New York, NY (May 25, 2023) — Committee of 100, a non-profit organization of prominent Chinese Americans, today released the following statement mourning the passing of former member, the Honorable Ronald S. W. Lew, who died at the age of 81.
Judge Lew was an active Member of Committee of 100 until 2010 and provided his expertise and support toward assisting Committee of 100 in its dual mission. Throughout his life, he was a vocal member of the Chinese American community and advocated tirelessly for others. He will be fondly remembered as a devoted father and grandfather, an excellent judge, and a beloved colleague.
Judge Lew had a long and distinguished career in the legal profession. He was bestowed numerous well-deserved accolades: the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California honored him as one of the Chinese American Pioneers in Law, and he also received the Los Angeles Chinese American Museum’s Historymakers Award for excellence in law and justice.
President Ronald Reagan nominated Judge Lew to serve the Central District of California as a United States District Judge in 1987, and he was later confirmed by the Senate. Judge Lew became the first Chinese American appointed to the federal bench outside of Hawaii. While Judge Lew assumed senior status in 2006, he continued to be an active and valuable member of the bench.
Before joining the Court, Judge Lew received his undergraduate degree from Loyola Marymount University in 1964. He then served in the U.S. Army from 1967 to 1969, before returning to his studies to earn a law degree from Southwestern Law School in 1971. Judge Lew then served in the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office as a deputy city attorney from 1972 to 1974. Following his time there, Judge Lew spent several years in private practice. During that time, he was appointed to serve as commissioner of the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension Board, where he served from 1976 to 1982. Judge Lew was then appointed to serve as a judge on the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1982. In 1984, he was appointed to serve as a judge on the Los Angeles County Superior Court, and served on that court until he became a United States District Judge.
“We are deeply saddened by Ronald Lew’s passing, and our hearts and minds are with his family at this difficult time,” said Zhengyu Huang, Committee of 100 president. “We were honored to have Ronald as a member of our Committee of 100 family, and his contributions to our dual mission cannot be overstated. We will do our very best to honor his memory as we continue our work on issues he cared about deeply.”
Judge Lew is survived by Mamie, his wife of 53 years, as well as his four children and many grandchildren.
About Committee of 100
Committee of 100 is a non-profit U.S. leadership organization of prominent Chinese Americans in business, government, academia, healthcare, and the arts focused on public policy engagement, civic engagement, and philanthropy. For more than 30 years, Committee of 100 has served as a preeminent organization committed to the dual missions of promoting the full participation of Chinese Americans in all aspects of American life and constructive relations between the United States and Greater China. Visit https://www.committee100.org/ or follow Committee of 100 on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook for more information.
# # #
Committee of 100 Contacts:
Senior Director of Marketing & Communications
Manager of Public Relations & Social Media