Wadie P. Deddeh, Democrat, was a California Assembly Member from 1967-1983 and State Senator from 1983-1993. In 1966, Deddeh became the first...
Wadie P. Deddeh, Democrat, was a California Assembly Member from 1967-1983 and State Senator from 1983-1993. In 1966, Deddeh became the first Iraqi-born American elected to office anywhere in the United States.
Deddeh attended the University of Baghdad and received a B.A. in Literature in 1946. After immigrating to the United States in 1948, he received a Master's Degree in Political Science in 1956 from the University of Detroit. In 1982, Deddeh received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from National University. Deddeh became a naturalized citizen in 1953 and worked variously as a grocery store clerk and owner, teacher of Arabic at the Army Language School at Monterey, California, and civics teacher at Sweetwater High School. Before being elected to office, Deddeh was Chair and Professor of the Southwestern College Department of Political Science.
Deddeh married Mary-Lynn Drake, a drama and speech coach at Hilltop Junior High School in Chula Vista, California. The Deddehs have one son, Peter.
Elected to the 77th Assembly District in 1966, Deddeh served for 16 years in the Assembly before successfully running for the 40th Senate District in 1982. He resigned from the state Senate in 1993.