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Diridon (Rod) Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Processing Information
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biographical History
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Processing Information

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: SJSU Special Collections & Archives
    Title: Rod Diridon Papers
    creator: Diridon, Rod, 1939-
    source: San José State University. Library. Special Collections & Archives
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS.1995.03.02
    Physical Description: 67 boxes (82.6 linear feet)
    Date (inclusive): 1967-1994
    Abstract: This collection documents 20 years of Rod Diridon’s public service as the chairperson of both the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and the Santa Clara Transit Board. The collection includes correspondence, memoranda, speeches, reports, plans, ordinances, maps, project files, campaign materials, photographs, and plaques.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Susan Klingberg in 1996. Guide revised, and EAD encoding, by Veronica Cabrera in 2007. Twelve large rolled items placed in boxes 64-67, and added to finding aid, by Samira Habibi in March 2018.


    The collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Special Collections & Archives as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader. Copyright restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files from or derived from these collections is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Preferred Citation

    Rod Diridon Papers, MSS-1995-03-02, San José State University Library Special Collections and Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Donated to the San Jose State University library by Rod Diridon in 1995.

    Biographical History

    Rodney John Diridon was born in Dunsmuir, California in 1939 to Claude and Rhoda Diridon. Diridon Sr. graduated from Dunsmuir Joint Union High School in 1957. From 1956 through 1963, he worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad while completing a BS in Accounting and Finance and his MS in Business Administration from San Jose State University. From 1963 to 1967 he served in the U.S. Navy as a Fleet Officer and Combat Duty Officer in Vietnam. He married Mary Ann Fudge on July 4, 1964 and raised two children, Rodney Jr. born September 10 1969, and Mary Margaret, born September 14, 1971. In June 10, 2001 he married Dr. Gloria Duffy.
    In 1969, Diridon founded the Diridon Research Corporation, later renamed Decision Research Institute (DRI) in 1972. DRI conducted market research, needs assessment surveys and legislative consulting throughout the United States. This company was sold in 1976.
    Diridon became the youngest person ever elected to the Saratoga City Council in 1972. He held this position until 1975. He went on to served six terms in office as chairperson of both the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and the Santa Clara Transit District Board from 1979, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1991 and 1994.
    From 1973 to 1995, Diridon led the development of Santa Clara County Transportation Agency and the CalTrain Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board. He also chaired the Peninsular Transportation Alternatives Project, Guadalupe, Tasman, Fremont/South Bay and Vasona Rail Corridor Boards, the San Jose Station Reconstruction Board and the successful 1976 and 1992 Measure “A” Sales Tax Campaigns as well as the 1980, 1984, 1988, and 1992 transportation master plan elections.He was also the only person to chair all three of the Bay Area’s Regional Agencies: Association of Bay Area Governments, Bay Area Air Quality Management District and Metropolitan Transportation Commission. From 1978 to 1979, he presided over the development of the Nation’s first Integrated Environmental Management Plan and Regional Transportation Master Plan.
    At present he holds the position of Chair of the National Research Council’s Transit Cooperative Research Project Policy Committee. Diridon has received published recognition and numerous awards for his contributions and has served on numerous organizations committed to community service at the national, state, regional and local levels. He has been most involved with transportation, the environment, arts and human rights fund-raising and advocacy.

    Scope and Content

    Rod Diridon gave 20-year of public service to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors (4th District). During his long career, he contributed to various transportation related boards, committees and institutions. The papers document this service and consist of administrative files including correspondence, speeches, conference reports, manuals, budgets, campaign materials, photographs, newspaper clippings and memorabilia.


    This collection is arranged in seven series: I. Biographical files, 1967-1994; II. Public relations, 1971-1994; III. Administrative files, 1975-1994; IV. Subject files, 1973-1994; V. Transportation files, 1972-1994; VI. Miscellaneous files, 1971-1994; VII. Artifacts.

    Processing Information

    Series VII was added to the collection in 2016 by Rory Dougan.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Santa Clara County (Calif.) – Board of Supervisors
    Santa Clara County (Calif.) – Politics and government – Sources
    Local transit -- California -- Santa Clara County (Calif.) -- Sources
    Transportation -- California -- Santa Clara County (Calif.) -- Planning -- Sources
    Diridon, Rod, 1939-
    San José State University. Library. Special Collections & Archives