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Walter J. Karabian (born March 14, 1938) is an American politician in the state of California. He served in the California State Assembly as a Democrat from 1967 to 1975.[1]

Walter J. Karabian
Member of the California State Assembly
In office
Personal details
Born (1938-03-14) March 14, 1938 (age 80)
Fresno, California
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Carole Wells
Alma mater University of Southern California
Occupation Attorney

He is married to Carole Wells, a former actress.[2]


Early LifeEdit

Karabian was born in Fresno, California, and graduated from Roosevelt High School in June 1956. After high school, Karabian attended the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. While studying at USC, Karabian was elected Student Body and Junior Class President. He was awarded his Bachelor of Arts in American History in 1960.

In 1963 Karabian graduated from the USC Law School and also obtained a Master of Science degree in Public Administration. Karabian took an early interest in politics, working for President Lyndon B. Johnson's reelection campaign in 1964.

After college, Karabian was a Deputy District Attorney for the County of Los Angeles and entered into private practice with John H. Karns, in Monterey Park.[3]

Political CareerEdit

Karabian was elected to the State Assembly in 1966 as a representative for the 45th Assembly District in the West San Gabriel Valley region of Los Angeles County. Karabian represented the 45th District for the next eight years, continually winning reelection to the State Assembly. He published various legal articles during his years in the Assembly and gained a reputation as a significant legal author as well as legislator. Karabian came to occupy a position of leadership among California Democrats and was eventually appointed the Assembly Majority Leader in 1971.

A progressive Democrat, Karabian authored bills that dealt with crime and the law, prison reform, education, civil rights, free speech, and the preservation of endangered species in California. Karabian ran for Secretary of State in 1974 but was defeated in the primary by March Fong Eu.

After PoliticsEdit

Since 1974, Karabian has practiced law for his firm, Karns and Karabian, in Los Angeles. Karabian was selected as the co-chairman of a trade delegation that visited Cuba during Jimmy Carter's presidency and was named as the legal counsel for a legislative delegation to the Philippines in 1979.

In 2009, he was arrested for allegedly running over a parking attendant before a USC football game at Los Angeles Coliseum.[4] In November 2010, Karabian pleaded no contest to a charge of "disturbing the peace" and was required to serve 40 hours of community service and three years' probation.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Japan Agrees to Pay Hijackers Ransom". Idaho State Journal. Idaho, Pocatello. Associated Press. September 29, 1977. p. 1. Retrieved May 27, 2016 – via   
  3. ^ "Walter J. Karabian Papers". Retrieved 2017-11-15. 
  4. ^ Press, The Associated. "Former state legislator Walter Karabian arrested". Retrieved 2017-11-15.