This collection consists of correspondence, subject files, legal documents, photographs and personal mementos. The bulk of
the collection is comprised of correspondence. The first series, for example, is correspondence from 1975 which he received
after his story hit the national media. He arranged this incoming mail by the state or country of origin. His replies are
filed with the letter to which he was responding.
Leonard Matlovich was a decorated member of the United States Air Force. During his three tours of duty in Vietnam, he received
a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. Like his father, he was a career military man and was considered an outstanding technical
sergeant when, on March 8, 1975, he wrote a letter to his commanding officer at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, in which
acknowledged his homosexuality but requested that he be allowed to remain in the Air Force. The Air Force responded by expelling
Matlovich with a general discharge. He took the Air Force to court to contest this decision and in November 1980, U.S. District
Judge Gerhard A. Gessell in Washington, D.C. ordered the Air Force to reinstate Matlovich with back pay and the rank and salary
that he would have obtained if he had not been discharged.
Copyright to unpublished manuscript materials has been transferred to the Gay and Lesbian
Historical Society of Northern California.
Collection is open for research.