Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Thomas More Storke Papers, [ca. 1906-1971]
BANC MSS 73/72 c  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (313.11 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Scope and Content
  • Biography

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Thomas More Storke Papers,
    Date (inclusive): [ca. 1906-1971]
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 73/72 c
    Creator: Storke, Thomas M. (Thomas More), 1876-1971
    Extent: Number of containers: 39 boxes, 15 cartons, 2 packages, 2 oversize folders Linear feet: 35
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Abstract: Correspondence; biographical material including his memoirs; copies of his speeches; financial records; subject files; clippings; scrapbooks; photographs; genealogical material. Relate to his activities as editor of the Santa Barbara News-Press and his opposition to the John Birch Society; his civic interests; the operation of his ranches; and his service as regent of the University of California, 1955-1960.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library 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.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Thomas More Storke papers, BANC MSS 73/72 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Material Cataloged Separately

    • Pictorial works transferred to the Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Libarary
      Identifier/Call Number: (BANC PIC 1905.17178--PIC
      Identifier/Call Number: BANC PIC 1973.019--FR)

    Scope and Content

    The Thomas More Storke Collection came to The Bancroft Library in 1972 with additions in July 1974, as a gift of the Thomas More Storke Estate. The collection which consists of 39 boxes, 15 cartons, 2 packages and 2 oversize folders, documents Storke's activities, especially during the 1950's and 1960's. Correspondence prior to 1950 primarily relates to Storke's tenure as postmaster, and to the Las Alturas Land Company and includes congratulatory letters upon his U. S. Senatorial appointment. The collection includes letters addressed to Storke together with copies of his replies; a general subject file; biographical materials; galleys of his memoirs; reports and minutes of Regent meetings; correspondence and accounts regarding the operation of the Storke ranches; copies of his speeches, with related notes; photographs; clippings, miscellaneous accounts, genealogical material; and presentation volumes.
    The personal papers of Storke's father and the papers of the More family have been removed and cataloged separately as the Charles Albert Storke Collection. Most of the photographs of early Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara News-Press have been removed to the picture collection, indexed as pictures 17178(1-213), and the majority of the portraits of Storke have likewise been removed to the portrait collection for separate cataloging. Six tape recordings were also removed and cataloged as phonotapes 187 1-5 and 188.
    The papers as a whole are described in greater detail in the Key to Arrangement which follows.


    Thomas More Storke, a seventh generation Californian, was born in Santa Barbara, California. On November 23, 1876, the only son of Charles Albert and Martha (More) Storke. C. A. Storke was a prominent California land attorney, a State Legislator, the first mayor of Santa Barbara and founder of the Los Angeles Herald.
    T. M. Storke received his formal education in Santa Barbara schools and was graduated from Stanford University in the class of 1898. He began his lifelong newspaper career on January 1, 1900, as owner and editor of the Santa Barbara Daily Independent. In March 1913 Storke purchased the Santa Barbara Daily News which he combined to form the Santa Barbara Daily News & Independent. Following his purchase of the Morning Press in September 1932, Storke merged the two newspapers in 1938 to form the present Santa Barbara News-Press.
    In 1914, he was appointed Postmaster of Santa Barbara by President Woodrow Wilson and, following the resignation of his close friend Senator William G. McAdoo late in 1938. Storke was chosen by Governor Frank F. Merriam to be U. S. Senator from California along with Hiram Johnson.
    A long-time democrat, Storke was named in 1951 to Governor Earl Warren's Special Crime Study Commission and was later appointed a Regent of the University of California by Governor Goodwin J. Knight to complete the remaining five year term of John F. Neylan. As a University Regent, Storke was instrumental in the establishment of a University of California campus at Santa Barbara. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the University in 1960 and a similar honor by Colby College, Maine, in 1963.
    As a crusader for civil liberties, Storke was among the first publishers during the early 1960's to speak out forcefully and at length against the ultra-conservative John Birch Society in a series of condemnatory articles against the Society and the tactics of its founder Robert Welch. As a result, Storke was awarded the Lauterbach Award by the Nieman Foundation of Harvard University in November 1961, the coveted Pulitzer Prize from Columbia University in May 1962 and the Elijah Lovejoy Fellowship for courageous journalism from Colby College in 1962.
    In 1958, Storke published his memoirs under the title California Editor, and a shorter version appeared in 1963 as I Write for Freedom.
    Storke sold his consolidated News-Press and KTMS radio station in 1964 while continuing as consulting editor and publisher emeritus of the newspaper until his death on October 12, 1971, at the age of 94.