Puget Sound Civil War Roundtable

Civil War Education, Remembrance and Preservation

Featured Articles

Who are the people on the PSCWRT Board of Directors? What are their backgrounds, interests and passions? Over the course of the next several issues of the Washington Volunteer, we will be offering short biographies of your board.


Rod Cameron

I was born in Tacoma, WA in 1938 and am now 78 years old.  I graduated from Franklin High School in Seattle in1957 and two weeks later enrolled at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY.  I managed my escape from there 4 years later (1961), emerging as a 2nd lieutenant.  Married my first wife Betsy in Seattle in July 1961 two weeks after she graduated from Stanford.  
I served my military service in Texas, California and Turkey (departing from Seattle for Turkey the day after the traumatizing assassination of John F. Kennedy), emerging back to civilian life in September, 1964, and, with wife and one year old son in tow. . .
Immediately enrolled in law school at UC Berkeley for another 3 years.  I arrived there in September 1964.  The Free Speech Movement began right before my eyes that October—Mario Savio and crowd.  I watched the tumultuous ‘60s emerge around me with an open mouth, not of participation, but of astonishment.
With a JD and California Bar membership in hand I moved to Washington D.C.(1967) for two years picking up a second (Wash. DC) bar membership and working at the FAA and the DC Court of Appeals as a law clerk assisting my judge write his opinions.
My next move (in 1969) was to New York to assume the Executive Directorship of the Environmental Defense Fund, a group of lawyers and scientists who litigated various environmental causes.  Our first major victory was to get DDT banned nationwide.  That’s why eagles and other birds of prey can now be seen flying over Northwest (and other) skies.  We also compelled a complete redesign of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline in 1973 thereby preventing what would have been a very problematic pipeline had it been built as originally (shoddily) designed.  We got whales listed as endangered and took many other actions during my 5 years there.  I resigned in 1975 and returned to Seattle.
I took the Washington State bar exam (my last, thank God!) and began the practice of law in my home state that year which I continued until 2001 when I retired.
I have been very happily married to my second wife, Heather Howard, also an attorney, since 1982.  I have 3 sons all of whom currently live in Seattle.
Civil War interest?  West Point saw to that.  But it also whetted my appetite for history in general, often as seen through the eyes of military leaders.  My pick for history’s top military leader:  Hannibal of Carthage, who marched through Spain, over the Alps and into Italy (221 B.C.) and, with a ragtag collection of soldiers (and elephants), taught the Romans, nearing the apex of their power, and in their home court, what a truly towering military genius could accomplish.