One year ago: Nao Takasugi
Nao Takasugi was a Republican state Assemblyman, an Oxnard mayor and held an MBA. He also was sent with his family to an internment camp during World War II. Takasugi died one year ago at age 87.
At the internment camp, he earned $16 a month as a Spanish and business tutor, he told The Times in 2003, and his family ate slices of Spam for a "Sunday treat."
He left the camp after several months when a Quaker organization offered Takasugi the chance to complete his business degree (which he began at UCLA) at Temple University in Philadelphia.
His career success dissuaded him from dwelling on the negative internment camp experience.
"I don't feel angry anymore," he told the Ventura County Star in 2002. "In spite of all the shortcomings of this country, it's still a great country. Where else can you come from a concentration camp and become the mayor?"
For more, read Nao Takasugi's obituary by The Times.
-- Michael Farr
Photo: Nao Takasugi. Credit: Alan Hagman / Los Angeles Times