Guide to the Leonard Matlovich Papers, 1961-1988 (Bulk 1975-1988)

Processed by Steven Mandeville-Gamble; machine-readable finding aid created by Xiuzhi Zhou
Gay and Lesbian Historical Society of Northern California
P.O. Box 424280
San Francisco, California 94142
Phone: (415) 777-5455, #2
Email: glhsnc@aol.com
URL: http://www.glhs.org/collectn/glhsmss.htm
© 1999
The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Leonard Matlovich Papers, 1961-1988 (Bulk 1975-1988)

Accession number: 88-1

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society



San Francisco, California

Contact Information:

  • Gay and Lesbian Historical Society of Northern California
  • P.O. Box 424280
  • San Francisco, California 94142
  • Phone: (415) 777-5455, #2
  • Email: glhsnc@aol.com
  • URL: http://www.glhs.org/collectn/glhsmss.htm
Processed by:
Steven Mandeville-Gamble
Date Completed:
December 16, 1991
Encoded by:
Xiuzhi Zhou
© 1999 The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Leonard Matlovich Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1961-1988 (Bulk 1975-1988)
Accession number: 88-1
Creator: Matlovich, Leonard
Extent: 4 Cubic Feet
Repository: The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.
San Francisco, California.
Physical location: Housed at the James C. Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center  of the main branch of the San Francisco Public Library.
Language: English.

Administrative Information

Acquisition

Before moving to Hollywood in April 1988, Leonard Matlovich transferred ownership of his personal papers to the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Historical Society. Archivist Bill Walker went through Matlovich's papers with him and helped select which materials would be transferred.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright to unpublished manuscript materials has been transferred to the Gay and Lesbian Historical Society of Northern California.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Leonard Matlovich Papers, 88-1, The Gay and Lesbian Historical Society of Northern California.

Biographical Note

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.
In an out-of-court settlement with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, he agreed to drop his case in return for a settlement of $162,000, which included $98,000 compensation in addition to the $62,000 in back pay as well as having his discharge upgraded from a general to an honorable rating.
This series of actions set him on a path that transformed him into a symbol for the gay community throughout the United States. He appeared on the cover of Time magazine and his story was translated into a television documentary entitled "Sgt. Matlovich vs. the Air Force."
After the settlement, Matlovich continued to fight for gay rights. He ran for public office, lectured, counseled gay men and women on their rights, and founded organizations such as the Matlovich Foundation and the Never Forget Foundation to fight for the rights of gays and lesbians. He was also deeply committed to the fight against racism. In fact, his experiences in the military as a lecturer about equal rights had spurred him into making his decision to come out.
Matlovich was a very devout man. During his tour of duty in Vietnam, Matlovich converted from Catholicism to Mormonism and eventually became a minister. When he publicly came out, the Church of Latter Day Saints took him to an ecclesiastical court and eventually expelled him from the church.
With the money that he received in the settlement, Matlovich started a small restaurant whose specialty was pizza in Guerneville, Ca., but he quickly tired of being a restauteur and sold it "as soon as I could make some money on my investment".
In September 1986, he was diagnosed with AIDS. Though he had been a long-term San Francisco resident, he finally decided to move to Hollywood in April 1988 because the hills of San Francisco were too much for him to navigate in his deteriorating condition. Less than two months later, on Wednesday, June 22, 1988, he died of AIDS in the home of a friend who was caring for him.

Scope and Content

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.
The second series is general correspondence in from 1961-1987. The arrangement is chronological. It should be noted that Matlovich had imposed no order on the vast majority of his personal papers. Therefore, the order found here has been imposed by the GLHS staff member who arranged the collection.
The third series is also correspondence, but this series has been arranged alphabetically by name of correspondent and thereunder chronologically. Again, the arrangement was imposed by the staff member who processed the collection. The fourth series relates to his legal battle with the Air Force and includes copies of the various motions, briefs, orders, etc.
The fifth series is a subject series. Again, the order found here was imposed, as Matlovich had kept these materials in no discernible order.
The sixth series is comprised of photographs of Matlovich, his friends, and his family.
The seventh series contains audiotapes as well as videotapes, including a copy of the made for television movie Sgt. Matlovich vs. the United States Air Force.
Series eight consists of newspaper clippings arranged chronologically. The bulk of these are from October through December 1975.
The final series is comprised of mementos, including the shrapnel removed from him after a land mine explosion in Vietnam, various military medals and awards, t-shirts, buttons, etc.

Container List

 

Series I : Correspondence 1975

Box 1, Folder 1

Correspondence 1975 [Alabama]

Folder 2

_______, [Arizona]

Folder 3

_______, California [1 of 2]

Folder 4

_______, California [2 of 2]

Folder 5

_______, Colorado

Folder 6

_______, Connecticut

Folder 7

_______, Delaware

Folder 8

_______, Florida

Folder 9

_______, Georgia

Folder 10

_______, Hawaii

Folder 11

_______, Idaho

Folder 12

_______, Illinois

Folder 13

_______, Indiana

Folder 14

_______, Iowa

Folder 15

_______, Kansas

Folder 16

_______, Kentucky

Folder 17

_______, Louisiana

Folder 18

_______, Maine

Folder 19

_______, Maryland

Folder 20

_______, Massachusetts

Folder 21

_______, Michigan

Folder 22

_______, Minnesota

Folder 23

_______, Mississippi

Folder 24

_______, Missouri

Folder 25

_______, Nebraska

Folder 26

_______, Nevada

Folder 27

_______, New Hampshire

Folder 28

_______, New Jersey

Folder 29

_______, New Mexico

Folder 30

_______, New York [1 of 2]

Folder 31

_______, New York [2 of 2]

Folder 32

_______, North Carolina

Folder 33

_______, North Dakota

Folder 34

_______, Ohio

Folder 35

_______, Oklahoma

Folder 36

_______, Oregon

Folder 37

_______, Pennsylvania

Folder 38

_______, Rhode Island

Folder 39

_______, South Carolina

Folder 40

_______, South Dakota

Folder 41

_______, Tennesee

Folder 42

_______, Texas

Folder 43

_______, Vermont

Folder 44

_______, Virginia

Folder 45

_______, Washinton [State]

Folder 46

_______, Washington, D.C.

Folder 47

_______, West Virginia

Folder 48

_______, Wisconsin

Folder 49

_______, Canada

Folder 50

_______, Germany and Foreign

Folder 51

_______, [Address]

 

Series II : Correspondence In, 1961-1987

Box 1, Folder 52

Correspondence In, 1961-1974

Folder 53

_______, 1975

Folder 54

_______, 1976

Folder 55

_______, 1977

Folder 56

_______, January 1978 - July 1978

Folder 57

_______, August 1978

Folder 58

_______, September 1978

Folder 59

_______, October 1978

Folder 60

_______, November 1978

Folder 61

_______, 1 December 1978-15 December 1978

Folder 62

_______, 16 December 1978-31 December 1978

Folder 63

_______, January 1979 - February 1979

Folder 64

_______, March 1979 - April 1979

Folder 65

_______, May 1979 - November 1979

Folder 66

_______, December 1979

Folder 67

_______, January 1980 - September 1980

Folder 68

_______, October 1980

Folder 69

_______, November 1980

Folder 70

_______, 1 December 1980-15 December 1980

Folder 71

_______, 16 December 1980-31 December 1980

Box 2, Folder 1

Correspondence In, 1981

Folder 2

_______, 1982-1987

Folder 3

_______, Undated and/or Unidentified, A-M

Folder 4

_______, Undated and/or Unidentified, N-Z

 

Series III : Correspondence

Box 2, Folder 5

Correspondence In, Allen, Joseph

Folder 6

_______, Alvarez, Manuel

Folder 7

_______, Anelli, Joe G.

Folder 8

_______, Betty (Aunt)

Folder 9

_______, Biggs, Tim R.

Folder 10

_______, Bill and Roger

Folder 11

_______, Blair, Fred

Folder 12

_______, Boley, Gary

Folder 13

_______, Comer, Jack

Folder 14

_______, Harvey, Patrick

Folder 15

_______, Kameny, Franklin E.

Folder 16

_______, LeBeau, Lee

Folder 17

_______, Meek, Ardolt

Folder 18

_______, Montana, Lee

Folder 19

_______, Page, Joe

Folder 20

_______, Peterson, Alan

Folder 21

_______, Platt-Rayfield, McLellan (aka Maqu4es)

Folder 22

_______, Puryear, Mike

Folder 23

_______, Rappoport, Stephen S.

Folder 24

_______, Rivenberg, Russ

Folder 25

_______, Rumbarger, Jim

Folder 26

_______, Sevier, Al

Folder 27

_______, Smith, C.R. (Joe)

Folder 28

_______, Sullivan, Norman

Folder 29

_______, Timmie, Dave and Matthew

Folder 30

_______, Van Hook, Steve

 

Series IV : Air Force Case

Box 2, Folder 31

Air Force Case, Your Letter 6 Mar 75, Capt Collins 10 Mar 75

Folder 32

_______, [Your Letter 6 March 75 Lt. Col. Ritchie 13 March 75]

Folder 33

_______, [Your Letter 6 Mar 75 Col. Thorgersen 14 Mar 75]

Folder 34

_______, [Your Letter 6 Mar 75 Gen. Dixon 14 Mar 75]

Folder 35

_______, [Letter of Notification Lt. Col. Ritchie 20 May 75 Discharge]

Folder 36

_______, Request for Delay in Commenting on Referral Airman Performance. Reploy to Lt. Col. Schofield 3 June 75

Folder 37

_______, Rebuttal to Referral Airmans Performance Report 10 Jun 75

Folder 38

_______, 1st Endorsing Official Referral Airman Performance Report Lt. Col. Schofield

Folder 39

_______, Rebuttal to 1st Endorsing Official Referral Airman Performance Report 20 June 75

Folder 40

_______, Answer to Request for Delay AFM 39-12 Board Proceedings 21 July 75

Folder 41

_______, Message from Secretary of Air Force 21 Oct 75

Folder 42

_______, Request for Delay in Discharge 21 Oct 75

Folder 43

_______, Consideration for Promotion Lt. Col. Ritchie 1 Apr 75

Folder 44

_______, Notice of Amdended Hearing Date Lt. Col. Applegate 16 Jul 75

Folder 45

_______, [Discharge Orders]

Folder 46

_______, [Air Force Board of Corrections]

Folder 47

_______, [Letter of Notification]

Folder 48

_______, [Boggan Letters]

Folder 49

_______, [Commander's Report, Addendum to Letter of Notification]

Folder 50

_______, [Airman Performance Report]

Folder 51

_______, [Sgt. Performance Report]

Folder 52

_______, [Declaration, Defendants, Submission]

Folder 53

_______, [Military Leave]

Folder 54

_______, letter [August 6, 1975]

Folder 55

_______, letter 22 October 1975

Folder 56

_______, [Brief]

Folder 57

_______, [Briefs, Statements, Memoranda]

Folder 58

_______, [Opinion]

Folder 59

Air Force Case, [Appeals, Correspondence, Reports]

Folder 60

_______, [Denial of Promotion]

Folder 61

_______, [Appendix]

Folder 62

_______, [National Veterans Law Center 1979]

Folder 63

_______, [September 9, 1980 Hearing]

Folder 64

_______, [Settlement]

Folder 65

_______, Misc. 1980

Folder 66

_______, [Federal Register]

 

Series V : Subject Files

Box 2, Folder 67

A.C.L.U.

Folder 68

"Airboy" Comic Book, Signed

Folder 69

Air Force - Early Documents and Materials

Folder 70

_______, Certificate from U.S.A.F. extension class correspondence

Folder 71

_______, Security Clearance

Folder 72

Anti-gay Religious Pamphlets and Flyers

Folder 73

Awards, Honors, etc.

Folder 74

Bartending Certificate and Union Card

Folder 75

Birth Certificate

Folder 76

Boggan and Thom : Attorneys

Folder 77

Coming Home Hospice - Certificate of Appreciation

Folder 78

Complaints re: Al Sevier

Folder 79

Coors

Folder 80

Dade County - Anti-gay Materials

Folder 81

_______, "Pro-Homo"

Folder 82

_______, Notes for Speeches

Folder 83

_______, Defense Race Relations Institute Signs and Symbols : Reference Book

Folder 84

Diplomas

Folder 85

Directories - San Francisco 1978 [Golden Gate Business Association, New Directions]

Folder 86

Enlisted Times, clippings, etc.

Folder 87

Genealogy

Folder 88

Greater San Diego Business Association Luncheon

Folder 89

Higher Ground, Inc. - Bylaws, Proposed Activities

Folder 90

"Homosexuality in the Military : A Workshop"

Folder 91

Horoscopes

Folder 92

International Star Registry

Folder 93

Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund

Folder 94

Latter Day Saints

Folder 95

_______, Trial 1979

Folder 96

_______, Affirmation

Folder 97

_______, Pamphlets

Folder 98

Matlovich Foundation

Folder 99

_______, Yellow Star and Pink Triangle

Folder 100

Memorabilia - Miscellaneous

Folder 101

Miller, Merle

Folder 102

Misc. Gay Leaflets and Pamphlets

Folder 103

Never Forget

Folder 104

New Line Presentations [1 of 2]

Folder 105

_______, [2 of 2]

Folder 106

New York (Troy) - Anti-Discrimination Law

Folder 107

New York Times : Abstracts of Articles

Folder 108

News Releases

Folder 109

No on Prop. 6 - Texas Fundraising

Folder 110

Passport

Folder 111

Pizza Recipe

Folder 112

Property - Okaloosa County, Florida

Folder 113

Purple Heart Certificate

Folder 114

Race Relations Materials

Folder 115

Release - Henry Walker, Inc. 1977

Folder 116

Resume Materials

Box 3, Folder 1

Right Wing Letters : Kennedy Assasination, addressed to Hubert Humphrey

Folder 2

Ring-Ting-A-Ling Productions, Inc.

Folder 3

Russian River Property [Guerneville, Calif.]

Folder 4

_______, Advertisments

Folder 5

Scene B. Machine, Vol. 3, No. 10, Oct. 1975

Folder 6

Scrapbook (Military Career)

Folder 7

Sevier, Al

Folder 8

Sodomy Case : U.S. vs. Reginald S. Scoby, Private, U.S. Army

Folder 9

Sonoma County - Human Service Commission

Folder 10

_______, Revenue Sharing 1982

Folder 11

Speaking Engagements

Folder 12

_______, Philadelphia

Folder 13

Supervisors Race [San Francisco]

Folder 14

The Times Magazine, February 20, 1978

Folder 15

Time, September 8, 1975 - Cover Story

Folder 16

Tommorow Entertainment, Inc.

Folder 17

Tommorow Entertainment, Inc. Sergeant Matlovich vs. the U.S. Air Force (Script) 9/10/76

Folder 18

_______, 1/10/77

Folder 19

Tommorow Entertainment, Inc. Sergeant Matlovich vs. the U.S. Air Force (Script) 2/16/77

Folder 20

Veterans Administration

 

Series VI: Photographs

Box 3, Folder 21

Photographs of LM

Folder 22

_______, LM's Family Members

Folder 23

_______, LM with Family Members

Folder 24

_______, LM's Friends

Folder 25

_______, LM with Friends

Folder 26

_______, High School

Folder 27

_______, Military

Folder 28

_______, Pets

Folder 29

_______, Political Speeches

Folder 30

_______, Residences

Folder 31

_______, Scrapbooks

Folder 32

_______, Vacation

Folder 33

_______, Negatives

Folder 34

_______, Slides

 

Series VII: Audiotapes and Videotapes

Box 3, Folder 35

The Tommorrow Show, 1 Dec. 80

 

Sergeant Matlovich vs. the U.S. Air Force

Folder 36

Tapes:

 

3-3 mm reel-to-reel audiotapes

 

1 cassette: "History of Racism"

 

2 cassettes: BACABI May 12, Rally, Parts 1 & 2

 

1 cassette: unidentified

 

1 cassette: Matlovich Notes, 4/28/88

 

Series VIII : Newspaper Clippings

Additional Note

* Files hold oversized items from other parts of the collection
Box 4, Folder 1

Newpaper Clippings, pre-1975

Folder 2

_______, January - September 1975

Folder 3

_______, October - December 1975

Folder 4

_______, 1976

Folder 5

_______, 1977

Folder 6

_______, 1978

Folder 7

_______, 1979

Folder 8

_______, 1980

Folder 9

_______, 1981

Folder 10

_______, 1982-1988

Folder 11

_______, Date Unknown

Box *4, Folder 12

Air Force Case [Briefs, Statements, Memoranda] [1 of 2]

Folder 13

_______, [2 of 2]

Folder 14

_______, Photocopy of Settlement Check

Folder 15

Awards, Honors, etc.

Folder 16

U.S. Civil Service Commission : Personal Qualifications Statement

Folder 17

Hawthorn Books Contract

 

Series IX : Mementos, etc.

Additional Note

Because of the odd size and shape of these items, they are housed in two separate locations: Boxes 3 and 4.
Box 3

AC 66 Leaders Patch

 

Bronze Star

 

Dog Tags

 

Pendants

 

34 Patch

 

Rosary Beads

 

Buddha Figurine

 

Bracelet: "Mat"

 

Bracelet: "Len Matlovich"

 

Political Buttons

 

T-shirt: Time Cover

 

T-shirt: Fighting for Our Lives!

 

Shrapnel

Box 4

Tambourine