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Inventory of the Fletcher Bowron Collection, 1934-1970
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Subject Matter
  • Bibliography

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Fletcher Bowron Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1934-1970
    Creator: Bowron, Fletcher
    Extent: Approximately 20,000 manuscript items, many printed reports and brochures

    21 boxes of clippings
    Repository: The Huntington Library
    San Marino, California 91108
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Gift of Mrs. Fletcher Bowron, 1974 and 1976

    Materials in addenda received 12/9/83, 5/31/84 and 1/10/85


    Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information please go to following URL .

    Publication Rights

    In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the manuscripts or visual materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office of the Library Director. In most instances, permission is given by the Huntington as owner of the physical property rights only, and researchers must also obtain permission from the holder of the literary rights. In some instances, the Huntington owns the literary rights, as well as the physical property rights. Researchers may contact the appropriate curator for further information.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Fletcher Bowron Collection, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Fletcher Bowron (1887-1968), who was mayor of the city of Los Angeles from 1938 to 1953, came into office as a reform candidate in a recall election. His goal was to eradicate political corruption and establish a professional municipal government. For 15 years he was continually reelected to this important position-fifteen years of tremendous growth and unusual problems for the Los Angeles area.
    Mayor Bowron had spent the years 1911 to 1917 as a newspaper reporter, followed by a return to college for a law degree, two years in private practice, then six years as Judge of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County. During his terms as mayor, World War II brought the sudden expansion of war-related industries to Los Angeles and the immediate need for laborers, public housing, mass transportation, and pollution control. As mayor he worked not only for solutions to these problems but also for the creation of long range city planning and commercial development.
    After his years as mayor, Bowron was reelected to the bench as Judge of the Superior Court. In 1962 he retired and devoted himself to a Metropolitan History Project. When Judge Bowron passed away in 1968, the project continued under the supervision of Mrs. Bowron and reached its fruition in the publication of the bibliography of Los Angeles history, Los Angeles and Its Environs in the Twentieth Century, with Doyce B. Nunis, Jr., as editor.

    Subject Matter

    The collection is divided into three main sections. The first consists of carbon copies of Bowron's letters while he was mayor of Los Angeles, personal correspondence (1934-1965), reports, and information on the election campaigns of 1945, 1947, 1949, and 1950. The second section pertains to Bowron's Metropolitan Los Angeles History Project. The source material he gathered is filed alphabetically by subject and contains information on city planning and zoning, public housing, sanitation, transportation, water and power and many other topics. Following this are the notes, outlines, drafts, bibliographical material, card index files, etc., for the project. The third main section consists of boxes of clippings which are arranged in folders in chronological order, some with listings of subjects. There are also three photograph albums and some memorabilia.


    NUNIS, Doyce Blackman, Jr. ed., Los Angeles and Its Environs in the Twentieth Century, Ward Ritchie Press, Los Angeles, 1973. (With Foreward by Mrs. Fletcher Bowron)