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The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins

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Information about The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins

Profile image of The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
U.S. Congressman

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Dark Blue
Favorite Food:
Lamb Chops
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Monterey, California
Favorite Quote:
Gus for US and US for Gus.

Birthplace

Born:
8/31/1907
Birth Location:
Shreveport, Louisiana

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
U.S. Congressman

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Dark Blue
Favorite Food:
Lamb Chops
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Monterey, California
Favorite Quote:
Gus for US and US for Gus.

Birthplace

Born:
8/31/1907
Birth Location:
Shreveport
See how The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Augustus “Gus” Hawkins was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, on August 31, 1907. Moving to Los Angeles with his family in 1918 to escape prejudice, Hawkins attended public schools. After graduating high school in 1926, Hawkins attended the University of California, Los Angeles, earning his A.B. degree in economics in 1931. He went on to take graduate level courses from the University of Southern California’s Institute of Government.

In his first attempt at political office, Hawkins won election to the California State Assembly in 1934, upsetting an incumbent of sixteen years. During the twenty-eight years he served, he authored more than 100 laws and rose to the position of chairman of the Rules Committee. His legislation resulted in African Americans being appointed as judges and state commissioners, and he also championed for the rights of the poor, such as his Fair Housing Act and old age pensions. In 1962, Hawkins was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he would serve until 1990. During his tenure, he continued to champion equal rights and also pressed for legislation to protect youth with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act. Hawkins also helped push through the Minority Institutional Aid Act, which gave financial aid to traditional minority colleges, and was the author of the Full Employment Act.

Over the course of his career, Hawkins authored more than 300 laws and succeeded in restoring an honorable discharge to the 170 black soldiers of the 25th Infantry Regiment who were falsely accused of a public disturbance in Brownsville, Texas, in 1906, and removed from the U.S. Army.

Hawkins and his wife, Elsie, lived in Los Angeles until his death on November 10, 2007. Hawkins was 100 years old.

See how The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins talks about his paternal grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins talks about historical legacy
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins talks about his early childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins describes his mother's personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins describes growing up in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins describes Los Angeles, California in the early 20th century
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins recalls Thomas Jefferson High School in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins describes the racial dynamics of the Los Angeles, California school system
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins talks about the racial politics of Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins talks about political organizing
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins explains how he became a member of the California State Assembly
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins describes his 1934 campaign, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins describes his 1934 campaign, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins talks about his early years in the California State Assembly
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins talks about his relationship with the black community
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins talks about college friendships
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins outlines early legislative achievements in the California State Assembly
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins talks about Japanese internment
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins talks about the California State Assembly in the 1930s and 1940s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins describes his election to the United States Congress
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins talks about federal education legislation
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins talks about federal employment legislation, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins talks about federal employment legislation, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins talks about the development of the Congressional Black Caucus
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins talks about the importance of education
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins reflects upon his legacy