Harry Zavos, Loyola Professor Emeritus and Local Activist, Dead at 84


Harry Zavos, professor emeritus at Loyola Law School and a regular presence at city hall, died on May 25 in San Diego from a terminal illness. He was 84 years old.

Zavos was among the most prominent activists at city hall – which sometimes earned him the scorn of city council. Former Councilmembers John Drayman and Dave Weaver would often engage in thorny debates with Zavos during the public comments periods at council meetings.

Among the most lasting works of his activism is the Glendale Coalition for Better Government (GCBG), an organization of which he was a founding member. The group successfully sued the City of Glendale over accusations that it had violated Props. 26 and 218. Lower courts have ruled against the city. However, appeals are currently pending.

Roland Kedikian praised Zavos as a man “who possessed a tremendous amount of knowledge on how Glendale operated.” In an interview earlier this week, he said that he met Zavos while running for city council in 2013. Kedikian was immediately impressed by the man.

“He was always very generous with his time and knowledge. He leaves behind a legacy through the [GCBG] which he co-founded,” said Kedikian. “We will carry forward the principles that he advocated for: transparency and respect for the law.”

Due to the worsening of his illness, Zavos sought treatment at Scripps Hospital in San Diego, where he spent his final months.

Last month, Councilmember Vrej Agajanian presented Zavos with a commendation for his activism.

“Your contributions and efforts are greatly appreciated,” read the document.

Zavos is survived by his son, sister and several nieces, nephews and grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held Saturday, June 10 at 10 a.m. at the Saint Sophia Cathedral, Los Angeles, 1324 Normandie Ave., Los Angeles. Zavos had requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the GCBG.