San Diego’s First Woman Federal Prosecutor Honored | USAO-SDCA

Assistant U. S. Attorney Rebecca Church (619) 546-7721

NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – January 8, 2021

SAN DIEGO – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California is proud to honor the courageous life of Betty Marshall Graydon, the first woman Assistant U.S. Attorney in San Diego, by dedicating a conference room to her memory.

Ms. Graydon joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles in 1938. She became the sole Assistant U.S. Attorney in San Diego in 1944, prosecuting criminal cases and defending the United States in civil suits until she was elevated to U.S. Commissioner in 1952.

“It is an honor to participate in this important event celebrating the life of Betty Marshall Graydon, a person of great significance to the history of the Southern District of California,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer. “She had a brilliant and trailblazing career, and she represents the important role that women have played in the development and success of this office.” Brewer commended Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebecca Church for leading the effort to honor Ms. Graydon.

Graydon was known as a tenacious advocate who devoted her career to the pursuit of justice. Although she had an impactful life, her story has not been celebrated by this office until now. To learn more about Ms. Graydon’s trailblazing life, please watch conference room dedication tribute video available at With this memorial, we hope that Ms. Graydon’s career will continue to inspire the dedicated public servants in this office, and the larger San Diego community, in the future.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California extends gratitude to the Hon. Cynthia Bashant, Hon. Barbara Major, Hon. Nita Stormes, Hon. Karen Crawford, Hon. Jill Burkhardt, and Yahariah Aristy, President of Lawyers Club, for contributing to the video, Ray Christensen for preparing the tribute, Elaine Lawrence, Executive Director of Lawyers Club, and Betty Boone, co-chair of Lawyers Club’s History and Archives committee, for generously providing access to Lawyers Club’s research and resources regarding Ms. Graydon’s life and career, and to Federal Women’s Program, Special Emphasis Program Managers, AUSAs Rebecca Church, Katie McGrath, and Meghan Heesch.

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