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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Ralph J. Bunche (1904-1971) graduated from UCLA and Harvard University, and was a professor at Howard University (1929-1950). He joined the Permanent Secretariat of the United Nations in 1948, served as the undersecretary for special political affairs (1958-67), and then became undersecretary general in 1968. In 1950, Bunche was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The collection consists of correspondence, speeches, manuscripts, articles, publications, and photographs related to Ralph J. Bunche's life and career.
Background
Bunche, Ralph Johnson (7 Aug. 1904-9 Dec. 1971), scholar and diplomat, was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Fred Bunch, a barber, and Olive Agnes Johnson. His grandmother added an "e" to the family's last name following a move to Los Angeles, California. Because his family moved frequently, Bunche attended a number of public schools before graduating first in his class from Jefferson High School in Los Angeles in 1922. He majored in political science at the University of California, Southern Branch (now University of California, Los Angeles or UCLA). He graduated summa cum laude and served as class valedictorian in 1927. He continued his studies in political science at Harvard, receiving his M.A. in 1928, then taught at Howard University in Washington, D.C., while working toward his Ph.D. at Harvard. In 1930 he married Ruth Ethel Harris; they had three children. Bunche traveled to Europe and Africa researching his dissertation and received his Ph.D. from Harvard in February 1934.
Extent
442 boxes (221 linear ft.) 7 cartons 47 oversize boxes
Restrictions
Series 21, subseries 1: Personal Correspondence between Ralph J. Bunche and Ruth H. Bunche (boxes 476-480) is closed until the deaths of both Joan H. Bunche and Ralph Bunche Jr.
Availability
COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.