Molly Munger

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Molly Munger
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2012 Activity
SupportingProposition 38
Total Donated$44,128,000
High SchoolJohn Muir High School (Pasadena, CA)
OtherJD, Harvard Law School (1974)
Molly Munger, an attorney who lives in Pasadena, California, is the primary advocate behind Proposition 38.[1] As of October 27, Munger has donated over $44 million to the campaign in favor of Proposition 38, attracting national attention.[2],[3],[4],[5]

She says, "We have to get back to investing in the children because it's the right thing to do and it is the wise thing to do."[6]

In May 2010, she helped fund the unsuccessful campaign for the Pasadena Unified School District parcel tax, Measure CC.[7]

Joe Mathews of Prop Zero in a column called "The Munger Games", adorned with a photo of the actress who plays Katniss Everdeen in the wildly popular movie, noted the pressure that Munger was under to withdraw her ballot initiative: "if she doesn't drop her measure, she'll find herself on the business end of an unrelenting campaign of personal attack."[8]

Don Shalvey, who is the deputy director of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s U.S. Programs Education initiative, describes Munger as "very data-driven and analytical...I think she would be, you know, equally comfortable in a strong conversation with a bunch of policy wonks and then going out at night to a Grateful Dead concert."[2]


Munger is a former federal prosecutor. As an attorney in private practice, she helped "successfully sue the state to end the discriminatory bond-funded state school scheme that routinely put projects in low-income districts low on the priority list and thereby helped unlock the great Los Angeles school building boom that followed."[9]

Munger served for a time as western regional counsel for the NAACP. In this capacity, she worked against Proposition 209 (1996).[5]

She served on the board of First 5 California for four years, where her colleagues regarded her as a consensus-builder.[5]


Munger is married to Stephen English.[10] She co-founded the Advancement Project with him. They have two adult sons; one son, Nick English, is a scout for the Texas Rangers.[6]

Munger is one of eight children of Charles Munger, the billionaire vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway.[11] Her stepfather is the publisher of the Los Angeles Daily Journal.[7]

Munger's brother, Charles Munger, Jr., was a lead financial backer of Proposition 20 (2010) and Proposition 11 (2008).[1] Molly Munger is a Democrat, and her brother Charles Munger, Jr. is a Republican. Although the two have ballot initiative activism in common, Ms. Munger says that is a coincidence: "I have to say that it is by such different paths that Charles and I have both ended up in this arena that we have to consider it random."[12] Charles Munger, Jr., weighed in on his sister's 2012 ballot initiative activism, saying he was as "proud as hell" of her, and "We both could amuse ourselves with art collections, golf and writing the great American novel. But we chose our parents wisely. They were always involved in civic service and gave us the sense we owed a great deal to society."[6]


Munger received her law degree from Harvard Law School in 1974.[6]

She attended John Muir High School in Pasadena. Before going to John Muir, she was a student at Westridge School, a private, all-girls academy.[13]

Munger's stepfather, Dr. Robert Freeman, was a member of the board of trustees of the Pasadena Unified School District in the 1960s. In that role, he opposed the attempts of others on the board to maintain racial segregation. According to Munger, dinner table conversations on this subject sparked a lifelong interest in schools and school policy: "He knew what they were doing was illegal, and he brought that home to the family dinner table. It certainly captured my imagination. I was curious to know why it was people were so determined to have segregated schools. It didn't make sense."[6]

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