San Diego Legislative Icon Sen. Jim Mills Dies at 93

Former Sen. Jim Mills in Coronado in 2008.
Joe Ditler

Former California state senator and longtime San Diego resident Jim Mills has passed away at the age of 93.

Mills, who died March 27 after a battle with kidney cancer, was surrounded by family at his home in Coronado when he died.

Elected to the California Senate in the late 1960s, Mills serving as its president pro tempore for 10 years. He first headed to Sacramento as an Assemblyman in 1960, singled out at one point by Pres. John F. Kennedy for recognition.

During his time serving in the state capital, Mills was appointed to the Amtrak board of governors and was later chosen by the board to serve as its chairman.

Locally, Mills played a big role in public transportation advances as well, and also played a role in preserving historic homes in the area, lending his name to the county's Mills Act.  He also helped to create parks and bikeways in Coronado for San Diegans to enjoy.

Mills was also instrumental in saving the tall ship the Star of India, long a landmark on San Diego's Embarcadero, which had fallen into a state of disrepair.

Mills is survived by his three children and nine grandchildren.

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