of his commitment to civil rights and civil liberties, he was selected to serve as a Robert F. Kennedy delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1968.

In 1983 Dr. Berg was appointed to the Board of the South Coast Air Quality Management District by then Assembly Speaker Willie Brown. He was a leader in the effort to expand pollution control regulations across the Los Angeles Basin and was described by then District Executive Director Jim Lents as “both highly engaged in the process and very committed to making the lives of others, especially the less fortunate, better off socially and environmentally. His presence in the clean air fight will be sorely missed.”

Dr. Berg was born on July 30, 1939 in Rockwell City, Iowa and attended the University of Iowa where he received a Bachelor of Arts and a Master’s degree in Political Science. During his matriculation at the University he became acquainted with Professor John R. Schmidhauser (D/ IA) who was elected to Congress in 1964. Dr. Berg joined Rep. Schmidhauser’s staff and accompanied him to Washington, DC. He also was an advisor to Senator Edmund S. Muskie (D/ ME) who was the author of the Federal Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. After leaving the congressional staff, Berg attended the University of California at Santa Barbara where he received his doctorate in Political Science.

In retirement, Dr. Berg was an avid birdwatcher and supporter of the National Audubon Society.

He was preceded in death by his parents Carl and Zene Berg of Gowrie, IA, and is survived by his wife of 29 years, Anita Kieffer Berg; two daughters, Andrea Berg-McKinney and Michelle Berg; two step children, Scott Miller and Dariel Miller; and four grandchildren, Odin, Aidan, Devon and Cassidy.