Scope and Content
Related Collections at the California State Archives
Title: Inventory of the Frank D. Lanterman Papers
Collection number: LP414
Lanterman, Frank D.
8 cubic feet
California State Archives
Abstract: The Frank D. Lanterman Papers consist of 8 cubic feet of textual records and one audiocassette tape that reflect the interests
and political activities of Assembly Member Lanterman during his 28 years in the California State Legislature.Throughout his
28 years in the legislature, Lanterman took great interest in issues related to mental health and developmental disabilities.In
addition to mental health, Lanterman also took interest in issues related to water rights throughout the state, as well as
ethics within the legislative body.
Physical location: California State Archives
Languages represented in the collection:
While the majority of the records are open for research, any access restrictions are noted in the record series descriptions.
For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication
is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility
for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives
[Identification of item], Frank D. Lanterman Papers, LP414:[folder number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary
of State, Sacramento, California.
Frank Dexter Lanterman was born in the Los Angeles region on November 4, 1901 and attended public elementary and high schools
in Los Angeles and Glendale. He went on to study organ, piano, and music composition at the University of Southern California
College of Music. Lanterman continued to maintain a strong interest in music throughout his life and played in many metropolitan
theaters in Los Angeles as well as the State Theatre in Melbourne, Australia. Later in life he had the famous 34-ton Fox
Theater Wurlitzer organ of San Francisco installed in a specially built room in his home. Lanterman resided in La Cañada,
California beginning in 1914 and worked chiefly as a successful land developer.
Lanterman was involved in many community activities before entering state politics, including membership in the Kiwanis, the
La Cañada Chamber of Commerce, and the La Cañada Church of the Lighted Window. From 1938 to 1950 he served as an elected
member of the Republican Central Committee of Los Angeles County. In 1950, he was elected to the California State Assembly
as a Republican representative of the forty-eighth district, which included the foothill communities of La Cañada, La Crescenta,
and Altadena in Los Angeles County. Following redistricting in 1962 he represented the forty-seventh Assembly district, which
included the area he formerly represented as well as the cities of Pasadena and Glendale. Redistricting occurred once again
in 1973, leading Lanterman to represent the forty-second Assembly district, which consisted of La Cañada, Pasadena, South
Pasadena, and the northern portion of Glendale, all within Los Angeles County.
Throughout his 28 years in the legislature, Lanterman took great interest in issues related to mental health and developmental
disabilities. In 1967, he helped to pass the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (SB 677, Chapter 1667), which ended the involuntary
commitment of mentally disordered persons within mental health institutions in California. Two years later he authored the
Lanterman Mental Retardation Services Act (AB 225, Chapter 1594), which expanded the state's network of regional centers providing
services to individuals with developmental disabilities. One of the new centers was named the Frank D. Lanterman Regional
Center in his honor. In 1973, Lanterman authored the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Act (AB 846, Chapter 546), an expansion
of the 1968 law that stated that individuals with developmental disabilities would have the same legal rights and responsibilities
guaranteed to all other citizens of California. Lanterman played an important role in the passage of several other bills
related to the rights of the developmentally disabled, including many that allowed them greater freedom of choice within higher
In addition to mental health, Lanterman also took interest in issues related to water rights throughout the state, as well
as ethics within the legislative body. In 1966 he played an important role in the passage of Proposition 1-A, which made
effective AB 173, also known as the Gibson-Waldie-Lanterman Act. This law introduced new conflict of interest and code of
ethics language into the legislature and represented a significant reform effort in state politics. Lanterman was also a
respected authority on local government and state fiscal and budgetary issues.
Lanterman retired from the Assembly after the 1977-1978 legislative session and passed away in his hometown, renamed La Cañada
Flintridge, in April of 1981.
During his term in the legislature, Frank D. Lanterman served on the following committees:
California State Assembly, 1950-1978
Efficiency and Cost Control, 1973-1974
Finance and Insurance, 1951-1956
Governmental Efficiency and Economy, 1951-1953
Municipal and County Government, 1951-1964
Revenue and Taxation, 1957-1968
Social Welfare, 1951-1958
*Vice Chair, 1957-1958
Transportation and Commerce, 1956, 1964-1968
Water, 1959-1966, 1971-1974
Ways and Means, 1954-1978
*Vice Chair, 1967-1968, 1971-1978
Health Subcommittee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, 1975-1978
Transportation Subcommittee on Air Quality, 1975-1978
Transportation Subcommittee on Transit, 1975-1978
Ways and Means Subcommittee #1 – Health and Welfare, 1977-1978
Tideland Reclamation and Development in Northern California, Related Traffic Problems, and Relief of Congestion on Transbay
Policy Research Management, 1977-1978
Select Committee on County Jurisdiction, 1972-1974
Select Committee on Mentally Disordered Criminal Offenders, 1973-1974
Special Subcommittee on Aging, 1977-1978
Administration of Justice, 1969-1972
*Vice Chair, 1971-1972
Mentally Ill and Handicapped Children, 1969-1970
Investigation of Administration of the California Institute for Men at Chino, 1953
Investigation of Unemployment Insurance Program, 1953
Special Joint Committee to Study the Old Age Assistance Initiative Measure, 1951
Assessment Practices, 1957-1958
Health Sciences Education, 1973-1976
Legislative Budget, 1969-1978
*Vice Chair, 1969-1972
Legislative Building Space Needs, 1972-1974
Legislative Ethics, 1967-1970
Public Education System, 1959-1960
Siting of Teaching Hospitals, 1972-1974
In addition, as a member of the legislature, Lanterman served as a member of the Citizen's Advisory Committee on Aging, 1956-1958,
the Committee on Executive Salaries, 1972-1974, and the California Information Systems Implementation Committee, 1977-1978.
Scope and Content
The Frank D. Lanterman Papers consist of 8 cubic feet of textual records and one audiocassette tape that reflect the interests
and political activities of Assembly Member Lanterman during his 28 years in the California State Legislature.The records
are divided into four series: Bill Files (1955-1978), Mental Health Files (1954-1978), Subcommittee on Mental Health and Developmental
Disabilities Files (1953-1976), and Subject Files (1961-1984).
Bill files constitute a sizeable portion of the collection at about 3.5 cubic feet. They document the bills authored or co-authored
by Assemblyman Lanterman and may include committee analyses, letters from interested parties, and comments of affected agencies.
These files show Lanterman's close involvement in such issues as mental health, transportation, special education, state hospitals,
water, and conservatorship. Bill files for earlier sessions are more sparse and may not include every bill authored by Lanterman
for that session. Several files related to landmark mental health legislation are included in this series.
Mental health files make up about 2 cubic feet of the collection and contain many newspaper clippings, notes, and correspondence
related to California's mental health system. Lanterman was particularly interested in perinatal health, which focuses on
the prevention of mental disabilities through careful monitoring of women with high-risk pregnancies. Found within this series
is a large amount of reports, surveys, and statistical information that was kept by Lanterman to aid in the creation of future
legislation to improve the state's mental health system.
The Subcommittee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities files is the smallest series in the collection at about 1
cubic foot of textual materials and one audiocassette tape. The files in this series were collected by Lanterman in relation
to his membership on the Assembly Health subcommittee during the 1975-1976 and 1977-1978 legislative sessions. They may include
correspondence, newspaper clippings, legislative research, reports, and other materials that assisted Lanterman and other
members of the subcommittee in authoring and voting on mental health legislation. Important topics include revisions to the
Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, hearings on landmark legislation, and a survey on the state of California's mental health system.
Several files in this series relate to the AB3800-AB3809 package of 1976, which addressed the reform of California's regional
mental health centers.
Subject files constitute 1.5 cubic feet of the collection and contain correspondence, reports, publications, press releases,
meeting notes, and a range of other materials. Lanterman took interest in a wide variety of topics for both personal and
political reasons, including music, transportation, water, his constituency, environmental quality and air pollution, alcoholism,
and the history and development of his home town of La Cañada. A report created in 1984 by the legislature in memoriam of
Lanterman's death only three years prior documents his accomplishments in passing important mental health legislation throughout
his time in the Assembly.
Related Collections at the California State Archives
Assembly Health Committee Records, Assembly Subcommittee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities
Senate Health and Human Services Committee Records, Senate Subcommittee on Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and
Department of Developmental Services Records
Tom Bates Papers
Additional records may be found in the Frank Lanterman collection within the Special Collections Department, University of
Southern California, Los Angeles, California, 90089-0371.
Additional records may also be found in the Frank Lanterman collection at the Lanterman House Archives, La Cañada Flintridge,
Frank D. Lanterman Oral History, "Crusades of a Republican Legislative Leader, 1951-1978: Water, Mental Health, Education,
Ways and Means," California Legislative Leaders, Volume 1, conducted 1977-1978, Bancroft Library.
Tapes and transcripts for this interview can also be found at the Regional Oral History Office at the Bancroft Library in
No further accruals are expected.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in
the library's online public access catalog.
Lanterman, Frank D
Mental health - California
Special education - California