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Marc Grossman Papers

 Collection
Identifier: LP001045
The Marc Grossman Papers mainly reflect his tenure with Chavez, but also include his early involvement with the UFW, including the oral history project he conducted in 1971.

Important correspondents: Jack Anderson; Cesear E. Chavez; Wayne C. Hartmire; H. L. Mitchell

Important Subjects: 1971 UFW Oral History Project, Farm Labor Legislation 1980 UFW boycotts, and libel suits brought by the UFW against NBC Prime Time, columnist Jack Anderson, and Patty Newman and Reason Magazine.

Series Description: Series I, Personal Files, 1969-1981: Personal files including correspondence, papers, class materials, research notes, most of it relating to Grossman's undergraduate years at UCI and his graduate study in journalism at UCLA.

Series II, UFW General Office Files, 1969-1981: Correspondences, clippings, memos, releases, articles and drafts relating to Grossman's work as a UFW staffer, and especially to his tenure as administrative assistant to Cesar Chavez; also his UFW oral history project.

Series III, UFW Legislative and Political Files, 1972-1980: Correspondence, reports, flyers, testimony, and clippings related to various political and legislative campaigns involving the UFW.

Series IV, UFW Boycott, Stike and Negotiation Files, 1970-1981: Materials relating to boycotts and strikes in which Grossman was involved.

Series V, UFW Libel Suits, 1979-1980: Materials relating to suits brought by or threatened by the UFW against Jack Anderson, NBC Prime Time, Patty Newman, Reason Magainze, and others.

Series VI, Telephone Messages and Journals, 1976-1981: Telephone message slips and journals kept in stenographic notebooks are a record of Grossman's daily activities.

Series VII, Clippings, 1970-1981: Clippings collected by Grossman concerning many aspects of farm labor but particularly those in which he was directly involved.
The oral histories consist of audio recordings of five interviews and time-coded indexes for four of them that include biographical sketches and name indexes. Interviewees discuss their backgrounds, entry into the farm labor-movement; the movement’s growth and their contributions to it, with a focus on the Community Service Organization (CSO), AWOC, NFWA, the UFWOC, and the birth and early days of the UFW, for most part the period of the late 1950s or early 1960s to 1971; includes organizing efforts, strikes and boycotts, in particular the AWOC Coachella Strike and the Delano Grape Strike, plus recollections of earlier actions such as the Corcoran Cotton Strike of 1933; the contributions of Filipino workers and organizers alongside Mexicans; dealings with the Teamsters; voter registration drives; political outreach and negotiations; and reminiscences on Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, and other key figures in the movement. Some interviews span multiple tapes. The following participants were interviewed: David Burciaga, Chris Hartmire (recording only, on open reel tape), Josephine “Fina” Hernandez, Pete Velasco, and Manuel Uranday.
Part 2: Consists of materials that reflect Marc Grossman's time as a Consultant for the California Assembly Democratic Party, his involvement with the UFW, and his time as a writer and publicist.

Important Correspondents: Cesar Chavez, Richard Alatorre, Charles Calderon

Important Subjects: UFW, UFCW, Farm Labor Legislation, Democratic Campaigns,UFW Publications: El Macriado and Food and Justice

Series Description: Series 10, Political Campaigns and Speeches, 1981-1994: Correspondence, News Clippings, photographs, press packets, direct mailers, ghost written speeches and other materials that Marc Grossman wrote for Democratic Campaigns, various Unions, and prominent people in the Farm Labor and Political arenas.

Series 11, Legislation and Related Materials, 1978-1990: Correspondence, reports, testimonies, hearings, news clippings, research, photographs, press work, and other materials related to various political and legislative campaigns.

Series 12, Boycotts, Strikes, and Publicist Work, 1970-1999: Correspondence, photographs, articles written for the UFW's El Macriado and Food and Justice publications, pieces edited by Marc Grossman, and materials related to work he did for the UFW and UFCW.

Series 12, Audiovisual Material, 1981-1989: VHS tapes and audio cassettes relating to political campaigns, boycotts, Cesar Chavez addresses, legislative initiatives and hearings, and political campaign interviews.

Dates

  • 1969 - 1999
  • Majority of material found within 1980 - 1993

Language of Materials

Material is in English.

Part 2 is primarily in English with some materials in Spanish

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

For the papers: Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials.
For the oral histories:

Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials.

RESTRICTIONS: Due to the personal nature of oral history, the Library prohibits use of the material in any way that infringes on individual right to privacy, or results in libelous statements or slander, in accordance with U.S. law.

For the Chris Hartimire interview, permission to publish or quote must be obtained from the interviewee or his heirs or assigns.

Extent

29 Linear Feet (20 MB, 19 SB) : Pt. 1 Includes: 8 audiocassettes, 2 open reel tapes, and 4 printed time-coded indexes. Pt. 2 includes: 4 VHS tapes and 8 audio cassette tapes.

Abstract

Marc Grossman became involved with the United Farm Workers in 1969 while an undergraduate student at the University of California, Irvine; where he graduated with a B.A. degree in American History in 1972. During that time he helped organize the Grape Boycott. From there he went on to obtain a Master’s degree in journalism at UCLA in 1973.

With his degree in journalism, Mr. Grossman went to work for the UFW and its President, Cesar Chavez. Marc Grossman knew Chavez the last 24 years of his life, serving most of that time as his press secretary, speechwriter, and personal aide. Among his duties was responsibility for the UAW’s press relations, writing public statements, crafting press releases, commentary pieces, and public relations and publicity material. Although he resigned from this position in 1981, he continued working closely with the legendary civil rights and farm labor leader on all his major speeches, writings, and news events until Chavez’s death in 1993.

In 1981 Grossman joined the staff of California State Senator Richard Alatorre. In that same year he transitioned from the staff of the Assembly Majority Consultants to the position of Legislative Aide for the Capitol Office. His duties included legislative research and political analysis for Democratic Assemblymen. By 1984 he was writing over 300 pieces of mail for every Democratic campaign in California by himself; and he advanced on to schedule nationwide and statewide media tours and news events, prepared press packets for numerous legislative candidates, created direct mail fundraising and political campaign packages, was a copywriter for TV commercials and brochures, and ghosted numerous speeches and Op Ed pieces all for major labor and political leaders.

In 1987, he became associated with Ross Communications as a writer and publicist. Over his career, he has written more than a dozen books and has worked on other projects such as being the technical advisor for Diego Luna’s major motion picture, Cesar Chavez, in 2014. Today Grossman still serves as spokesman for the Cesar Chavez Foundation and the United Farm Workers of America.

His papers mainly reflect his tenure with Chavez, but also include his early involvement with the UFW, including the oral history project he conducted in 1971.

Part 2 of his papers reflect his time as a legislative aide, writer and publicist, and his continuing work with the UFW up through 1999.

History

Marc Richard Grossman was born in 1949 in Los Angeles, California. He attended El Camino College and the University of California at Irvine where he earned a B.A. in 1971.

While a student at UCI, Grossman became a boycott organizer for the UFW in Los Angeles. In 1971 he conducted an oral history project for the UFW, and then became a legal investigator for the UFW general counsel. In 1972 he acted as a legislative representative and also assisted in the UFW campaign against Proposition 22, which concerned secondary boycotts and right-to-work laws. Grossman was a student in the UCLA Graduate Department of Journalism from 1972 until 1973 when he performed an internship at the "L.A. Times" and earned his M.A. in journalism.

In 1974, Grossman assisted in the management of Assemblyman Art Torres' campaign. He then became legislative assistant to Assemblyman Richard Alatorre, writing speeches, releases and newsletters.

From 1975 to 1981, Grossman acted as press secretary and administrative assistant to Cesar Chavez, president of the UFW. During this time he was responsible for all dealings with the press; research and writing of speeches, addresses and articles; scheduling and advance work for Chavez's tours and visits, testimonies, and preparation of the "President's Newsletter".

Grossman resigned from the UFW staff in March 1981, to join the staff of State Senator Richard Alatorre.

Arrangement of the Records

Arranged in 7 series- Series 1 (Box 1), Series 2 (Boxes 2-5), Series 3 (Boxes 6-8), Series 4 (Boxes (8-9), Series 5 (Boxes 9-12), Series 6 (Boxes 12-15), and Series 7 (Boxes 16-18). Folders are arranged chronologically, alphabetically, or by topic depending upon the series. Audio recordings, including oral history interviews, are arranged by program name or interviewee last name (Box 19).
Part 2: Arranged in 4 series - Series 9 Boxes (Boxes 20-29), Series 10 (Boxes 29-33), Series 11 (Boxes 33-38), Series 12 (Box 39). Folders are arranged alphabetically by subject.

Acquisition

The papers of Marc Grossman were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs by Mr. Grossman in spring 1980, with later accruals.

Processing History

Part 1 processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library. Oral history materials processed and finding aid revised by Rebecca Bizonet on November 21, 2016.
Part 2 processed and finding aid written by Elizabeth Nicholson on February 12, 2018.
Title
Guide to the Marc Grossman Papers
Status
completed
Author
Pt. 1 Processed by Patricia Painter; revised by Rebecca Bizonet. Pt. 2 processed by Elizabeth Nicholson, February 12, 2018.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Sponsor
Description made possible by funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Revision Statements

  • 2016-11-21: Added and expanded oral history information.
  • 2018-02-12: Pt. 2 processed by Elizabeth Nicholson

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
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Detroit MI 48202 USA