George C. Edwards, Jr. Papers, Parts 1-4

Extent: 
63 linear feet (106 MB, 9 SB), 6 OS
Date: 
1921-2001, bulk 1938-1996
Accession Number: 
UP000010

George Edwards, Jr., son of George Clifton Edwards, attended Harvard University where he became involved with the Student League for Industrial Democracy. After coming to Detroit in 1936, he became a UAW organizer with Walter Reuther, was appointed director of the Detroit Housing Commission, and served on the Detroit Common Council. After serving in WWII, he went into private practice, followed by judgeships in the Wayne County court system. In 1956, Edwards was appointed to the Michigan State Supreme Court. In 1962 he was invited by Mayor Jerome Cavanagh to the post of Police Commissioner of Detroit where he focused his attention on organized crime and discrimination. After serving two years he was nominated to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals by President John F. Kennedy, and eventually served as a Chief Judge. He retired in 1991 and passed away in 1995.

Parts I-III of his papers reflects his early high school and college days, including correspondence with his father and material from his involvement in several student groups. Edward, Jr.'s various judicial campaigns, particularly his Michigan Supreme Court appointment, as well as his directorship of the Detroit Housing Commission are documented. Personal papers, including wartime correspondence with his wife, are included, as are newspaper clippings dealing with a variety of topics relevant to Detroit politics and events.

Part IV of Edwards, Jr.'s contains personal and career related correspondence from his service in the military through the 1980’s, with much focus on his nomination and confirmation to the Sixth Circuit Court. Included are many speeches and writings, his activities with professional organizations, a photocopy of his manuscript of the biography of his father, Pioneers at Law, and memorial tributes and letters of condolence to his family.

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