Skip to main content

Sidney Rosen Papers

Identifier: UP001793

Scope and Content

The Sidney Rosen Collection documents his involvement in fundraising for civil rights and civil liberties causes as well as his work for the Progressive Party of Michigan.

Important subjects in the collection: Black Panther Party--Michigan--Detroit Progressive Party--Michigan

Important correspondents in the collection: C.B. Baldwin Thelma Dale Pete Seeger Jerome Shore (Senator) Glen H. Taylor


  • 1921 - 1980


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.


Sidney Rosen was born on June 19, 1905 in Brooklyn, New York and moved to Detroit in 1925. From 1933 to 1940 he sold insurance for John Hancock and organized the first insurance union in the United States. He owned an eastside Detroit jewelry store from 1940 to 1955 and participated in many of the political struggles of the period, serving as treasurer of the Progressive Party of Michigan from 1948 to 1953.

During the civil rights struggles of the 1960's and 70's he helped raise money in support of embattled Recorder's Court Judge George W. Crockett, Jr., local Black Panthers—the Detroit 15—charged with conspiracy to murder a Detroit police officer, and the Attica Prison riot defendants. In 1975 Coleman Young, an ally from the Progressive Party days, called on Rosen to join his administration as director of a newly formed Senior Citizens Department, where he served until 1992.

Sidney Rosen married Maxine Fisher in 1931 and they had two children, Michael and David. He died April 24, 1994.


1 Linear Feet (1 SB)


Sidney Rosen organized the first insurance union in the United States while working as an insurance salesman for John Hancock in Detroit, Michigan, and served as treasurer of the Progressive Partly of Michigan, as director of the Senior Citizens Department of the Coleman Young administration. Mr. Rosen’s papers document his work for the Progressive Party and his involvement in fundraising efforts for civil rights and civil liberties causes.


Folders are arranged alphabetically.


The papers of Sidney Rosen were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs by Annetta Miller in July of 2000.


A few photographs received with the collection have been placed in the Archives Audiovisual Department.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in December 2002.
Guide to the Sidney Rosen Papers
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA