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Sylvia Campbell Powell ’43

Sylvia Campbell Powell ’43, July 12, 2004, in Daly City, California, from a cardiac illness. Sylvia received her bachelor’s degree from Reed in political science. Following World War II, she went to China with the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. She met and married John W. Powell, who opened a news bureau for the U.S. Office of War Information in Shanghai. Articles researched and printed by the Powells and an associate in the ’50s in their magazine, China Monthly Review, brought about charges of treason and sedition against them by the U.S. Government. They moved to San Francisco in 1953, and because of the accusations faced overwhelming personal and financial difficulties, and were unable to secure employment. They began a renovation business, Homes of Charm, and developed a steady income from this, and later from their antique business. In their leisure time, they enjoyed hiking in the High Sierra and shared a ranch north of San Francisco. In 1959, charges of treason were dismissed following a mistrial, and in 1961, Attorney General Robert Kennedy cleared the sedition charges levied against the couple. Sylvia is survived by her husband, and the couple’s three sons and three grandchildren.

Appeared in Reed magazine: November 2004

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