The Dorman L. Commons (1918-1987) Collection documents the activities of the California State Board of Education from 1962
through 1970. As a member of the California State Board of Education, Commons’ collection includes materials on California
schools K-16, State Board of Education, Max Rafferty as Superintendent of Public Instruction, serving two terms during Commons’
time on the Board of Education, and the election campaign of Wilson Riles, the first African American elected to statewide
office in California and first African American to be elected in the nation, for the role of Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Dorman L. Commons (1918-1987) was Financial Vice President for Occidental Petroleum Co. while serving as a member of the
State Board of Education from 1962-1970. From January of 1967 to January of 1968 he served as the President of the California
State Board of Education. He also served on the Executive Committee of the National Committee for Support of the Public Schools
(NCSPS). Commons was one of the last remaining liberal Democrats on the board during an era of great controversy and change.
He worked on the campaign for Wilson Riles against Max Rafferty for superintendent in 1970. After his time on the Board of
Education, Commons continued his career in corporate oil and energy, authored a book about corporate takeovers, and was chairman
of the California Commission on the Teaching Profession until his death in 1987.
22 linear ft
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Archives
and Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical
materials and not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.
There are no access restrictions on this collection.