Dr. Arthur Verge is a professor of history at El Camino College in Torrance, California. He received a B.A. in history from the University of California at Santa Barbara and an M.A., M.P.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Southern California. He was the recipient of the college’s Distinguished Faculty Award in 2004. Among his published works is Paradise Transformed: Los Angeles During the Second World War. He worked closely with noted historian Andrew Rolle on the 7th edition of California: A History.
Professor Verge also doubles as a Los Angeles County Lifeguard. He began his career in 1974 and has been on the Executive Board of the Los Angeles County Lifeguard Association since 1994. He has written two books on the lifeguard service. His article on lifeguard\surfing legend George Freeth (which appeared in the summer 2001 issue of the Journal of California History) was the basis for the 2009 award winning film “Waveriders” It was voted Best Feature Documentary at the National Irish Film and Television Awards and Best Documentary in the 39th Annual Surfer Poll Awards (it was the first non-American film ever to win).
Born in Santa Monica, California, Arthur Verge’s family has roots back to the State’s mission period. His father, Art Verge, worked and taught at Santa Monica College for over 40 years. He specialized in California and Latin American history. Margaret Verge, his mother, is from the Irish McInnis clan in Oakland, California. The family was involved in law and banking in San Francisco. Brothers Mark and Patrick Verge own and operate Westside Rentals Connection. Mark Verge also remains involved in the redevelopment of downtown Los Angeles co-owing several historic restaurants including Casey’s Irish Bar and Grille and Cole’s (Los Angeles oldest restaurant). Sisters Suzanne Verge (Peak) and Annette Verge (Stopka) are both involved in education. Suzanne, and her husband Jeff, were the 2009 recipients of the National James Brady Award for their efforts on handgun control. Annette Verge has an M.A. in English and has been a long time teacher for the Culver City School District. All of the Verge children, with their children now in tow, remain avid travelers and beachgoers.
Influenced by his traveling parents, who took all six children to live in Spain and England during the late 1960’s, Arthur Verge followed in his father’s footsteps and has been very involved in Study Abroad. He has co-directed 17 programs with Dr. William Doyle. They have taken students to numerous countries including Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Austria, Germany, France, Monaco, Hungry, The Czech Republic, Italy, and Greece.
Arthur Verge is married to Marianne Bjorklund. She is a school psychologist for Los Angeles County. She specializes in working with severely disabled children. Arthur and Marianne have two pomerians, Katie-Kate and Hercules. Once a year all four return to Marianne’s native Sweden to visit friends and family there.