David M. Szumowski
David Szumowski was born in Gloversville, NY, on August 24, 1945, and grew up in that town. He is the oldest of four boys and the son of two WW II veterans—his mother was an Army lieutenant, serving as a nurse; his father was a tank mechanic who served under General George Patton.
Upon graduation from the University of Richmond in 1967, David entered the Army as a Second Lieutenant, and in February 1969 he was sent to Vietnam to serve with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment as a tank platoon commander, serving under the son of General George Patton.
On March 20, 1969, having been in Vietnam for only 40 days, Lieutenant Szumowski’s tank sustained a direct hit, and he received severe fragmentation wounds leaving him totally blind. For his tour in Vietnam, he was awarded the Silver Star—the nation’s third highest award for valor. He also received the Bronze Star with “V” device and oak leaf cluster; the Purple Heart; and the Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze service stars.
After examining his career options, David decided to enter the field of law. He graduated from Denver University School of Law in 1973. After passing the California Bar Exam, he worked for 12 years as a prosecutor in the office of the Deputy District Attorney. In March 1998, he was appointed to the Municipal Court by Governor Pete Wilson and later that year became a Superior Court Judge of California, County of San Diego, serving in that position until his retirement in 2016.