Department of Finance Directors
February 1, 1944 to October 30, 1953
James Dean was appointed Director of Finance by Governor Earl Warren on February 1, 1944. He was born in Belton, Texas, and graduated from Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. Dean also was a student in architecture at Massachusetts Institute of Technology for three years and Assistant State Architect for eight years. From 1920 to 1930, Dean formed an architecture firm with his brother called Dean & Dean. He and his brother designed Sacramento City College, the Memorial Auditorium, the Sutter Club, and several elementary schools. Dean worked as the City Manager of Sacramento from 1930 to 1943, during which many municipal improvements were made, and the city’s finances were put on a sound basis. In 1943, he was the Deputy Director of Finance.
While working as the Director of Finance, he was responsible for California’s first billion-dollar budget in fiscal year 1949-50—California’s centennial year. He was voted the “outstanding public official” of state government for 1948 in a poll taken from press correspondence. Dean was named Director of the California State Fair after his retirement.