Guide to the Judge Julian Beck Collection

Special Collections & Archives
University Library
California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8326


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Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives
Title: Judge Julian Beck Collection
Creator: Beck, Julian, 1905-
Identifier/Call Number: URB.JB
Extent: 2.34 linear feet
Date (inclusive): 1926-1986
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.
Language of Material: English

Biographical Information:

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.

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.

Electronic Format:

Digital reproductions of selected items in this collection are available electronically as a part of the San Fernando Valley History Digital Library  

Conditions Governing Access:

The collection is open for research use.

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.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Julian Beck, 1987.

Preferred Citation:

For information about citing items in this collection consult the appropriate style manual, or see the Citing Archival Materials  guide.

Processing Information:

Robert Marshall and Xiaoquan Han, June 1987

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Audiovisual materials

Box 1, Folder 1

Biographical, Assembly Bills, 1943-1947

Box 1, Folder 2

Biographical, California State Assembly, 1983

Box 1, Folder 3

Biographical, Certificates, 1927-1984

Box 1, Folder 4

Biographical, General Correspondence, 1931-1958

Box 1, Folder 5

Biographical, General Correspondence, 1959-1986

Box 1, Folder 6

Biographical, Identification Cards

Box 1, Folder 7

Biographical, Newspaper Clippings, 1939-1951

Box 1, Folder 8

Biographical, Newspaper Clippings, 1952-1983

Box 1, Folder 9

Biographical, Retirement, Correspondence, 1975

Box 1, Folder 10

Biographical, Retirement, Newspaper Clippings, 1975

Box 1, Folder 11

Biographical, Scrapbook, 1932-1936

Box 1, Folder 12

Biographical, Scrapbook, 1937-1940

Box 2, Folder 1

Biographical, Scrapbook, 1942

Box 2, Folder 2

Biographical, Scrapbook, December 1950-March 1951

Box 2, Folder 3

Biographical, Scrapbook, April 1951-June 1951

Box 2, Folder 4

Biographical, Scrapbook, 1952

Box 2, Folder 5

California State University, Northridge, Correspondence, May 1965-June 1985

Box 2, Folder 6

California State University, Northridge, Correspondence, March 1986-December 1986

Box 2, Folder 7

California State University, Northridge, Newspaper Clippings, May 1965-January 1986

Box 2, Folder 8

California State University, Northridge, History, 1953-1965

Box 2, Folder 9

San Fernando Lions Club, May 1975-January 1986

Box 2, Folder 10

San Fernando Lions Club, Newspaper Clippings, 1975-1986

Box 3, Folder 1

Yearbook, Fiftieth Anniversary of San Fernando High School, 1869-1946

Box 4, Folder 1

Biographical Photographs

Box 4, Folder 1, Item 1

C.M.T.C. F.A. Staff posing in the lawn in front of their barracks, Julian Beck on far left of photograph, 1926

Box 4, Folder 1, Item 2

Julian Beck getting conferred at the University of Southern California, 1935

Box 4, Folder 1, Item 3

Opening of San Fernando Valley Branch of Supreme Court with John Clark (Judge), Julian Beck and James Reitz (President Of San Fernando Valley Bar Association), 1940

Box 4, Folder 1, Item 4

Dressed in silk costumes Julian Beck joins other Judge in performance, 1961

Box 4, Folder 1, Item 5

Beck posing in front of the State Assembly building in Sacramento, 1945

Box 4, Folder 1, Item 6

Beck joins Gallon Club after donating a total of 8 pints of blood, the eighth pint is the initiation into the club, 1945

Box 4, Folder 2

Campaign for State Assembly Photographs

Box 4, Folder 2, Item 7

Reception for Beck's re-election campaign (for State Assembly), 1950

Box 4, Folder 2, Item 8

Officials and Legislators locating site for San Fernando State College (SFSC), ca. 1950-ca. 1959

Box 4, Folder 2, Item 9

Campaigning for State Assembly, in photograph with Holefield and Herman Bayon taken on ranch, 1950

Box 4, Folder 2, Item 10

Family photo: at dinner with his wife and two daughters during re-election campaign for State Assembly, 1952

Box 4, Folder 2, Item 11

Family photo: in living room with wife and two daughters; for re-election campaign for State Assembly, 1952

Box 4, Folder 2, Item 12

Portrait of Judge Julian Beck

Box 4, Folder 3

Court Photographs

Box 4, Folder 3, Item 13

Opening of the San Fernando Valley Courthouse, 1952

Box 4, Folder 3, Item 14

Municipal court in Van Nuys, Beck reads documents on bench, 1955

Box 4, Folder 3, Item 15

Judge in chambers during work break, 1955

Box 4, Folder 3, Item 16

San Fernando Valley Shrine Club

Box 4, Folder 3, Item 17

Judges Night at the Valley Shrine Club (Left- Right) Beck, Ware (U.S. Marshall), Barner (Judge), Director of Ally Mckissor

Box 4, Folder 3, Item 18

Van Nuys Board Meeting (Left- Right) Richard Nevins (member of state board of equalization), Beck (Judge), Alan Cranston (State Controller), 1960

Box 4, Folder 4

Miscellaneous Photographs

Box 4, Folder 4, Item 19

Family photo: holding baby granddaughter, Sophia, 1968

Box 4, Folder 4, Item 20

Elbow room, Sacramento: party for Governor's staff shaking hands with Adrienne Sausset (Governor's personal secretary on right), 1963

Box 4, Folder 4, Item 21

Touring: Beck walking in the Parthenon during his visit to Athens, 1964

Box 4, Folder 4, Item 22

Portrait: Beck at the age of 79, 1984

Box 4, Folder 4, Item 23

San Fernando Valley State College advisory board at the initial meeting of trust fund (Standind L-R) Simann, Hoffman, Duckeff, Prator and Fuller: (Seated L-R) Freedman, Kissenger, Tuffh, Beck, and McNully, 1966

Box 4, Folder 4, Item 24

Retirement: Beck (Right) talking with Jim Corman (Congressman) on a roadside stony bench, 1980

Box 4, Folder 5

Miscellaneous Photographs

Box 4, Folder 5, Item 25

Half-length photograph; Beck against the backdrop of a jungle, January 1966

Box 4, Folder 5, Item 26

Family: Beck (right) posing with his family members in his office, 1945

Box 4, Folder 5, Item 27

Portrait: taken when Beck was Superior Court Judge

Box 4, Folder 5, Item 28

San Fernando Valley University: Beck (left) posing with Ralph Prator (President) and Glen Dumke (Chancellor)

Box 4, Folder 5, Item 29

Family Photo: Julie Ann (Beck's daughter) posing among a group of passengers in front of a jetliner on her first trip to Europe

Box 4, Folder 5, Item 30

Family Portrait: Beck (left), Daughter Judy (center) and Son in law Frank (right), ca. 1970-ca. 1979

Box 4, Folder 5, Item 31

Graduation ceremony at California State University Northridge (CSUN): (L-R) Moreffi (speaker); Walter Mirisch; Julian Beck, 1972

Box 4, Folder 6

Retirement Photographs

Box 4, Folder 6, Item 32

Class Reunion: Beck at Class reunion (Class of 1938) of San Fernando High School - Taken at Odyssee Restaurant, 1978

Box 4, Folder 6, Item 33

Portrait: Beck in Retirement, 1980

Box 4, Folder 6, Item 34

25th Anniversary of Cal State Los Angeles: (L-R) Dr. Ralph Prator (former president); Mrs. Prator; Mrs. Mary Cleary; Dr. James Cleary (current president); Julian Beck (former Superior Court Judge); on the lawn outside the University Student Union

Box 4, Folder 6, Item 35

Beck honored by CSUN: Sharing a joke with the audience at the new Judge Julian Beck Seminar Room dedication; (L-R) Dr. Eugene Price (Political Science professor/ Department Chair); James W. Cleary (President); Julian Beck, 1984

Box 4, Folder 6, Item 36

Beck honored by CSUN: James W. Cleary (Left - President) proposing a toast to Beck, in recognition of Beck's contribution to the establishment of CSUN and support of the university students

Box 4, Folder 6, Item 37

Beck speaking at the dedication of the Judge Beck Seminar room, James W. Cleary (left), 1984

Box 4, Folder 6, Item 38

Beck honored by CSUN; Beck speaking at the dedication of the Judge Beck Seminar Room for CSUN's Political Science Department, James Cleary (Right - President), 1984