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Finding Aid for the Harry L. Lewis and De Sacia Mooers papers, 1896-1954
719  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography/History
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Harry L. Lewis and De Sacia Mooers papers
    Date (inclusive): 1896-1954
    Collection number: 719
    Creators: Lewis, Harry L., 1883-1963 Mooers, De Sacia, 1879-1960
    Extent: 4 document boxes (2.8 linear ft.) 3 flat boxes
    Abstract: Harry L. Lewis (1883-1963) was an oil speculator, periodicals publisher, sports agent, boxing promoter, horse racing organizer and manager, and real estate developer. He was married to actress De Sacia Mooers (1879-1960), who acted on stage in New York and starred in silent movies in California. The collection consists of Lewis's books, clippings, papers, photographs, publications, and scrapbooks documenting his business interests and political involvement. It also consists of De Sacia Mooers's clippings, scrapbooks, photographs, publications, and publicity materials documenting her career in New York and California. There are some personal photographs and papers but the bulk of the material is associated with the couple's professional lives.
    Language: Finding aid is written in English.
    Language of the Material: Materials are in English.
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Mr. Harry L. Lewis, January 1962.

    Processing Note

    Processed by Rachel Hadlock-Piltz in 2012 with assistance from Jillian Cuellar and Megan Fraser.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Harry L. Lewis and De Sacia Mooers papers (Collection 719). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 4233307 

    Biography/History

    Harry L. Lewis (a.k.a. Harry Lefkowitz) (1883-1963) had a long and varied career. He was a gold prospector, oil speculator, and published a sports paper in San Francisco and Los Angeles during the early decades of the 20th century. He was a sports correspondent for the San Francisco Bulletin, and published the weekly sports magazine The Referee. During this period Lewis became a boxing promoter, organizing fights in Los Angeles and the west for Jack Dempsey and other noted prize fighters. Around 1920 he ceased to use the name Harry Lefkowitz and went by the name Harry L. Lewis. He married silent film actress De Sacia Mooers circa 1926.
    During the 1920s Lewis became involved in horse racing as an organizer, promoter, race track manager, and developer. Through the 1930s he organized and managed races in Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona, in California, and in Portland and Gresham, Oregon. He was general manager of the Phoenix, Arizona Jockey Club, Oregon Jockey Club, and other horse racing clubs. He also developed race tracks in those states, as well as in California. Other real estate developments he headed include the Breakers Beach Club in Santa Monica, California, of which he was the president, and a resort in Palm Springs, California.
    In the 1930s Lewis met with some success in lobbying in California for bills related to boxing and horse racing. In 1934 he ran for the California State Board of Equalization as a Democratic candidate for the fourth district. Lewis had many political acquaintances; he and Mooers were friends with former Los Angeles police commissioner Charles W. Ostrom and his wife, as well as other prominent Los Angeles residents. Lewis also had many friends in the movie business, among them Jack Warner and Tom Mix.
    De Sacia Mooers (formerly De Sacia Saville) (1879-1960) was a silent film actress during the 1920s and 1930s. She was married to Edward Demarest Mooers, the heir to the Yellow Aster gold mining company in Randsburg, California. She divorced Mooers in 1925, and later married Harry L. Lewis (circa 1926). Mooers pursued her acting career in New York in the 1910s-1920s, appearing in stage plays and silent films under her married name and also under her maiden name. Known for playing "vamp" roles, she wrote magazine articles about romance and beauty that involved the theme of "vamping" and seduction, and gave interviews in entertainment and glamour magazines such as Movie Weekly. She also acted in California alongside movie stars such as Tom Mix and Warner Baxter. Other notable acquaintances include actress Billie Burke, Al Jolson, and George Gershwin.

    Scope and Content

    This collection documents the lives of Harry L. Lewis and De Sacia Mooers, covering the period 1896-1954. The bulk of the collection covers the period 1920-1939. It documents De Sacia Mooers's stage and film career in New York and California, and documents Harry L. Lewis's career as a publisher and sports promoter. It also documents his other careers as an oil speculator in Texas, and real estate developer in California, Arizona, and Oregon. It also contains some personal photographs and correspondence documenting Lewis's and Mooers's friendships with prominent people in California, in the sports world, and in the early film industry, such as movie mogul Jack Warner and Hollywood star Tom Mix. Some of the significant topics represented include boxing, horse racing, the movie industry, real estate development, and politics (especially laws and government oversight related to boxing, horse racing, and real estate).

    Organization and Arrangement

    Arranged in the following series:
    • Series 1: Harry L. Lewis papers, 1911-1954
      • Subseries 1.1: Scrapbooks and publications, 1911-1951
      • Subseries 1.2: Books and manuscripts, 1921-1954
    • Series 2: De Sacia Mooers papers, 1896-1951
    • Series 3: Photographs, 1920-1928

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

    Subjects

    Lewis, Harry L., 1883-1963 --Archives.
    Mooers, De Sacia --Archives.
    Sports promoters --United States --Archival resources.
    Motion picture actors and actresses --United States --Archival resources.

    Genres and Forms of Material

    photographs.

    Related Material

    The recollections of Harry L. Lewis [oral history transcript] / Harry L. Lewis, interviewee.   UCLA Oral History Department interview, 1964. Available at Library Special Collections, UCLA.