The Henry Lesser Collection (1928-1994) consists of Lesser’s personal papers as well as those of Joel Goodman, Lesser’s friend and a graduate of San
Diego State’s criminal justice master’s degree program.
Henry Lesser (1902-1983) was a prison guard, advocate for prison reform, and men's clothing salesman who formed a friendship
with convicted murderer and career criminal Carl Panzram, corresponding with him until Panzram's execution in 1930. He is
known for having persuaded Panzram to write his autobiography while in jail, which along with the two men’s correspondence
established Panzram's reputation as a violent and misanthropic criminal.
The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with
the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections
is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. Requests for permission to publish must be
submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission
is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission
of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available
for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including
but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.
This collection is open for research.