Leonard Woodcock Papers
Leonard Woodcock was a longtime labor figure who rose to the level of President of the UAW in 1970 and held the position until 1977. He then embarked on a renowned diplomatic career, first leading a mission to recover POW's and remains of those missing in action in Vietnam in 1977, and then serving as Chief of the US Liaison Office to the People’s Republic of China (PRC). While in China, he negotiated with PRC leaders to establish full diplomatic relations between China and the US, officially achieved in late 1978. President Carter appointed Woodcock as the nation’s first ambassador to the PRC in 1979. After leaving the State Department, Woodcock would become a professor at the University of Michigan and was invited around the world to lecture on Sino-American relations and the labor movement. The Leonard Woodcock Papers primarily cover the subject’s time spent in China and his various China-related activities. The earliest of these materials document his efforts working for the US government in Beijing, though also included are records related to visits made to China in the following years to speak on Sino-American relations. Other records reflect Woodcock’s later career as a renowned Sinologist, teaching courses at the University of Michigan and guest lecturing around the nation. Besides Woodcock’s time in China, other topics included are materials from his time as president of the UAW, general correspondence, and serving on the Board of Governors at Wayne State University. Complementing the manuscript materials on Woodcock's diplomatic career in China are 37 oral history interviews on this topic conducted between him and fellow Sinologist Michel Oksenberg.
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