Mary Cameron Sanford hailed from three prominent missionary families and was born in Hamakuapoko on April 27, 1930. Her love for Maui and its history ran deep, and she cared profoundly for the island and its people.
Sanford’s upbringing included a passion for animals, and she cherished her childhood memories of riding a horse named Melekula through the pineapple fields. Her family had a rich tradition of giving back to the community, and this spirit of generosity was ingrained in her.
Sanford’s family’s work is visible throughout the Maui community. They are responsible for the Kula Sanitarium. Her father established the J. Walter Cameron Center, which is home to many nonprofit organizations and public agencies. Her mother started Hui No’eau, a visual arts center in Makawao.
Sanford served as chairwoman and president of Maui Land & Pineapple Co., which went on to develop the Kapalua Resort. She also was publisher of The Maui News, from 1986 to 1996.