Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Loren Miller papers
Bulk Dates: 1932-1966
Collection number: 2440
Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery
Abstract: This collection consists of the personal and professional papers ofjournalist, civil rights activist, attorney and judge Loren
Languages represented in the collection: English and Russian
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[Item], Loren Miller Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.
The collection was given to the Huntington Library by Loren Miller, Jr. in December 2006.
Loren Miller, journalist, civil rights activist, attorney and judge, was born in Pender, Nebraska in 1903 to former slave,
John Miller, and Nora Herbaugh, a white Midwesterner of Dutch ancestry. Miller attended Kansas University and received his
law degree from Washburn Law School in Topeka, Kansas in 1928. In 1929, Miller came to Los Angeles where he first worked as
editor of the California Eagle, the oldest African American newspaper in Los Angeles, which he purchased in 1951. He also
worked for The Los Angeles Sentinel with his cousin Leon H. Washington, Jr. In 1932, Miller and writer Langston Hughes went
to the Soviet Union along with other African Americans to make a film on Negro life in Communist Russia. The film never got
made. In 1933 Loren married Juanita Ellsworth, a social worker; they had two sons: Loren, Jr. and Edward Ellsworth. Loren
passed the bar exam in California in 1933. Miller spent most of his legal career fighting discrimination (he assisted Thurgood
Marshall with Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas), chiefly housing discrimination and real estate racial restrictive
covenants. In 1945 he was the lawyer for African American actress Hattie McDaniel in the Los Angeles "Sugar Hill" housing
case, which he won. In 1948 he successfully argued the US Supreme Court case Shelley v. Kraemer; the Supreme Court found that
although real estate restrictive covenants were not unconstitutional in and of themselves, any enforcement of a restrictive
covenant by a court would be unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment. He was a member of the Bars in Kansas and California.
Miller was a member of and held offices in dozens of organizations including: the NAACP and its national legal committee;
American Civil Liberties Union; National Urban League; Los Angeles Urban League; United States Commission on Civil Rights;
League of American Writers; National Bar Association; National Conference of Christians and Jews; National Negro Congress;
National Lawyers Guild; and the National Committee Against Discrimination in Housing. In 1964, Miller was appointed to the
Los Angeles County Municipal Court. In 1966, Loren wrote The Petitioners: The Story of the Supreme Court of the United States
and the Negro. He died in Los Angeles in July 1967.
Scope and Content of Collection
The collection contains 10,454 semi-cataloged items and housed in 72 boxes and 3 oversize folders. The collection contains
the following types of material: correspondence, telegrams, postcards, manuscripts, speeches, newspaper and magazine clippings,
publications including full magazines, research notes, briefs and other legal documents, brochures, meeting minutes, reports
and photographs. The following people and organizations are participants in the collection: Sadie Tanner Alexander, American
Bar Association, American Federation of Labor, Charlotta Bass, Fletcher Bowron, Tom Bradley, Edmund "Pat" Brown, California
Eagle, California Municipal Court (LA County), California Supreme Court, Civil Rights Congress, Nathaniel Colley, Congress
of Industrial Organizations, Congress of Racial Equality, Benjamin Davis, Lester Granger, Augustus F. Hawkins, Langston Hughes,
Japanese American Citizens' League, John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, League of Struggle for Negro Rights, Los Angeles Bar
Association, Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Urban League, Thurgood Marshall, Meschrabpom Film Company, Henry Lee
Moon, Stanley Mosk, NAACP and its Legal Defense and Education Fund, National Bar Association, National Committee Against Discrimination
in Housing, National Conference of Christians and Jews, National Lawyers Guild, National Urban League, Joel E. Spingarn and
the following federal entities: United States Commission on Civil Rights, Fair Employment Practices Committee, Federal Housing
Administration, Housing and Home Finance Agency, National Housing Agency, and the Supreme Court as well as Robert C. Weaver,
Walter White, Roy Wilkins, Franklin Williams and Whitney Young. Subjects in the collection include: Africa, African Americans
and other minorities in the United States; African American newspapers; civil rights and civil rights workers; communists
and communism both in America and Russia; crime and race; discrimination in many areas including criminal justice administration,
employment, housing, law enforcement and public accommodations; gangs; hate crimes; hate speech; inner cities; miscengenation;
police brutality and misconduct; poverty; abuse of prisoners; race riots including Chicago, Detroit, Zoot Suit and Watts;
racial profiling; slavery and reconstruction and African Americans in American history; real covenants; the Scottsboro case;
social work; urban renewal; the United States Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the 14th
Amendment to the US Constitution; James Baldwin; Sammy Davis; Frederick Douglass; Lena Horne, Martin Luther King, Jr.; Jackie
Robinson; Thomas J. Mooney; Malcolm X; and African American authors Countee Cullen, James Weldon Johnson, Claude McKay, George
Schuyler and Jean Toomer. The collection focuses on events taking place in Los Angeles and all of California; New York City
and Harlem; Chicago and Detroit. For legal cases in the collection see list at end of finding aid.
The correspondence series, which contains 4,607 items, is mainly made up of correspondence written by and to Loren Miller,
both business and personal. It includes letters, telegrams, cards, and postcards (most of the letters by Loren are typed copies
that he retained in his office). The series is arranged alphabetically by folder title and then chronologically. Most of the
correspondence is business in nature and the folders will also contain manuscripts and documents that accompanied the original
correspondence. There is one full box of letters and telegrams to Loren congratulating him on his judicial appointment in
1964, including letters by Johnnie Cochran and Judge Joseph Wapner, and two full boxes of sympathy letters, telegrams and
cards to Juanita Miller after Loren's death in 1967 including one by Frank Mankiewicz (press assistant to Robert F. Kennedy).
The personal papers series, which contains 562 items, is made up of material related to Loren Miller's personal life and the
Miller, Ellsworth and Gee families. It contains photographs, correspondence, documents, family trees, financial papers, and
The series is arranged alphabetically by folder title and then chronologically. The photographs include family photographs
and pictures of Loren Miller as a child. Some of the photographs are of Loren Miller's funeral and contain pictures of Tom
Bradley and Evelle J. Younger at the funeral. Other people in the photographs are: Lena Horne, Lorne Green and DeFrantz Williams.
There are also three full boxes of material related to Loren Miller, Jr. including notes from his law classes at Loyola Law
School and several papers by students in a law class he taught.
The professional papers series, which contains 4,213 items, is made up of material related to Loren Miller's professional
life including legal work (discrimination cases), civil rights work and his own writing. The series is arranged alphabetically
by folder title and then chronologically. It contains correspondence, manuscripts, legal documents, briefs, notes, articles,
essays, drafts of manuscripts, brochures, meeting minutes, reports, photographs, over 200 speeches, 100 of which are by Loren,
and material for Loren's book The Petitioners as well as drafts of and his research and notes for the book. The series also
includes material related to Loren's work with the various organizations with which he was affiliated (NAACP, ACLU, Urban
League, etc.). There are five full boxes of folders labeled "NAACP" and one box of folders labeled "Urban League." The series
also contains some items written by and related to Juanita Miller and her social work in Los Angeles as well as material related
to the California Eagle.
Publications, Magazines and Newspaper Clippings
The publications, magazines and newspaper clippings series, which contains 1,049 items, is made up of material received or
collected by Loren Miller during his lifetime. It contains various publications by organizations (NAACP, etc.), magazines
and magazine clippings, journals, programs, printed material, books, newspapers and newspaper clippings. The following publications
are included: California Eagle, Chicago Defender, The Crisis, The Daily Worker, Ebony, Jet, Labor Defender, Life, Los Angeles
Sentinel, Los Angeles Times, The Nation, Negro Digest, New Masses, The New Republic, New York Amsterdam News and the Pittsburgh
Courier. There are several items from after Loren Miller's death including obituaries for him and the announcement of the
acquisition of the Langston Hughes Papers by the Huntington Library in 2002.
The oversize series contains 23 items. It is made up of oversize items including certificates of merit, resolutions honoring
Loren Miller and his work, magazines, newspaper clippings, diplomas, panorama photographs, etc.
The mold series contains the material that had mold on it when the Huntington Library received the collection. The folders
have dummy folders in the collection where they would have been located if not for the mold. All of the items were cleaned
and all of the mold is dead.
The papers are organized in the following order:
Correspondence (Boxes 1-16), Personal Papers (Boxes 17-22), Professional Papers (Boxes 23-47), Publications, Magazines and
Newspaper Clippings (Boxes 48-55), Oversize (Boxes 56-59) and Mold Boxes 1-13.
Cataloger’s Notes (and Notes about Mold)
1. The collection is arranged in the following series: Correspondence, Personal Papers, Professional Papers, Publications,
Magazines and Newspaper Clippings and Oversize. This was done to keep Miller’s original organization as much as possible throughout
the entire collection.
2. Due to the original organization of the collection (Miller often put material dealing with several different subjects in
the same folder as well as different types of material, ie correspondence, manuscripts, clippings, etc.) and with the decision
to not take items out of their original folders, some subjects and material types can be found throughout the entire collection
and not just in their corresponding series.
3. The folders in each series are arranged in alphabetical order and then chronologically.
4. The cataloger supplied titles to folders that did not have them and to loose material that was collected and put into a
folder (those titles are in brackets). If the title is not in brackets, then it was the original title on the folder created
by Loren Miller.
5. Due to the size of the collection, the subject index is by no means complete. Several subjects such as civil rights, discrimination
in housing, the Supreme Court, and African Americans are not included in the index because they are found throughout the entire
6. Several boxes of the material had mold, both alive and dead, on them when acquisitioned by the library. All items were
cleaned by members of the Manuscripts and Preservation departments and all of the mold is now dead. This material has dummy
folders where they would have been located if not for the mold (to keep the collection’s organization). These boxes are not
located with the rest of the collection. For procedures on how to page this material please contact the Manuscripts Department.
Language: The majority of the collection is in English; there are several items in Russian.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in
the library's online public access catalog.
Baldwin, James, 1924-1987.
Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963.
Evers, Medgar Wiley, 1925-1963.
Herndon, Angelo, 1913-1997.
King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968.
Mooney, Thomas J., 1882-1942.
Spingarn, Joel Elias, 1875-1939.
X, Malcolm, 1925-1965.
Young, Whitney M.
California. Municipal Court (Los Angeles Judicial District)
California. Supreme Court.
Los Angeles (Calif.). Police Dept.
United States. Civil Rights Act of 1964.
United States. Constitution. 14th Amendment.
United States. Committee on Fair Employment Practice.
United States. Federal Housing Administration.
United States. National Housing Agency.
United States. President's Committee on Civil Rights.
United States. Supreme Court.
Meschrabpom Film Company.
National Bar Association.
United States Commission on Civil Rights.
African American authors--Archives.
African American civil rights workers.
African American judges--California.
African American lawyers--California.
African American newspapers.
African Americans in the performing arts.
Civil rights--United States.
Crime and race--United States.
Discrimination in criminal justice administration.
Discrimination in employment.
Discrimination in housing.
Hate crimes--United States.
Inner cities--United States.
Labor laws and legislation--United States.
Mass media and minorities.
Police brutality--United States.
Race riots--United States.
Racial profiling in law enforcement.
Scottsboro Trial, Scottsboro, Ala., 1931.
Segregation in education.
Watts Riot, Los Angeles, Calif., 1965.
Zoot Suit Riots, Los Angeles, Calif., 1943.
California--Politics and government.
Harlem (New York, N.Y.)
Little Rock (Ark.)
Los Angeles (Calif.)
New York (N.Y.)
United States--Politics and government.
Genres and Forms of Material
Annual reports--United States--20th century.
Clippings--United States--20th century.
Correspondence--United States--20th century.
Ephemera--United States--20th century.
Legal documents--United States--20th century.
Manuscripts--United States--20th century.
Minutes--United States--20th century.
Photographs--United States--20th century.
Press releases--United States--20th century.
Research notes--United States--20th century.
Speeches--United States--20th century.
Subjects: Added Entries
Alexander, Sadie Tanner Mossell, 1898-1989.
Bowron, Fletcher, 1887-1968.
Bradley, Tom, 1917-1998.
Brown, Edmund G. (Edmund Gerald), 1905-1996.
Colley, Nathaniel Sextus, 1918-.
Granger, Lester B. (Lester Blackwell), 1896-1976.
Hawkins, Augustus F.
Hughes, Langston, 1902-1967.
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963.
Kennedy, Robert F., 1925-1968.
Marshall, Thurgood, 1908-1993.
Moon, Henry Lee, 1901-.
Mosk, Stanley, 1912-.
White, Walter Francis, 1893-1955.
Wilkins, Roy, 1901-1981.
Williams, Franklin, 1917-.
American Civil Liberties Union.
American Federation of Labor.
Congress of Industrial Organizations (U.S.)
Congress of Racial Equality.
Japanese American Citizens' League.
League of Struggle for Negro Rights.
Los Angeles Urban League.
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
National Committee Against Discrimination in Housing.
National Negro Congress.
National Urban League.
List of legal Cases Mentioned in Loren Miller Papers
- Abstract Investment Col v. Hutchinson
- Amer v. Superior Court (LA)
- Balkins v. Dedmon
- Banks v. Housing Authority of San Francisco
- Barnes v. Dow Chemical Company
- Barnes v. Gadsen
- Barrows v. Jackson
- Bartel v. Delotch
- Bass v. Miller
- Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas.
- Briggs v. Elliott
- Buchanan v. Warley
- Burkhardt v. Lofton et al
- Burleigh v. Weakley
- Carbo et al v. USA
- Chessman v. California
- Cohen v. Norris
- Cooper v. Stubblefield et al
- Corrigan v. Buckley
- Crawford v. LA Board of Education
- Fairchild v. Raines
- Foxx v. Williams
- Gallagher v. Municipal Court of LA
- General Tire Co. of LA v. California Eagle
- Gerrish v. Palomar Mortgage Co. et al
- Hardyman v. Collins
- Hester et al v. Barbe et al
- Holley v. Southern Pacific Co.
- Hotchkiss v. Smith
- Howard et al v. Local 74, Wood, Wire and Metal Lathers
- Hurd v. Hodge
- Jackson v. Pasadena City School Board
- James v. Marinship
- Johnson et al v. Barefield et al
- Johnson v. Bacolas
- Joscelyn v. Board of Fire Commissioners (LA)
- Keller v. Sacramento City Unified School District
- Kenyon et al v. Brain et al
- King v. USA
- Lampkin v. Hodges
- Lawson and Trumbo v. USA
- Lesser v. Lesser
- Lewis v. Allen
- Loftus v. Lewis et al
- Manley v. Murillos
- Masaoka et al v. People of California
- McGhee v. Sipes
- McNeese et al v. Board of Education, Cahokia, Ill.
- Meade v. Dennistone and Becker
- Medina v. Constantino
- Merriweather v. Majestic Cafe
- Ming v. Horgan
- Moore v. Dempsey
- Morgan v. Virginia
- Mulkey v. Reitman
- NAACP v. Alabama
- NAACP v. Button
- NAACP v. Patty
- Parrish v. Civil Service Commission (Alameda County)
- Pennington v. Pennington
- People of the State of California v. Apo, Boyd et al
- People of the State of North Carolina v. Adams
- People v. Adamson
- People v. Oyama
- People v. Wallace
- People v. Winton
- Perez v. Moroney
- Perry, McCary v. Cyphers, Furrh et al
- Plessy v. Ferguson
- Progress Development Corp. v. Mitchell et al
- Qualls v. Qualls
- Rhone v. Case
- Richter v. USA
- Riecho v. Allen
- Romero v. Weakley
- Shelley v. Kraemer
- Smith v. Smith
- Speiser v. Randall and Foley
- Stanton v. Schmidt
- State of Texas v. NAACP
- Steele v. Louisville & Nashville Railroad Co.
- Stokes v. Ostly
- Stovall v. Johnson Publishing Co. Inc.
- "Sugar Hill" case (McDaniel, Beavers, Waters et al)
- Tucker et al v. Leeuwer et al
- Tunstall v. Firemen
- US v. Dennis
- Washington v. Southern Pacific Co.
- Westminster School District v. Mendez
- White v. Crook
- Wiley v. Richland Water District
- Yin Kim vs. Superior Court (LA)
- Zehman, Wolf et al v. Fazio Realty