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Guide to the Henri Leleu Papers
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Collection Overview
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This collection comprises materials, covering half a century beginning in the early 1930's through the early 1980's, of Henri Leleu's life. The scope of the materials include personal papers, documents related to gay cultural events, documents related to Leleu's political activities, particularly with the Tavern Guild of San Francisco, work documents, ephemera collected from Leleu's travels, photographs, slides, and negatives. The bulk of this collection consists of photographic materials.
Born July 31, 1907 and passed away on February 27, 1996, Henri Leleu led a long, eventful life. Though Leleu has left us very little documentation on his childhood years, we do know that as a young man, he lived and worked in Beverly Hills, California, as a publicity man and later secretary-manager for the Beverly Hills Junior Chamber of Commerce. At 33, his life changed profoundly as he was recruited into the Navy to serve in the Pacific Rim arena for the duration of World War II. For the next several years, he sent letters home either mildly complaining about the working conditions or sharing his delight and fascination with the military. At times, he had rather cushy jobs during the war, writing news releases for the Navy or doing administrative work. In any event, he must have enjoyed his life there, writing a two-page feature of his military experience for a local hometown paper and meticulously saving documents and photographs from this period of his life.
13 boxes
Copyright to unpublished manuscript materials has been transferred to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.
Collection open for research.