The Cardinal of Westwood
2 | 3 |
4 | 5 |
6 | 7 |
Lewis' bichon frisé-poodle mix, is a constant companion,
inside and out of his Capitol Hill office
was a busy fall for
In late September, he led the first congressional delegation to
visit Iraq since the United States launched its military attack
in March. When he returned, Lewis spearheaded the adoption of President
George W. Bush's $87-billion supplemental spending bill to fund
the war and resupply U. S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. With
the ink barely dry on that bill, he was at the president's side
a few weeks later as Bush signed an emergency spending measure to
provide disaster-relief funds to victims of the devastating fires
in Southern California.
his stature as one of the elite members of the "College of
Cardinals" — the appellation given to the chairs of the
13 appropriations subcommittees — Lewis remains remarkably
grounded, and his responsiveness to his constituents in the 41st
Congressional District, which includes most of San Bernardino County
and parts of Riverside County, has earned him a reputation as a
politician for the people. Throughout his career, Lewis has remained
true to those individuals and institutions that have contributed
to his success, and that includes the university from which he graduated.
son of an engineer and one of five children, Lewis grew up in a
small house in San Bernardino. This spring, at the dedication of
the Jerry Lewis Family Swim Center in his hometown, he recalled
how as a kid he and his three brothers would collect bobby pins
around the pool to trade for free passes. Later, he worked as a
locker boy and lifeguard at the pool.
had dreams of turning a love of animals into a career. He began
studying veterinary science at UC Berkeley but soon decided it wasn't
really for him. In the fall of 1954, he transferred to UCLA, majoring
in political science. Closer to home, and closer to his true ambitions,
Lewis quickly placed his name on the ballot for student-body president.
takes quite a bit of chutzpah to come into a new school and run
for student-body president," recalls classmate Ed Peck '56.
"Jerry always had a tremendous amount of confidence and always
had his eyes on the prize."
election may be the first and last that Lewis ever lost. He did,
however, serve as junior-class president, becoming increasingly
engaged, both intellectually and politically, at UCLA.
used to work in the research laboratories at night and my political
science professors would join me in the rat room to talk politics,"
Lewis recalls. One of those professors, Ivan Hinderaker, became
a key mentor for Lewis. Hinderaker went on to serve as chancellor
of UC Riverside from 1964 to 1979 and was a member of the Minnesota