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William B. Gould IV Papers

Identifier: LP001277

Scope and Content

The William B. Gould IV Collection consists of correspondence, clippings, legal briefs, court and meeting proceedings, depositions, and other legal material related to Stamps v. Detroit Edison Co.

Important subjects in the collection: Afro-Americans--Discrimination in employment Association for the Betterment of Black Edison Employees Detroit Edison Company Discrimination in employment--Law and legislation Discrimination in employment--Michigan--Detroit Trade unions--Race discrimination UAW Local 223 UAW Local 17

Important correspondents in the collection: Roger Craig Damon Keith Sanford Jay Rosen Howard Rubin Willie Stamps Sheldon Stark


  • 1971 - 1981


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.


William B. Gould IV was born in Boston July 16, 1936. After graduating from Cornell Law School in 1961, he took a job as assistant general counsel with the United Auto Workers in Detroit. The following year he studied comparative labor law at the London School of Economics, returning to the United States in the mid-sixties to work for the National Labor Relations Board and representing management in labor law matters for a New York law firm. In 1968, he joined the faculty of the Wayne State University Law School. Since March, 1994 he has been on leave from his position as Charles A. Beardsley Professor of Law at Stanford University Law School, an appointment he has held since 1972, while serving as Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board.

William B. Gould IV served as lead counsel in Stamps v. Detroit Edison Co., a class action lawsuit filed in 1971 by the ACLU and Gould on behalf of Edison employee Willie Stamps and the Association for the Betterment of Black Edison Employees. The EEOC later joined the case with a suit against Edison on behalf of Edison employees James Atkinson and Darney Stanfield. Both cases charged the utility with systematic racial discrimination in hiring and promoting African Americans. The suits were later combined. In 1979, after Edison’s unsuccessful appeal of U. S. District Judge Damon Keith’s ruling, the plaintiffs were finally awarded $5,350,000, the largest per capita settlement in the history of employment discrimination litigation.


2 Linear Feet (2 SB)


William Gould IV served as lead counsel in the class-action racial discrimination lawsuit, Stamps v. Detroit Edison, filed on behalf of Edison employee Willie Stamps and the Association for the Betterment of Black Edison Employees. Mr. Gould’s papers document the proceedings of Stamps v. Detroit Edison.


Folders are listed by their location within each box. They are not necessarily arranged, so any given subject may be dispersed throughout the entire collection.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Guide to the William B. Gould IV 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