Finding Aid for the Harry L. Lewis and De Sacia Mooers papers, 1896-1954
Processed by Rachel Hadlock-Piltz in 2012 with assistance from Jillian Cuellar and Megan Fraser; machine-readable finding
aid created by Caroline Cubé.
UCLA Library Special Collections
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
Title: Harry L. Lewis and De Sacia Mooers papers
Date (inclusive): 1896-1954
Collection number: 719
Lewis, Harry L., 1883-1963
Mooers, De Sacia, 1879-1960
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
Language of the Material:
Materials are in English.
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.
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.
Processed by Rachel Hadlock-Piltz in 2012 with assistance from Jillian Cuellar and Megan Fraser.
[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
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
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
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
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
Series 1: Harry L. Lewis papers.
Language of Material:
Scope and Content
Lewis's papers cover the period of 1911 through 1954. Prominent subjects include horse racing, boxing, and real estate development.
His prominent real estate developments include race tracks in Arizona, Oregon, and California, and the Breakers Beach Club
in Santa Monica, California. Other subjects include Lewis's work as a sports and entertainment reporter, and later as editor
and publisher of the sports magazine
The Referee. California politics, Lewis' friendship with people in the movie industry, and his involvement in public life in Los Angeles
are also represented.
Subseries 1.1: Scrapbooks and publications.
Scope and Content
This subseries contains scrapbooks and publications generated by Harry L. Lewis in the course of his career. Well-represented
subjects include horse racing, real estate development, and sports publications. Other subjects include Lewis' oil speculation,
political career, boxing promotion, and personal correspondence.
Periodicals (1911-1934) mainly relate to sports, and cover Lewis' time as editor and publisher of
The Referee-Announcer and
The Los Angeles Referee. The magazines appear to be related to an earlier San Francisco periodical also called
The Referee, which merged with
The Announcer in 1915. There are no complete series of any of the publications.
Lewis' scrapbooks are arranged chronologically by subject. Periodicals are arranged chronologically by publication.
The Referee is arranged as one series despite changes to its name during a merger with
The Announcer. Lewis had originally arranged the magazines this way in a 4-ring binder.
Brown scrapbook: "Harry Lefkwitz Lewis".
Box 4, Folder 3
Sample ads for the Breakers Club.
Scope and Content Note
One folder with sample advertisements for Lewis' promotion of the Breakers Beach Club in Santa Monica, California.
Box 1, Folder 2
Newspaper scrapbook of Breakers Beach Club advertisements.
Physical Description: This scrapbook is in poor shape. The pages are very brittle, as most of them contain newsprint clippings.
Box 4, Folder 4
Menu for Breakers Beach Club.
Scrapbook: "Breakers Club Clippings".
Red scrapbook: Harry L. Lewis Campaign for State Board of Equalization.
1934 July-1934 August.
Black scrapbook: "Jockey Club of Arizona, Inc. 1935".
1934 December-1935 April.
Brown scrapbook: Tucson, Arizona horse racing.
1935 February-1935 March.
Green scrapbook: Portland, Oregon horse racing.
1935 April-1935 November.
Black scrapbook: "Phoenix Jockey Club, Inc. Phoenix, Arizona".
4-ring binder labeled "Sports Publications, 1911-1915".
Box 7, Folder 1
Sports Publications: "The Referee" magazine cover mock-up.
Box 7, Folder 2
Sports Publications: "The Figaro".
Box 7, Folder 3
Sports Publications: "The Referee".
1912, 1913, 1915.
Box 7, Folder 4
Sports Publications: "Follies Review".
1913 October 17.
Box 7, Folder 5
"The Referee" magazine (7 issues).
1917, 1928, 1929.
Box 7, Folder 6
"The Knockout" magazine cover.
1927 July 18.
Box 7, Folder 7
"Hollywood Filmograph" magazine.
1934 December 22.
Box 1, Folder 1
"The Los Angeles Times" newspaper.
1911 August 4, 1911 August 7.
Box 1, Folder 3
"The Referee" newspaper (Sydney, Australia).
1933 December 7, 1934 January 11, 1934 February 22.
Subseries 1.2: Books and manuscript.
Scope and Content
This subseries contains six books related to sports, some of which are autographed by their authors, and one undated manuscript
titled "The greatest sports teams in American history."
Adios to Ghosts! Christy Walsh.
After 1937 October 6.
Championship Records, 1934 (Annual), Thomas S. Andrews.
Box 4, Folder 5
"The greatest teams in American sports history", manuscript.
The New Encyclopedia of Sports, Frank G. Menke.
One Thousand Sport Stories, vol. 3, Al Spink.
Race Players' Guide: A Complete Turf Education, All the Facts and Systems, Louis G. Holloway.
20 years of poems, moods, and meditations, Henry J. Armstrong.
Series 2: De Sacia Mooers papers.
Language of Material:
Scope and Content
De Sacia Mooers's papers comprise scrapbooks, clippings, photographs and sheet music from her stage and film career, and from
her private life, during the period 1896-1951. Prominent subjects include her work on the movies
The Blond Vampire (1922), and
Potash and Perlmutter (1923), her writings and interviews in
Movie Weekly magazine, and her stage career in New York, including the play
The Vampire (1919), where she performed under the name De Sacia Saville. Her green scrapbooks include clippings, photographs, management
agreements and contracts with motion-picture studios, and advertisements related to her plays, movies, and publications. They
also contain some clippings, correspondence, and photographs related to her personal and social life. The majority of her
photographs' subjects are professional and promotional in nature (such as head shots, glamour shots, and promotional stills
from her plays and movies); some of the play and movie stills are autographed by other cast members and contain descriptive
De Sacia Mooers's papers are arranged chronologically. The photographs have been left in their original arrangement, grouped
roughly by subject (glamour shots, stage play stills, motion-picture stills).
Green scrapbook: family and career.
Green scrapbook: "Movie Weekly".
Box 4, Folder 2
De Sacia Mooers clippings.
Box 4, Folder 1
De Sacia Mooers "Potash and Perlmutter" clippings.
Box 7, Folder 8
De Sacia Mooers photographs (43 photos).
Box 7, Folder 10
Autographed sheet music (5 items).
Series 3: Photographs.
Scope and Content
This series comprises 24 photographs dated between 1920-1928. Subjects include photographs of friends of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis,
edited publication photos of sports figures, a photo negative of a boxer thought to be Jack Dempsey, some of De Sacia Mooers's
publicity photos, and oversized photos of the groundbreaking and barbeque at Lewis Wonder Date Palms Resort in Palm Springs,
CA, circa 1926.