An avid acquirer of antiques and a respected disseminator of political advice to four American presidents, Set Charles Momjian, who passed away at age 91 on April 12th, fulfilled a dual passion—preserving the past through collecting and embracing the future through politics.
An Armenian-American who grew up in New Jersey, Momjian rose to the highest ranks of the Ford Motor Company as a marketing executive. Ever engaged in politics, in the late 1970s, the La Salle graduate and US Army veteran who studied advertising had a chance encounter with then-presidential candidate Jimmy Carter. It was a turning point that catapulted him to the inner circle of American leadership, as a key player in election campaigns and special projects.
These wide-ranging civic activities were not limited to American affairs. Momjian was also dedicated to giving back to the Armenian community at large. His distinguished positions in various Armenian organizations including serving on the Central Committee of AGBU of America, earned him a respected place among Armenian-American luminaries of the post World War II era, many of whom were the children of genocide survivors.
AGBU President Berge Setrakian recalled the years of cooperation with Set leading various activities including the first Armenian breakfast held for members of AGBU Presidents’ club at the White House with President Carter and securing an important endowment from the US Government during the early years of the establishment of the American University of Armenia. Armenian-American groups looked to Momjian for his guidance and insights on weighty Armenian matters like attaining official US genocide recognition and the rebirth of an independent Armenian state. “Set was trusted for his keen powers of analysis; he was a realist and idealist in one. He was a man of all talents and such varied interests, you had to admire his command of subject matter whether about a piece of antiquity or a political party platform. Set Momjian was right in his element when promoting causes close to his heart. Today, he remains close to our hearts, as we pause to honor his remarkable life and impressive legacy. “