Jared Cameron Obituary

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Jared S Cameron


March 4, 1943 - February 3, 2016 
Resided in Alexandria, VA

 

 

Obituary

Jared Cameron, 72, an international public affairs expert, Japanese linguist, and activist for women in the military, died at his home in Alexandria on Wednesday, February 3rd, of pneumonia.

Mr. Cameron was born in Chicago, growing up an ardent and always disappointed Cubs fan. His family moved to Washington, DC during the Truman administration and it is there that he developed a life-long interest in Democratic politics. 

In 1957, the 14 year-old Cameron received an appointment as page to U.S. Senator Paul Douglas (D-IL), known as "the conscience of the Senate." For the next two years, Cameron rose before dawn, hitchhiking from his rural Fairfax County home to Page School, where classes started at 5 a.m.

The remainder of the day was spent running errands for the legislative legends who served in the 85th Congress. Cameron's yearbook was signed by then Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson, John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Strom Thurmond, Thomas Gore (father of Al Gore), and Prescott Bush (father and grandfather of Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush), and Barry Goldwater.

Cameron was present on the Senate floor in August 1957, when Strom Thurmond set the record for the longest filibuster in U. S. history (24 hours/18 minutes) against the Civil Rights Act. On June 30, 1958, he was designated by Majority Leader Johnson to deliver the just approved Alaska Statehood Act, adding the 49th state to the union, to Alaska's acting governor, William Egan, who waited in the Senate gallery during the vote.

During the Vietnam War, Cameron enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served for four years as a quartermaster and journalist. In addition to assignments as a writer/editor of the base newspaper in Yokosuka, Japan, he rode the USS Pyro, an ammunitions ship that supplied combatant vessels up and down the coast of Vietnam. When his tour of duty ended, he used the newly-reinstated GI Bill to pursue a degree in Japanese history at Sophia University, a Jesuit college in Tokyo.

In 1966, during the Johnson administration, Cameron was appointed deputy assistant secretary for Congressional Liaison at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. However, in 1968, he returned to Japan, where he remained for 13 years, engaged in a series of international business ventures, as the country's economic engine began a gradual recovery from World War II. He organized franchises for Kirby vacuum cleaners, explained the rules of local commerce to foreign investors, and even started the first out-bound tours to Hong Kong, when Japanese were first allowed to bring money out of the country. His language skills were so prolific that he was often engaged as a bilingual translator during diplomatic missions and on television interviews.

In 1976, Cameron returned to the US to work on international issues for The Hannaford Company in Washington, DC. As vice president, he managed contracts with the governments of Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and Saudi Arabia. One of his most interesting assignments was escorting the first Saudi astronaut, Prince Sultan bin Salman Al Saud, on an introductory tour of the United States.

While living in Alexandria, Virginia, he became active in Democratic politics, running unsuccessfully for State Senate, heading the victorious campaign of Lt. Gov. Richard J. Davis, and being named by Governor Gerald Baliles to the board of the Virginia State Travel and Tourism Commission.

In 1991, Cameron joined "The Very Well Made in Taiwan" campaign, a highly effective advertising/PR project to enhance that country's product image. For six years in Taipei, he produced articles for the world press, traveled and organized trade shows, and taught reluctant Chinese manufacturers that packaging and owner's manuals must match or exceed product quality.

"Our job was to convince the world that Taiwan no longer made Christmas tree lights that didn't work," he said, "but rather the world's top quality motherboards, mountain bikes, golf clubs, and software systems." His success was reflected in a bimonthly column, @Silicon Island, that gained worldwide circulation and drew customers around the globe.

During his years in Taipei, Cameron also produced a weekly humor column, AT LARGE, in the English-language "China News." As part of this hands-on journalism, he doubled as a chef at popular Capone's restaurant, worked as the night manager at The Ritz, and even drove the new subway out to the City's zoo.

In 2000, Cameron co-founded Image.com International (ICI), which specialized in country and country product image for a diverse group of international clients. Returning to Washington as ICI's managing partner, he also delivered web design, public relations, and social media marketing for several prominent women's rights groups, including the Women's Research & Education Institute and the National Council of Women's Organizations. 

A self-trained chef, Cameron was renowned for catering fundraising events and political parties. Perhaps his most celebrated dish was seafood gumbo, a recipe he mastered and enhanced from his wife's Aunt Rosemary Gendusa in New Orleans.  “My gumbo was a big hit with the Chinese, “he recalled. “They came to laugh and stayed to pray that the pot would stay full!”

For the past decade, Cameron was president of the USS Pyro Reunion Association, organizing annual reunions for shipmates from the first (AE 1) and second (AE 24) Pyros. Among that group are several World War II vets who were aboard the first Pyro, berthed in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  Cameron found it ironic that the self-admitted “worse sailor who ever went to sea” was elected to oversee retired officers who’d repeatedly threaten-ed to keel-haul him for ceaseless infractions aboard the Pyro.

Cameron also served on the board of the Alliance for National Defense (AND), a positive voice for women in uniform. Led by veterans from all service branches as well as concerned civilians, AND collects the facts and figures on U.S. military women and provides them to scholars, the media, national policymakers, the Pentagon and the public 

Jared Cameron is survived by Susan Scanlan, his wife of nearly 40 years, and by his sister Jane Cameron Lovelace of Bluffton, South Carolina.  He will be interred at Arlington Cemetery in the spring, near the site of his Father’s grave.

For further information, contact scanlan@wrei.org

 
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