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Finding Aid to the Melvin M. Belli papers, 1939-1989 (bulk 1955-1980)
BANC MSS 2012/185  
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Collection Details
 
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Melvin M. Belli papers
    Date (inclusive): 1939-1989
    Date (bulk): 1955-1980
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 2012/185
    Creator: Belli, Melvin M.
    Extent: 12 cartons, 2 boxes, 1 oversize folder 16 linear feet
    Repository: The Bancroft Library.
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
    Phone: (510) 642-6481
    Fax: (510) 642-7589
    Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
    URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
    Abstract: The Belli papers include the correspondence, working papers and personal papers of Melvin M. Belli. The materials have generally been kept in the order in which they were received and have been broken down into nine series following that arrangement: Correspondence; Case Files; Professional Files; Writings; Speaking Engagements; Television/Radio/Film; Press; Subject Files; and Personal.
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English

    Information for Researchers

    Access Information

    Collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Melvin M. Belli Papers, BANC MSS 2012/185, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog
    Belli, Melvin M., 1907-1996--Archives
    Lawyers -- California -- San Francisco.
    Lawyers -- United States.
    Trial practice--United States.

    Administrative Information

    The Melvin M. Belli Papers were given to The Bancroft Library by Robert L. Lieff in 2012.
    No additions are expected.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Bancroft Library staff in 2013.

    Biography/Organization History

    Melvin Mouron Belli was born in Sonora, California in 1907. he was raised in Sonora and Stockton, graduating from Stockton High School in 1925. He went on to graduate from the University of California Berkeley and Boalt Law School, from which he graduated in 1933.
    Belli quickly gained noteriety in the field of personal injury law due in part to his dramatic courtroom style. Christened the "King of Torts" by Life Magazine in 1954, Belli was known for securing large monetary awards for his personal injury clients.
    Belli rose to national prominence in 1964 when he defended Jack Ruby in the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald. Other famous clients over the years of his practice included Lenny Bruce, Mario Savio, and Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker.
    Belli died in 1996 at the age of 88.

    Scope and Content Note

    The Belli papers include the correspondence, working papers and personal papers of Melvin M. Belli. The materials have generally been kept in the order in which they were received and have been broken down into nine series following that arrangement: Correspondence; Case Files; Professional Files; Writings; Speaking Engagements; Television/Radio/Film; Press; Subject Files; and Personal.