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William Beckham Jr. Papers

 Collection
Identifier: UP001756
The Beckham Papers include clippings and programs from meetings, conferences, and award ceremonies that span the length of his career, but focus mainly on his time in the U.S. Department of Transportation and his efforts to reform the Detroit Public School system. During his time in the Department of Transportation, Beckham frequently spoke publically and at conferences, and the collection includes some of the speeches and remarks he gave during the year 1980. Also included are photographs from his service at the national and local level.

Dates

  • 1974-2000
  • Majority of material found within 1980-2000

Creator

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

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.

Extent

1.5 Linear Feet (1 MB, 1 SB)

Overview

William J. Beckham (1940-2000) was originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. He was educated at the Detroit Institute of Technology (1959-1960), Wayne State University (1960-1962), American University (1962-1964), and the University of Maryland (1965-1966). During these years he took courses in political science. Beckham went on to pursue a career in politics at both the local and national level. In 1964, Beckham worked on Senator Phillip Hart’s campaign and then joined his staff from 1965-1973. Later in his career he would serve as Deputy Mayor to Coleman A. Young, Assistant Secretary of Treasury, and then Deputy Secretary of the Department of Transportation under President Jimmy Carter. In the private sector, Beckham was Vice President of Unisys Corporation, COO of Envirotest Systems Corp., and President of New Detroit (1995-1999). Towards the end of his life, he became heavily involved in Detroit Public School system reform, leaving New Detroit in 1999 to become President of the Skillman Foundation. Beckham died suddenly in 2000 on the way home from a family vacation. The Beckham Papers include clippings and programs from meetings, conferences, and award ceremonies that span the length of his career, but focus mainly on his time in the U.S. Department of Transportation and his efforts to reform the Detroit Public School system. During his time in the Department of Transportation, Beckham frequently spoke publically and at conferences, and the collection includes some of the speeches and remarks he gave during the year 1980. Also included are photographs from his service at the national and local level.

History

William J. Beckham (1940-2000) was originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. He was educated at the Detroit Institute of Technology (1959-1960), Wayne State University (1960-1962), American University (1962-1964), and the University of Maryland (1965-1966). During these years he took courses in political science. Beckham went on to pursue a career in politics at both the local and national level. In 1964, Beckham worked on Senator Phillip Hart’s campaign and then joined his staff from 1965-1973. Later in his career he would serve as Deputy Mayor to Coleman A. Young, Assistant Secretary of Treasury, and then Deputy Secretary of the Department of Transportation under President Jimmy Carter. In the private sector, Beckham was Vice President of Unisys Corporation, COO of Envirotest Systems Corp., and President of New Detroit (1995-1999). Towards the end of his life, he became heavily involved in Detroit Public School system reform, leaving New Detroit in 1999 to become President of the Skillman Foundation. Beckham died suddenly in 2000 on the way home from a family vacation.

Arrangement

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.

Other Access Aids

Finding aid also available as a pdf file. https://www.reuther.wayne.edu/files/UP001756.pdf

Acquisition

Papers were donated to the Reuther Library in September 2001.

Related Material

New Detroit, Inc. Records

Transfers

One oversized photograph of William Beckham with Congressmen Hawkins was transferred to the Reuther’s Audiovisual Department.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Katelyn Jedro l on August 20, 2013.
Title
Guide to the William Beckham Jr. Papers
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Katelyn Jedro; encoded by Katelyn Jedro.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA