Peter Camejo

Venezuelan Sailor, US Presidential Candidate, Social Activist

Full Name       Pedro Miguel “Peter” Camejo Guanche

Used Name    Peter Camejo

Born                   31 December 1939; Queens, New York (USA)

Died                   13 September 2008; Folsom, California (USA)

Vitals                179 cm / 65 kg

Games Sport Event Place
1960 Summer Sailing Two-Person Keelboat (Star) 21

Although he competed in sailing for Venezuela (with his father Daniel Camejo) at the 1960 Rome Olympics, Peter Camejo is one of only four Olympians to have run for President of the United States (along with Bob Richards, Bill Bradley, and Benjamin Spock). Born to a wealthy Venezuelan family, his mother had Peter born in New York, because of the better health care, and he thus earned dual citizenship. He later attended MIT but dropped out to pursue civil rights work in the American south, and participated in civil rights marches in Selma, Alabama. He returned to school at U Cal Berkeley but was expelled in the 1960s, amazingly for Berkeley, for his vocal criticism of the Vietnam War, although ostensibly it was for “using an unauthorized microphone.” In 1968, while still a student he was placed on Governor Ronald Reagan’s list of the 10 most dangerous Californians because of his anti-war protests.

In 1976, Camejo ran for President as a member of the Socialist Workers’ Party, a Trotskyist organization. On the ballot in 18 states, he received 90,986 votes nationwide. He later was tossed from the party after he alleged corruption among the leadership. In 1991 he helped establish the Californian Green Party, and he ran for Governor of California in both 2002 and 2003 as a member of that party. In 2002 he received 393,000 votes, or 5.3% of the electorate, the largest total vote by a third-party candidate for California governor since 1946. In 2004, Ralph Nader had Camejo on his ticket as a Vice-Presidential candidate. Nader and Camejo came in third in the Presidential election, after the Republican and Democratic candidates, receiving 460,000 votes, or 0.4% of the national vote.

In the last decade of his life Camejo served as the CEO of a financial investment firm that focused on socially responsible investments. He died in 2008 after a two-year struggle with lymphoma.

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