Tribute, USC Center for the Political Future
Carmen Warschaw was a pioneering figure in national and California Democratic politics. She played a critical role in the creation of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics. She was the first female chair of the California Fair Employment Practices Commission, a longtime member of the Democratic National Committee, and served as the national vice-president of the Anti-Defamation League.
Having attended every Democratic National Convention from 1968 to 2008, Warschaw was a political force to be reckoned with. Her passion for politics earned her the nickname “Dragon Lady” from her opponents, a name she embraced with such pride that the family yacht carried exactly the same name.
Warschaw and her late husband, Louis, were both USC alumni. In 2008, she established the Carmen H. and Louis Warschaw Chair in Practical Politics at USC’s Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Her generosity extended well beyond the political science department at the University; she helped found USC Dornsife’s Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life, established the Warschaw Lecture, and made significant contributions to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Her philanthropic activities were recognized by the Los Angeles Times, which named her Woman of the Year in 1968. Her presence and leadership are missed by this Institute and all who had the privilege of knowing her.