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Richard A. Gephardt Papers, 1940-2007 (bulk 1971-2004)

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Identifier: A2940

Title: Richard A. Gephardt Papers, 1940-2007 (bulk 1971-2004)


Richard A. Gephardt was born in St. Louis on January 31, 1941. His father Louis was a former union truck driver and a real estate broker; his mother Loreen worked as a secretary to earn money to put her sons through college. Richard and his older brother Don grew up on Reber Place in south St. Louis, attending nearby Mason Elementary School and supporting his hometown Cardinals baseball team. After graduating from Southwest High School in St. Louis, Gephardt attended Northwestern University High School Summer Institute in drama before attending the University for his undergraduate studies. He became involved in student government while there, serving as president of his fraternity, the junior men's honorary society, and the Student Senate. It was also at Northwestern that he met his future wife Jane Ann Byrnes. After completing his law degree at the University of Michigan in 1965, Gephardt moved back to St. Louis and became a member of the law firm of Thompson & Mitchell. He also joined the Missouri Air National Guard and in 1966 married Jane Byrnes. While in St. Louis, young Gephardt became involved in local politics. In 1971 he ran for and won election as St. Louis Alderman for the 14th Ward, then in 1976 he ran for Leonor K. Sullivan's newly-vacated Missouri 3rd District Congressional seat and won. During his 28 years in Congress, Gephardt served on several influential committees, including Ways and Means and the Budget. In 1984 his fellow Democrats elected him Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, making him the youngest person ever to serve in that position and the only one elected unanimously. The next year his colleagues elected him Majority Leader (later Minority Leader) and House Democratic Leader, positions he would hold throughout the rest of his tenure in office. He ran for President in 1988 and again in 2004. Upon leaving Congress he formed his own international consulting company, the Gephardt Group. In 2006 he established the Richard A. Gephardt Institute for Public Service at Washington University in St. Louis.

This collection includes papers related to Richard Gephardt’s congressional career and campaigns, photographs, and audio/visual records. The congressional and campaign papers contain congressional correspondence; correspondence with constituents; administrative files related to staff and Gephardt’s district office; information regarding the Health Camporee in St. Louis and the Soviet Union delegation to St. Louis, both in 1979; records relating to Gephardt’s legislative activities including sponsored and co-sponsored bills; press files; transcripts of Gephardt’s television or radio appearances; travel information; correspondence and records relating to the 2004 presidential race; briefing books focusing on debates against Michael Dukakis; various biographical write ups; information from the University of Michigan; and the tribute to Gephardt at the end of his political career. The collection also includes photographs from his congressional campaigns and the 1988 and 2004 presidential campaigns, personal and family photographs, photographs relating to Gephardt’s election as St. Louis alderman, and photographs covering the length of his congressional career. The audio/visual materials contain Gephardt’s campaign commercials, announcements, and tour footage from his congressional and presidential campaigns; raw footage from Robert Shrum, political strategist; videos relating to the campaigns of Gephardt’s opponents; Gephardt’s speeches and press conferences; family videos; focus group recordings; C-SPAN coverage; a collection of oral history interviews with Richard Gephardt and his staff; and national broadcast and local news coverage of Gephardt. The audio/visual materials are available in various formats, including VHS, audio reels, audio cassettes, and CDs.

1,799 boxes

Rights: UND


Dates: 1940-2007

Type(s): Documentary Artifacts




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