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Stanley Mosk Papers MSS.0101
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Arrangement
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Other Finding Aids

  • Title: Stanley Mosk papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS.0101
    Contributing Institution: California Judicial Center Library, Special Collections and Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 188.0 Cubic feet (25 cartons, 150 archives boxes, 132 flat boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1912-2007, bulk 1930-2001
    Abstract: Personal and professional papers of the Honorable Stanley Mosk, former California Attorney General and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California. Materials date from 1912 through 2007.
    creator: Mosk, Stanley, 1912-2001


    The Stanley Mosk papers are open to researchers upon approval of written request. Requests should be submitted to: California Judicial Center Library, Special Collections and Archives, 455 Golden Gate Avenue, Room 4617, San Francisco, CA, 94102-7013, or by e-mail to archives@jud.ca.gov.

    Conditions Governing Use

    Use must comply with all applicable California and federal statutes and regulations, and with such rules and procedures as the California Judicial Center Library may adopt and promulgate. The security and safety of material in the collections must be assured at all times. Any use of materials or other behavior that creates risk of damage or loss to materials in the collections is prohibited and will result in immediate withdrawal of permission to use the collections. Permission to copy materials in Special Collections and Archives must be requested in advance and in writing.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Stanley Mosk papers, MSS.0101, California Judicial Center Library, Special Collections and Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of the Honorable Richard M. Mosk, August 2001.


    Arranged in eight series: Series 1. Personal and family papers; Series 2. Professional papers; Series 3. Political campaigns; Series 4. Publications; Series 5. Speeches; Series 6. Photographs; Series 7. Objects; Series 8. Audio Visual Materials.

    Biographical Note

    Justice Stanley Mosk served California for more than half of the twentieth century. A giant in the law, he was recognized internationally for his defense of individual liberties and for the development of novel, significant and lasting legal theories. In more than 600 opinions, including many landmark rulings, he left his imprint upon California law and influenced the development of federal and state law. A memorable man, Justice Mosk was also a man of memories. Because he cared for the words and objects that marked his life's passages they remain available today, to inform and enhance appreciation of a great man and the time in which he lived. In the Stanley Mosk Papers, the remarkable collection of papers that documents his personal and professional lives, he left a lasting legacy for students of American law, history, and politics.
    Born in San Antonio, Texas, in 1912, Stanley Mosk received his primary and secondary education in the public schools of Rockford, Illinois. His involvement in community service developed early. A fledgling journalist, he co-edited his high school newspaper and represented Rockford in the annual Illinois High School Press Conference. He was a member of the school's championship debate team. An athlete as well as a scholar, he played baseball during his high school years and covered the football and basketball seasons for the school paper.
    Mosk received a bachelor of philosophy degree from the University of Chicago, Division of the Social Sciences, in June 1933. He continued his education at Southwestern University School of Law and was admitted to the practice of law in California in 1935.
    He married Edna Mitchell on September 27, 1936. Their son, Richard, was born on May 18, 1939. Edna Mosk conducted a small manufacturing business and was later a realtor in Beverly Hills as well as an artist. She played an active role in the management of her husband's campaigns for attorney general in 1958 and 1962, and remained a lifelong Democrat, active in the party, until her death in 1981.
    Mosk's life of public service began with his appointment to the staff of Governor Culbert L. Olson in 1939. He served in the cabinet as legal advisor and later as executive secretary. In 1943 he was appointed to the Superior Court in Los Angeles County. He resigned his judgeship to serve in the U.S. Army during World War II. At the conclusion of his military service, he returned to the bench, remaining until his successful campaign for Attorney General. He won the 1958 election for that office by a margin of more than one million votes, the largest in any electoral contest in the United States that year.
    In his nearly six years as Attorney General, Mosk issued more than 1,500 written opinions in matters ranging from water rights to voting rights. He is remembered for his strong stand in favor of permitting an African-American golfer, Charlie Sifford, to participate in a PGA tournament, condemning the sport's then-prevalent racial restrictions. Among his many constructive proposals in the field of law enforcement was the establishment of the Commission on Peace Officers' Standards and Training.
    Justice Mosk was appointed to the California Supreme Court in September 1964 and served until his death in June 2001. He was at all times an esteemed colleague, a legal scholar of the highest order, and a seeker of just and workable solutions. He is the author of more than 1,400 opinions in matters as varied as the use of racial quotas as a basis for admission to medical school (the Bakke decision); the ability of disabled parents to retain custody of their children; and the requirement that physicians disclose treatment options and risks to their patients (the doctrine of informed consent). At his death on June 19, 2001, Justice Mosk was survived by his widow, Mrs. Kaygey Kash Mosk, and his son, Richard.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Stanley Mosk papers consist of 188 cubic feet of records in approximately 3,500 folders; 54 scrapbooks and albums; approximately 3,500 photographs; approximately 40 audio visual items; and approximately 250 objects, which range from plaques and paperweights to political memorabilia and original art. Approximately 250 books from Justice Mosk's home and chambers are housed with the papers. The collection spans the years 1912 to 2007, the date of the last publication about Justice Mosk included in the collection. The bulk of the materials in the collection date from 1930 to 2001.

    Other Finding Aids

    A searchable folder inventory containing folder titles, dates, and contents notes is available online via the California Judicial Center Library California Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal Database: http://cjcl.iii.com:83/

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    California. Supreme Court.
    Mosk, Richard M.
    Mosk, Stanley, 1912-2001
    Attorneys general--California
    Justice, Administration of--California