Richard H. Austin Papers

Accession Number: 
UP000421
Extent: 
36.25 linear feet (68 MB, 14 SB, 2 OS), 1 reel
Date: 
1930-1994, bulk 1968-1980

Mr. Austin, who in 1941 became Michigan's first black certified public accountant, has been active in Detroit, Wayne County, and Michigan Democratic politics and civic clubs for many years. During the period 1961-63, he was a delegate to the Michigan Constitutional Convention; 1963-65, co-chairman of the Michigan Commission on Legislative Apportionment; 1962, elected to the Wayne County Board of Supervisors; 1964, lost the Congressional race against John Conyers, Jr.; 1966, won a seat on the Wayne County Board of Auditors; 1969, defeated by Roman Gribbs in the Detroit mayoralty race; 1970, elected Michigan's Secretary of State. The material in the collection relates to these topics and to numerous civic and professional organizations to which he belonged. Among the correspondents are Jerome P. Cavanagh, John Conyers, Jr., Charles Diggs, Fred Harris, Hubert Humphrey, Mildred Jeffrey, James McNeely, Walter Reuther, and G. Mennen Williams.

Part 2 of the Richard H. Austin Papers contains newspaper clippings about Austin and Roman Gribb’s mayoral campaign, Austin’s professional accomplishments, and Detroit’s political climate in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Additionally, this collection holds documents, speeches, and correspondence about Austin’s bid for mayor, as well as his Secretary of State campaign. This collection also consists of correspondence and meeting minutes from the Wayne County Board of Auditors, United Way of Southeastern Michigan, Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan, and the Luella Hannah Memorial Foundation.

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