Retired California Superior Court Judge Quentin L. Kopp was born in Syracuse, New York and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1949 and Harvard Law School in 1952. From August 1952 until August 1954, he served in the United States Air Force, first in the Office of Special Investigation as a Second Lieutenant and thereafter as a First Lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General Corps, prosecuting and defending those accused of court-martial offenses. Upon his discharge from the Air Force, Kopp became an Assistant Counsel to the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor, responsible for elimination of racketeering on piers in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and New Jersey.

Admitted to the District of Columbia Bar in November 1952, the State Bar of California in January 1954, and the New York State Bar in May 1955, Kopp was engaged as an associate in a downtown San Francisco law firm in December 1955 and opened his own office for the general practice of civil and criminal law on April 1, 1959. In November 1971, he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and reelected in 1975, 1977, 1980, and 1984. In 1986, he was elected to the California State Senate as the first non-incumbent Independent since 1876, representing the western part of San Francisco and northern San Mateo County. Reelected in 1990 and in 1994, Kopp became the first Independent reelected to the State Senate as an Independent in California’s history.

On January 2, 1999, Kopp was sworn in a judge of the San Mateo County Superior Court, serving as a general criminal and civil trial judge until 2010. Kopp also served as Chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (1982-1984), President of both the state and local junior bar associations, and on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Legal Aid Society and member of the American Bar Association House of Delegates. From 1982 until 1992, Kopp was a weekly radio talk show host on KGO-AM, and a weekly political commentator on KTVU-TV from 1992 until 1998. He is presently President of the Korean War Memorial Foundation and Board of Directors member of the California First Amendment Coalition. He organized and was Chairman of the Bay Area Super Bowl Task Force, which brought Super Bowl 19 to Stanford Stadium in January 1985, and member of the California High-Speed Rail Authority Board from 2006 until 2011, serving as Chairman from 2006 until 2009. In 1998, Interstate Highway 380 in San Mateo County was renamed the “Quentin L. Kopp Freeway”. Together with former Korean War Memorial Foundation President Pete McCloskey, he is co‑author of “Guides to Professional Conduct for the New California Practitioner,” published in 1961 by the State Bar of California. Judge Kopp is married to the former Mara Sikaters, who is President of the California Agricultural District 1A (aka Cow Palace) Board of Directors. His eldest child is Shepard S. Kopp, a Southern California criminal defense lawyer, second son Bradley J. Kopp is a paralegal with the San Francisco firm of Kerr & Wagstaffe, and his daughter Jennifer K. Putnam is Chief Executive Officer of the Napa Valley Grape Growers Association in Napa, California.

Judge Kopp is a long-time member and former Board of Trustees member of Congregation Beth Israel-Judea in San Francisco, President of the Korean War Memorial Foundation, which raised $3,500,000 and dedicated such memorial August 1, 2016 at The Presidio of San Francisco, Judge Kopp is also a board of directors member of the California First Amendment Coalition, “J,” the Jewish News Weekly of Northern California and the Northern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. On September 9, 2016, by appointment of the Board of Supervisors, he took the oath of a San Francisco Ethics Commissioner.