In history's spotlight: Ben Nighthorse Campbell
- Born: April 13, 1933
Known for: Ben Nighthorse Campbell, an Auburn native, captained the U.S. judo team in the 1964 Olympics and served six years as a U.S. representative and 12 years as a U.S. senator.
Background: Campbell endured a troubled childhood. At age 17, he dropped out of Placer High School, rode freight cars and found work in the Sierra Nevada. He picked up judo from his Japanese co-workers at fruit-packing companies around Newcastle and Penryn.
Campbell joined the Air Force and served in Korea, then completed his education at San Jose State University. Because of health concerns, he moved to southwestern Colorado, where he won a seat in the state House. In 1987, he was sworn in as a member of the U.S.
House, and was for some time the only American Indian in Congress. He served in the U.S.
Senate from 1993 until 2005. Originally a member of the Democratic Party, Campbell switched to the Republican Party in 1995.
A highlight: Campbell won three U.S. judo championships and captured a gold medal at the 1963 Pan-American Games. He was inducted into the U.S. Judo Federation Hall of Fame in 1993.
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