California State University, Long Beach
Inside CSULB Logo

Nini Horn, Wife Of Former CSULB President Steve Horn, Passes

Published: March 1, 2012

After a quiet, dignified, and courageous 16-year battle with breast cancer, Nini Horn passed away on Feb. 21, at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. She was 80.

Nini Horn was best known in the Long Beach area for her work in education and the arts. She was an essential partner with the late Steve Horn in his career both as President of CSULB (1970-1988) and as a member of Congress (1993-2003). Steve Horn died on Feb. 17, 2011, at the age of 79

At CSULB, she was instrumental in attracting community support to the campus and played a significant role in cultivating many major gifts, including the Isabel Patterson Child Development Center, the President’s home, the International House, the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden, and the Martha Knoebel Dance Theater. She was also very active with the Fine Arts Affiliates and the International Community Council.

In the community, she chaired the Long Beach Unified School District’s (LBUSD) 100-member committee that proposed desegregation guidelines and the magnet school plan in 1979. She served for 10 years on the LBUSD’s Personnel Commission.

She was President of Long Beach’s Public Corporation for the Arts and led the effort in 1984 that persuaded the city council to provide funds through the Arts Council for Long Beach arts organizations. She also served on the boards of the California Community Foundation, the Greater Long Beach Community Foundation, Family Service of Long Beach, and the Todd Cancer Institute at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, among other civic organizations.

Her role in her husband’s political career was also critical. Her friends represented most of the volunteers that powered an all-volunteer campaign that won five elections. After Steve was elected, she worked in the office each day as a volunteer, and escorted thousands of visitors around the U. S. Capitol and to the White House.

Her thoughtfulness, energy, integrity, good humor, and organizational ability charmed and galvanized hundreds of friends in each chapter of her life.

She grew up in Lodi, graduated with distinction in History and the Humanities from Stanford University in 1953, and received a Certificate from the Program in Business Administration of Radcliffe College/Harvard Business School in 1954 (prior to the formal admission of women to the Harvard Business School).

She leaves two devoted children, Marcia of Phoenix, and Stephen of Long Beach, and an adoring grandson, Jonathan Horn of Phoenix.

Nini Horn
Nini Horn

In 2003, her role at CSULB and in the community was honored when the University’s North Campus Library was renamed the Steve and Nini Horn Center by the Trustees of the California State University.

A celebration of her life will be held at a later date.

The family suggests that, in lieu of flowers, any contributions in her honor may be made to three organizations she strongly supported for many years:

–CSULB College of the Arts, c/o University Foundation, CSULB, 6300 State University Drive, Suite 332, Long Beach, CA 90840.

–Todd Cancer Institute, c/o Long Beach Memorial Medical Center Foundation, 2801 Atlantic Avenue, P. O. Box, 1428, Long Beach, CA 90801-1428.

–The Long Beach Community Foundation, 400 Oceangate, Suite 800, Long Beach, CA 90802.

For more information, contact Steve Horn, Jr. at 562/427-5561

–Toni Beron