Overview of the Collection
Scope and Contents
Overview of the Collection
Collection Title: Judge Julian Beck Collection
Beck, Julian, 1905-
Physical Description: 2.34
Language of Materials:
Abstract: Julian Beck was a teacher, politician,
and judge in Los Angeles and was instrumental in the establishment of San Fernando
Valley State College, now known as California State University, Northridge. Documented
in the collection are Beck's family life, judicial and legislative services, his
key role in the founding of CSUN, and his wide-ranging involvement in community
activities. Records in the collection include assembly bills, correspondence,
identification cards, newspaper clippings, photographs, and scrapbooks.
Judge Julian Beck was born on May 13, 1905 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He moved to
California in 1923 and has been a resident of the city of San Fernando since 1935. He
obtained an A.B. degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles in
1929, followed by an M.A. degree in history from the University of Southern California
and an LL.B. degree in law from Loyola University, both in 1935.
Beck was a teacher in the Los Angeles City High School District from 1931 to 1946.
During this period, he served on the Board of Directors of the High School Teachers
Association and was Director-at-Large of the Association of California Classroom
Teachers. He engaged in private law practice in San Fernando after successfully passing
the 1935 California Bar Exam.
Beck's political career started with his election to the California State Assembly
from the 41st Assembly District in 1942. He was reelected six times and served two terms
as the Democratic floor leader in the Assembly. As a member of the State legislature, he
orchestrated a number of bills including those which secured the opening and widening of
Truman Street, establishment of the first Municipal and Superior Court in the San
Fernando Valley, initiation of the San Fernando Fair and the imposition of the death
penalty for extreme offenses by saboteurs.
In 1953, Beck was appointed judge of the Los Angeles Municipal Court by Earl Warren,
then Governor of California and later Supreme Court Justice of the United States. In
November 1958, Beck was handpicked by Governor-elect Edmund G. Brown as Legislative
Secretary. Nine months later, Governor Brown appointed him Superior Court Judge of Los
Angeles County in the San Fernando court which Beck helped create.
Judge Beck was instrumental in the founding of San Fernando Valley State College, later
to be renamed California State University, Northridge (CSUN). An Assemblyman in 1952,
Beck arranged a meeting to hear testimony on the need to establish a state college in
the San Fernando Valley. The following year, he co-authored a resolution requesting the
California State Department of Education investigate sites for the construction of the
college. The resolution was approved by both houses of the legislature. Beck was one of
the founding members of CSUN's Advisory Board and assumed its chairmanship from
September 1958 to May 1975.
Beck was much-admired for his contribution to CSUN by the faculty and student body
alike. His generous donation to the college generated many awards and scholarships. In
1965, Beck was presented with the President's Distinguished Service Award. He was
made an honorary member of Phi Kappa Phi, the CSUN chapter of the National Honor Society
in 1975 and named "Distinguished Alumnus for 1983." The Judge Julian Beck
Seminar Room located in Sierra Hall, Room 202 was dedicated in his honor in 1984.
Following thirty-two years of judicial and legislative service, Beck retired from the
bench in 1975, but remained active in civic and community affairs. He was a life member
of the San Fernando Elks, a past-president of the San Fernando Lions Club, YMCA and
Shrine Club. He was also past-deputy district governor of Lions International,
past-director of the San Fernando Chamber of Commerce and a former vice-president of the
San Fernando Valley Bar Association. Judge Beck passed away in 1992.
This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
University, Northridge -- History
Genre/Form of Material:
San Fernando Valley
(Calif.) -- History
Beck, Julian, 1905 --
Robert Marshall and Xiaoquan Han, June 1987
Conditions Governing Use:
Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s)
of this collection has not been transferred to California State University,
Northridge. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or
reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond
that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners.
Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of
the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Conditions Governing Access:
The collection is open for research use.
For information about citing items in this collection consult the appropriate style
manual, or see the
Citing Archival Materials
Scope and Contents
Julian Beck was a teacher, politician, and judge in Los Angeles and was instrumental in
the establishment of San Fernando Valley State College, now known as California State
University, Northridge. Documented in the collection are Beck's family life,
judicial and legislative services, his key role in the founding of CSUN, and his
wide-ranging involvement in community activities. Records in the collection include
assembly bills, correspondence, identification cards, newspaper clippings, photographs,
and scrapbooks. Judge Beck's accomplishments and popularity are further highlighted
with a number of certificates and letters of commendation, including those from
President Ronald Reagan and Governor George Deukmejian. Of particular interest are the
documents pertaining to Beck's association with CSUN, which record his
long-standing service to the University. Also of interest are the related records on the
history of CSUN from its infancy.