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Finding aid to the Jack Morrison Papers, 1962-1988 (bulk 1966-1969)
SFH 24  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Related Materials
  • Provenance
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement

  • Title: Jack Morrison Papers
    Date (bulk): 1966-1969
    Date (inclusive): 1962-1988
    Collection Identifier: SFH 24
    Creator: Morrison, Jack, 1922-1991
    Physical Description: 2 boxes (1.33 cubic feet)
    Contributing Institution: San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library
    100 Larkin Street
    San Francisco, CA 94102
    (415) 557-4567
    Abstract: Memoranda, notes, reports, resolutions, correspondence, and newspaper clippings documenting Morrison's service as a San Francisco Supervisor, particularly during his second term from 1966-1969. Includes some post-supervisorial, civic and consultant business activities.
    Physical Location: The collection is stored off-site. A minimum of two working days' notice is required for use.
    Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English.


    The collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has been assigned to the San Francisco Public Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the City Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items and the copyright.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Jack Morrison Papers (SFH 24), San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.

    Related Materials

    Researchers are encouraged to see also the San Francisco Charter Commission Records (SFH 25), the San Francisco History Center's poster collection, subject and biographical files, Mayoral Papers, and the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection; and to check the library catalog for related materials. Some items have been moved to the library’s book collection.


    The Jack Morrison Papers were donated to the San Francisco Public Library by his widow, Jane Morrison, in two accessions, in 2005 and 2008.

    Biographical/Historical note

    Jack Morrison was a central figure in the founding and growth of liberal Democratic and neighborhood organizations that came to dominate San Francisco's political life. Known as a grass-roots-citizen-politician who stood for principle, integrity, and comity in civic life, Morrison was a pioneer in urban environmentalism, leading successful fights to protect the San Francisco waterfront from overdevelopment and to increase accessibility to Golden Gate Park. He led the fight against downtown development and the move to tear down the Embarcadero Freeway. He also advocated for the less-fortunate.
    Born in 1922 in Mustang, Colorado, Morrison grew up on a farm in Missouri, served in the Navy during World War II, and received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University. After completing a Master's degree in creative writing at Stanford University, he spent 10 years as a journalist with the San Francisco Chronicle, covering city and state government. Elected to the Board of Supervisors in 1961, he served two terms until 1969. As chairman of the Supervisors' Social Services Committee, Morrison authored legislation establishing the San Francisco Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Commission. He ran, unsucessfully, for mayor against Joseph Alioto in 1967. See the History Center's poster collection for campaign posters.
    Following his years on the Board of Supervisors, he served on the Port Commission, the 1980 Charter Revision Committee (as Vice Chair), Social Services Commission, Mayor's Blue Ribbon Laguna Honda Hospital Long-Range Planning Committee, San Francisco Equal Opportunity Council, and the Governor's California Study Commission on Mental Retardation. He served on numerous boards including the Family Service Agency of San Francisco, YMCA, Council for Civic Unity, and San Francisco Tomorrow. He was also an instructor in urban policy and urban communication at San Francisco State University.
    Morrison was married to Jane Morrison, who is a past Women's Chair for the California Democratic Party, past chair and current member of the San Francisco Democratic Party (County Central Committee), and past president of San Francisco Tomorrow. She also served 13 years on the City's Human Service Commission, chaired the Friends of Human Rights Commission, and was president of the Port's Waterfront Advisory Committee. Jane was the community affairs and editorial director for KNBR-NBC Radio for 17 years, managing groundbreaking affirmative action programs. A longtime champion for a cleaner environment, working families, and public transportation, she continues her advocacy for high-speed rail.
    Jack Morrison died on Dec. 7, 1991. Mayor Art Agnos described Morrison as the "embodiment of public service…He always spoke to the values and principles that have made San Francisco known as a city of conscience and his contributions left this city better than when he found it."

    Scope and Contents

    This collection documents Morrison's service as a San Francisco Supervisor, especially during his second term (1966-1969). The donor mentioned that a number of documents were discarded. Also covered are some post-supervisorial, civic and consultant business activities. During this period, the city was experiencing tension in many areas, particularly over growth and redevelopment issues.
    Materials include memoranda, notes, reports, resolutions, correspondence, and newspaper clippings. Subjects include waterfront development and the Port, freeways, housing, gun control, and redevelopment. Of special interest are Morrison's Charter Revision Commission journal entries, including notes documenting his personal direct mail efforts on behalf of the campaign, and an entry (on Aug. 17, 1980) noting his happiness with the overall charter document but also listing its deficiencies. The measure, Proposition A, failed by a vote of 46 percent to 54 percent on Nov. 4, 1980 but was the basis for the eventual successful charter reform measure, Proposition E, on Nov. 7, 1995.


    The material is organized into one series, Legislative and Issue Files, which is arranged alphabetically by folder title.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Morrison, Jack, 1922-1991 -- Archives
    San Francisco (Calif.). Board of Supervisors.
    City planning--California--San Francisco
    Land use--California--San Francisco
    San Francisco (Calif.)--Politics and government--20th century
    Urban renewal--California--San Francisco
    Waterfronts--California--San Francisco