Tribute, USC Center for the Political Future
Joseph R. Cerrell was a transformative figure in California and national politics, government, and public service.
He founded the public affairs firm Cerrell Associates and served as a key advisor for John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Hubert H. Humphrey, Lloyd Bentsen, John Glenn, and Al Gore.
Cerrell worked alongside Dianne Feinstein, Willie Brown, Jesse M. Unruh, and both Pat and Jerry Brown. He was a loyal and committed Trojan. As an undergraduate in the 1950s, he founded the USC College Democrats.
As a dedicated alumnus, he co-founded the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics. His legacy lives on through his commitment to service and love of politics. Every student who participates in programming at the Unruh Institute has benefited from Cerrell’s devotion to public service. His legacy will live on in our students as they benefit from his example and work.