|United States Secretary of Commerce
June 1, 2013 – June 26, 2013
|Deputy||Patrick Gallagher (Acting)|
|Preceded by||Rebecca Blank|
|Succeeded by||Penny Pritzker|
|Born||September 6, 1950|
|Relations||John Forbes Kerry (brother)
Brice Lalonde (cousin)
|Parents||Richard John Kerry
Rosemary Isabel Forbes
|Alma mater||Harvard University
Cameron Forbes Kerry (born September 6, 1950) is an American politician. He is the younger brother and political confidant of John Forbes Kerry and the General Counsel of the US Department of Commerce. He was appointed Acting United States Secretary of Commerce on June 1, 2013  and resumed his position as General Counsel on June 26, 2013 when Penny Pritzker was sworn in as the 38th United States Secretary of Commerce. As the General Counsel of the Department of Commerce, Cameron Kerry is the principal legal advisor to the Secretary of Commerce and third ranking secretarial officer. President Obama nominated him on April 20, 2009 and he was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate on May 21, 2009.
He serves as chief legal officer of the Department and oversees the work of over 325 lawyers in 14 offices who provide legal advice to all components of the Department. Kerry is the Department's chief ethics officer, and co-chairs the Secretary's Internet Policy Task Force, which brings together Commerce agencies with expertise on the internet in the 21st century global economy.
Life and career
The fourth child of U.S. diplomat Richard John Kerry and Rosemary Isabel Forbes, Cameron Kerry graduated from Harvard University in 1972, and Boston College Law School in 1978. Cameron Kerry was an associate with Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr in Washington, D.C. and served as law clerk to U.S. Senior Circuit Judge Elbert Tuttle, former Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (now the Eleventh Circuit). He has been an Adjunct Professor of Telecommunications Law at Suffolk University Law School and has written on First Amendment and cable television issues. From 1983 to 2008, he worked as a Partner at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo, focusing on civil litigation, environmental issues, and communications regulation.
In 2004, Cameron Kerry served as an influential advisor in his brother's presidential campaign. Kerry played a role in decisions behind the scenes and as a campaign surrogate.
In 2003, genealogist Felix Gundacker discovered that Cameron Kerry's paternal grandparents Frederick "Fred" Kerry (born Fritz Kohn) and Ida Lowe had been born Jewish and changed their names to "Frederick and Ida Kerry" from "Kohn" in 1900 and converted from Judaism to Roman Catholicism in 1901 or 1902. Fritz' elder brother Otto had earlier, in 1887 or 1896, also embraced Catholicism. The "Kerry" name, widely misinterpreted as indicative of Irish heritage, was reputedly selected arbitrarily: "According to family legend, Fritz and another family member opened an atlas at random and dropped a pencil on a map. It fell on County Kerry in Ireland, and thus a name was chosen." Leaving their hometown Mödling, a suburb of Vienna where they had lived since 1896, Fred and Ida, together with their son Eric, emigrated to the United States in 1905, living at first in Chicago and eventually moving to Brookline, Massachusetts, by 1915.
The village where Fritz Kohn was born in 1873 was at that time known as Bennisch and was a part of Silesia in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. For a time, Fred Kerry was a prosperous and successful shoe merchant. He and Ida along with their children Richard and Mildred were able to afford to travel to Europe in the autumn of 1921, returning on October 21. A few weeks later, on November 15, Fred Kerry filed a will leaving everything to Ida and then, on November 23, walked into a washroom of the Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston and committed suicide by shooting himself in the head with a handgun. The suicide was front-page news in all of the Boston newspapers, reporting at the time that the motive was severe asthma and related health problems, but modern reports cite family sources saying that the motive was financial trouble: "He had made three fortunes and when he had lost the third fortune, he couldn't face it anymore", according to granddaughter Nancy Stockslager.
John Kerry has said that although he knew his paternal grandfather had come from Austria, he did not know until informed by The Boston Globe on the basis of their genealogical research that Fred Kerry had changed his name from "Fritz Kohn" and had been born Jewish, nor that Ida's brother Otto and sister Jenni had died in Nazi concentration camps. Cameron Kerry traveled across the country speaking to his brother's views on Israel, campaigning with Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, writer-comedian Larry David, and Jewish elected officials.
In 2006, Cameron Kerry explored a run for Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth deciding not to run when the Democratic incumbent, William F. Galvin, announced that he would seek reelection.
On September 18, 1972, the day before the primary election in which John Kerry was seeking his district's nomination in his race for the U.S. House of Representatives, Cameron Kerry and Thomas J. Vallely were caught in the basement of the building that housed both John Kerry and opponent Anthony R. DiFruscia's campaign headquarters. Cameron was charged with breaking and entering. One month later, the charges were dropped after the Kerry campaign explained that Cameron was in the building to investigate rumors that his brother's campaign telephone lines were being wiretapped.
- "Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo Biography".
- O'Brien, Timothy L. (February 15, 2004). "THE 2004 CAMPAIGN: THE CONFIDANT; Kerry Turns to His Brother For Help on Big Decisions". New York Times. Retrieved April 28, 2010.
- "Cameron Kerry and his in-laws talk of the Democratic frontrunner". Detroit Jewish News. Retrieved 2006-08-27.
- Berger, Joseph (May 16, 2004). "Kerry's Grandfather Left Judaism Behind in Europe". The New York Times. Retrieved January 8, 2008.
- Kranish, Michael; Mooney, Brian C.; Easton, Nina J. (April 27, 2004). "John Kerry: The Complete Biography by The Boston Globe Reporters Who Know Him Best". The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 8, 2008.
- Whitmore, Brian (February 22, 2004). "Hearing of roots, Czech village roots Kerry on". The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 8, 2008.
- Kranish, Michael (June 15, 2003). "A privileged youth, a taste for risk". The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 8, 2008.
- Neuman, Johanna (October 29, 2004). "Kerry's entree to Jewish vote". Los Angeles Times.
- Phillips, Frank (July 27, 2005). "Kerry's brother mulls a run". Boston Globe.
- "Obama is calling to Jews". Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA).
- "The Many Faces Of Sen. John Kerry". Insight. 2003. Retrieved 2006-08-27.
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|United States Secretary of Commerce