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J. Edward Bailey III Papers

Identifier: UP001588

Scope and Content

The J. Edward Bailey III Collection consists primarily of clippings, programs, announcements and other memorabilia chronicling his distinguished career.


  • 1950 - 1989


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.


A nationally renowned photojournalist, J. Edward Bailey III was born in Detroit in 1923 and graduated from Northern High School, where his interest in photography began, in 1942. After returning from military service, he got a degree from Wayne State University and started his own photography business. One of a very few African-American professional photographers in the 1950's, his work appeared in over thirty major publications, including Time, Life and Fortune, and among his corporate clients were Ford, Chrysler and IBM. His work has been exhibited widely in "The City Within," a depiction of the poverty that spawned Detroit's 1967 riot, "Living Legends in Black," a portfolio of 200 prominent African Americans commissioned for the nation's Bicentennial, and other projects.

In addition to his photographic work, Mr. Bailey taught photojournalism at Wayne State University and wrote a column for The Detroit News for ten years. He died November 8, 1982.


.5 Linear Feet (1 MB)


The work of Detroit African-American photojournalist, J. Edward Bailey III, appeared in over thirty major publications and was exhibited widely in projects such as "The City Within," about Detroit's 1967 riot, and representation in a portfolio of 200 prominent African Americans commissioned for the nation's Bicentennial. The collection consists primarily of clippings and memorabilia chronicling his career.


Folders are arranged alphabetically.


The papers of J. Edward Bailey III were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs by his widow, Frances Bailey, in April of 1994.


A few photographs received with the collection have been transferred to the Archives Audiovisual Department.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in December 1997.
Guide to the J. Edward Bailey III 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