John Cherberg

John Cherberg

Cherberg in 1969
13th Lieutenant Governor of Washington
In office
January 14, 1957  January 11, 1989
Governor Albert Rosellini
Daniel J. Evans
Dixy Lee Ray
John Spellman
Booth Gardner
Preceded by Emmett T. Anderson
Succeeded by Joel Pritchard
Personal details
Born (1910-10-17)October 17, 1910
Pensacola, Florida
Died April 8, 1992(1992-04-08) (aged 81)
Seattle, Washington
Resting place

Calvary Cemetery

Seattle, Washington
Political party Democratic Party
John Cherberg
Sport(s) Football
Playing career
1930–1932 Washington
Position(s) Backfield
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1933–1937 Cleveland HS (WA)
1938–1945 Queen Anne HS (WA)
1946–1947 Washington (backfield)
1948–1952 Washington (freshmen)
1953–1955 Washington
Head coaching record
Overall 10–18–2 (college)

John Andrew Cherberg (October 17, 1910 – April 8, 1992) was an American football coach, teacher, television executive, and politician.[1] He served as the head coach at the University of Washington from 1953 to 1955, compiling a record of 10–18–2. Cherberg played college football at Washington. He served as the 13th Lieutenant Governor of Washington from 1957 to 1989, which is longer than any other lieutenant governor in the state's history.

Early life and career

Born in Pensacola, Florida, Cherberg was the youngest of twelve children from a butcher father who emigrated from Europe.[2][3] In 1919, his family moved to Seattle, Washington.[2] He played football at Queen Anne High School before graduating in 1929.[4] He attended the University of Washington (UW) and played halfback on the football team.[2] Cherberg graduated in 1933 with a degree in economics.[5] After graduation he taught classes and coached football at Cleveland and Queen Anne high schools in Seattle, where he led both schools to state football championships.[6]

He joined the UW football staff in 1946.[5] The three seasons he served as head coach of the UW football team were controversial. His record of 10 wins, 18 losses, and 2 ties was identified as the second worst in Seattle's history in a 2006 article by Seattle Post-Intelligencer columnist Jim Moore.[7] The team was involved in a payoff scandal that led to NCAA sanctions for the school and the firing of Cherberg in 1955.[8]

Political career

He was inaugurated as Washington's lieutenant governor on January 16, 1957, under fellow Democrat Albert D. Rosellini. For his first 15 years in office, he also worked at Seattle-area TV station KIRO to supplement his then-low lieutenant governor salary.[3]

Cherberg ran for Mayor of Seattle in 1964, but was defeated by Republican councilman Dorm Braman by 95,699 votes to his 83,205.[9] Cherberg's platform included support for fair housing.[10] Years later, both he and Braman testified for the prosecution regarding the mayoral race and money from Seattle police officials and King County Prosecuting Attorney Chuck Carroll, who were alleged to have been tolerating police corruption. (The case was later dismissed.)[11][12]

Following his defeat in the mayoral campaign, he once again ran for lieutenant governor. He served continuously under Republican Governor Daniel J. Evans (1965–1977), Democrat Dixy Lee Ray (1977–1981), Republican John D. Spellman (1981–1985), and for the first term of Democrat Booth Gardner (1985–1989). In his last race, he won comfortably with 63% of the vote.[3] Cherberg stepped down in the 1988 race having served as lieutenant governor for nearly one third of Washington state's history at the time; at his death, he was the longest serving lieutenant governor in United States history.[6]


Cherberg lived in Seattle until his death from pneumonia at age 81 in 1992.[13] He was interred at Calvary Cemetery,[6] about a mile (1.6 km) northeast of the University of Washington campus. The John A. Cherberg Building, which houses Washington State Senate offices at the State Capitol campus, was renamed in his honor.[2]

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Washington Huskies (Pacific Coast Conference) (1953–1955)
1953 Washington 3–6–1 2–4–1 7th
1954 Washington 2–8 1–6 T–9th
1955 Washington 5–4–1 4–3–1 5th
Washington: 10–18–2 7–13–2
Total: 10–18–2


  1. "John Cherberg". History of the State Legislature. Washington State Legislature. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Veteran leader dies". The Daily Record (Ellensburg, Washington). AP. April 9, 1992. p. 22.
  3. 1 2 3 Hillinger, Charles (January 3, 1988). "The Dean of America's Lt. Governors". Los Angeles Times.
  4. Hennes, John (February 2000). "Five Grizzlies Make UW Top 100" (PDF). The KUAY. p. 9.
  5. 1 2 "John Cherberg". CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
  6. 1 2 3 "John Andrew Cherberg". HistoryMakers. Washington Secretary of State. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
  7. Moore, Jim (December 27, 2006). "Go 2 Guy: Worst coaches in Seattle history". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
  8. "Darrell Royal, Former Husky Coach (1924-12)". November 7, 2012.
  9. "General and Special Elections: Results for Elected Officials". Seattle Office of the City Clerk. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
  10. "The Seattle Open Housing Campaign, 1959-1968 - Timeline". Seattle Office of the City Clerk. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
  11. "Seattle Trial Dismissal Bid Unsuccessful". Spokane Daily Chronicle. AP. May 1, 1973.
  12. Withers, Bud; Brunner, Jim (June 25, 2003). "Charles Carroll, 1906 - 2003: Legendary Husky, veteran prosecutor". The Seattle Times.
  13. "John Cherberg, Washington State Official, 81". The New York Times. April 10, 1992.
Political offices
Preceded by
Emmett T. Anderson
Lieutenant Governor of Washington
January 14, 1957January 11, 1989
Succeeded by
Joel Pritchard
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