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Papers of Benjamin L. Yellen (1907-1994), physician and political activist in Brawley, California. Most materials date from 1948 to 1994 and pertain to water, farming and medical issues in Southern California. Typewritten correspondence forms the core of the collection, while newspaper clippings, newsletters, and published and government documents compose the supporting materials.
Ben Yellen was born on July 2, 1907, in Brooklyn, New York, to Jake and Annie Yellen. He attended Boy's High School in Brooklyn, Columbia University and he graduated from Long Island College of Medicine, now called The University of the State of New York Medical School, in 1931. Given the economic conditions prevalent during the Depression, Yellen turned to the government for employment. For the next decade he worked as a physician for the Civilian Conservation Corps and served as a doctor in the Army. In 1942 he settled permanently in the town of Brawley in Imperial County, California. He chose Brawley largely for its warm, dry climate, which he thought would be beneficial for his health. Once settled in Imperial Valley Yellen found himself in one of the richest and most productive agricultural regions in the United States. Roughly a decade and a half after his arrival in Brawley Yellen initiated a protracted battle against the large-scale growers who dominated the region's economy and their representative institutions, including the Desert Growers Association and, especially, the Imperial Irrigation District (IID).
18 Linear feet (45 archives boxes and 9 oversize folders)
Original sound recordings in the collection are restricted;listening copies may be available for researchers. Medical records in boxes 5, 34, 38-43 are restricted.