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Guide to the Lionel J. Wilson Collection
MS 134  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The Lionel J. Collection consists of newspaper clippings, political campaign flyers, biographical sketches, photographs, and programs documenting the political career of Oakland’s first black mayor Lionel J. Wilson. The collection is organized into five series: biographical material, programs, photographs, political flyers, and newspaper clippings. The bulk of the collection is newspaper clippings on Wilson’s political career, and also includes photographs of the Oakland City Council and various mayoral events, political flyers from Wilson’s mayoral campaigns in 1977 and 1981, biographical sketches, and programs from mayoral events including the mayor’s annual prayer breakfast and various banquets honoring Wilson.
Background
Lawyer, judge, and politician Lionel J. Wilson (1915-1998) was born on March 14, 1915 in New Orleans, Louisiana the eldest son of Julius J. and Louise Barrios Wilson. At the age of three, he moved with the Wilson family to Oakland, California where he attended Clawson Elementary School and graduated from McClymonds High School in 1932. After graduating from the University of California Berkeley in 1939 with a degree in economics, he played semi-professional baseball for four years as a pitcher for the Oakland Larks. In 1943, he left baseball and enlisted in the United States Army and served in combat duty in Europe for 22 months during World War II eventually reaching the rank of first sergeant.
Extent
.25 linear feet (1 box)
Restrictions
Permission to publish from the Lionel J. Wilson collection must be obtained from the African American Museum & Library at Oakland.
Availability
No access restrictions. Collection is open to the public.