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The Honorable Ronald Dellums

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Information about The Honorable Ronald Dellums

Profile image of The Honorable Ronald Dellums

Profession

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

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Beans
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Vanguilla
Favorite Quote:
Nothing beats a failure but a try.

Birthplace

Born:
11/24/1935
Birth Location:
Oakland, California

Profession

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

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Beans
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Vanguilla
Favorite Quote:
Nothing beats a failure but a try.

Birthplace

Born:
11/24/1935
Birth Location:
Oakland
See how The Honorable Ronald Dellums is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Former Congressman Ronald V. Dellums was born November 24, 1935, in Oakland, California. After graduating from high school, Dellums joined the U.S. Marine Corps, where he was selected for Officer Candidate School. After completing his tour, Dellums went to Oakland City College, where he earned his A.A. degree. Dellums later went to San Francisco State University and then to the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned his M.A. degree in social work.

After completing his master's degree, Dellums went to work with the California Department of Mental Hygiene as a psychiatric social worker in 1962 and remained there for two years. Dellums was hired as the program director of the Bayview Community Center in 1964, and a year later became the associate director and, later, director of Hunters Point Youth Opportunity Center. In 1967, Dellums was elected to the Berkeley City Council, and also began work as a part-time lecturer at San Francisco State College and the Berkeley Graduate School of Social Welfare. Dellums was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1971, where he served until his retirement in 1998.

As a congressman during the Vietnam War, Dellums began calling for peace and disarmament; he studied foreign and military policy, and served on the Armed Services Committee. During the course of the war, President Richard Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew accused Dellums of being a "radical" and a "commie pinko" for his views. Surviving these attacks, Dellums went on to challenge President Ronald Reagan's desire to increase military spending and later required President George Bush to secure congressional approval before attacking Iraq in the Gulf War. Dellums also proposed a national healthcare bill in 1977 and spent years trying to push it through Congress.

Dellums continued to speak about disarmament and finding peaceful solutions to international conflicts; he also maintained a strong interest in civil rights and environmental issues. Dellums authored several books, including his autobiography, Lying Down With the Lions: A Public Life from the Streets of Oakland to the Halls of Power. Dellums served as the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, and the University of California, Berkeley, has created an endowed chair in his name in the Peace and Conflict Studies Department.

Ronald Dellums passed away on July 30, 2018.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ronald Dellums interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ronald Dellums's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ronald Dellums discusses his mother's family background and settlement in California
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ronald Dellums describes how his grandfather impacted him
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ronald Dellums shares his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ronald Dellums talks about his father's personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ronald Dellums describes his father's career and successes
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ronald Dellums recalls his uncle's emigration to California
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ronald Dellums details his uncle's achievements as a civil rights activist
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ronald Dellums recalls his uncle's involvement with labor unions
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ronald Dellums shares one of his earliest memories
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ronald Dellums discusses the demographic makeup of West Oakland, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ronald Dellums recalls his childhood neighborhood of West Oakland, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ronald Dellums describes the influence of Southern culture on his personality
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ronald Dellums describes his childhood religious experiences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ronald Dellums describes his childhood personality
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ronald Dellums recalls a violent knife attack
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ronald Dellums explains how family and friends shielded him from trouble
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ronald Dellums recalls his attitude about education as a teenager
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ronald Dellums describes how his parents' separation affected him
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ronald Dellums recalls living with his father after leaving the Marine Corps
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ronald Dellums discusses the relationship between his father and his uncle
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ronald Dellums recalls a scholarship offer from the University of California at Berkeley
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ronald Dellums deceives his parents about his grades and loses his scholarship to college
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Ronald Dellums describes enlisting in the Marine Corps
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Ronald Dellums recalls a racist encounter in the Marine Corps
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ronald Dellums explains how the Marine Corps aided in his personal development
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ronald Dellums explains how the military taught him discipline and confidence
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ronald Dellums recalls making education a priority in his life
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ronald Dellums describes his college experience
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ronald Dellums shares his motivation to enter psychiatric social work
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ronald Dellums remembers his first psychiatric jobs
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ronald Dellums recalls an encounter which caused him to rethink his career aspirations
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ronald Dellums details his shift from social work to politics
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ronald Dellums discusses his admission to a Ph.D. program at Brandeis University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ronald Dellums gives the names of his children
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ronald Dellums details his selection as a candidate for the City Council of Berkeley, California
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ronald Dellums describes the political climate of the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1960s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ronald Dellums talks about being elected by a white constituency
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ronald Dellums explains how the diversity of the Bay Area helped his campaign for the U.S. Congress
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ronald Dellums describes his participation in the People's Park protest and his run for the U.S. Congress
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Ronald Dellums describes one of his first political failures
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Ronald Dellums describes being attacked by Vice President Spiro Agnew
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Ronald Dellums recounts the press conference at which he responded to Vice President Spiro Agnew
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Ronald Dellums shares his response to Vice President Spiro Agnew's political attacks
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Ronarld Dellums describes his contentious first years in the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Ronald Dellums' interview, session 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls being awarded a college scholarship
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls losing his college scholarship
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers receiving his bachelor's and master's degrees
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers athletes from McClymonds High School
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls his decision to run for Congress
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about his political party affiliation
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers Spiro Agnew's criticism of him
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers responding to Spiro Agnew's criticism
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls his start in the U.S. Congress
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about his political role model, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about his political role model, pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers his early political influences
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls his political influences in the San Francisco Bay Area in California
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers working with Donald R. Hopkins
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums describes his congressional staff
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers gaining the respect of the Congress
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls holding war crimes hearings, pt. 1
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls holding war crimes hearings, pt. 2
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about opposing the War Powers Resolution of 1973
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls the formation of the Congressional Black Caucus
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers Shirley Chisholm
  • Tape: 9 Story: 9 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls joining the U.S. House Committee on Armed Services, pt. 1
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls joining the U.S. House Committee on Armed Services, pt. 2
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums describes his reception on the U.S. House Committee on Armed Services
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums describes his stance on the U.S. House Committee on Armed Services
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls advocating against the LGM-118 Peacekeeper missile
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers gaining bipartisan support
  • Tape: 10 Story: 6 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls advocating against the B-2 bomber
  • Tape: 10 Story: 7 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers debating Senator Sam Nunn
  • Tape: 10 Story: 8 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls experiencing discrimination in the U.S. Marine Corps
  • Tape: 11 Story: 1 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls the creation of the National Black Political Assembly
  • Tape: 11 Story: 2 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about building political coalitions
  • Tape: 11 Story: 3 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls being nominated for president in 1976
  • Tape: 11 Story: 4 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers being nominated for president in 1980
  • Tape: 11 Story: 5 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about the changes to United States politics
  • Tape: 11 Story: 6 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers starting his anti-apartheid campaign
  • Tape: 11 Story: 7 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers inroducing the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986
  • Tape: 11 Story: 8 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls passing the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986
  • Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Ronald Dellums' interview, session 3
  • Tape: 12 Story: 2 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about his retirement from Congress
  • Tape: 12 Story: 3 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums describes his fundraising process
  • Tape: 12 Story: 4 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers the political climate of the 1990s
  • Tape: 12 Story: 5 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls the special election following his retirement
  • Tape: 12 Story: 6 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about advocating for AIDS awareness in Africa
  • Tape: 12 Story: 7 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums describes the creation of Secure the Future initiative
  • Tape: 12 Story: 8 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers Congressman Jim Leach's support
  • Tape: 12 Story: 9 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls chairing the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS
  • Tape: 12 Story: 10 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers advising Secretary Tommy Thompson
  • Tape: 13 Story: 1 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums describes the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief
  • Tape: 13 Story: 2 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about his book
  • Tape: 13 Story: 3 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums describes the diversity of the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Tape: 13 Story: 4 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about political cynicism
  • Tape: 13 Story: 5 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums shares his advice for young people, pt. 1
  • Tape: 13 Story: 6 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums his shares advice for young people, pt. 2
  • Tape: 13 Story: 7 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about tools for political organizing
  • Tape: 13 Story: 8 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls working on AIDS education in Oakland, California
  • Tape: 13 Story: 9 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers being asked to run for mayor of Oakland, California
  • Tape: 14 Story: 1 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls his decision to run for mayor of Oakland, California
  • Tape: 14 Story: 2 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers bringing federal stimulus funding to Oakland, California
  • Tape: 14 Story: 3 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls working with President Barack Obama's administration
  • Tape: 14 Story: 4 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about reducing crime in Oakland, California
  • Tape: 14 Story: 5 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about preventing recidivism
  • Tape: 14 Story: 6 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about community policing
  • Tape: 14 Story: 7 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about the importance of public safety
  • Tape: 14 Story: 8 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums describes his stance on gun control
  • Tape: 14 Story: 9 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums describes illegal gun usage in Oakland, California
  • Tape: 15 Story: 1 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums reflects upon his term as mayor
  • Tape: 15 Story: 2 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers the murder of Chauncey Bailey, Jr.
  • Tape: 15 Story: 3 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about the issues facing Oakland, California
  • Tape: 15 Story: 4 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls increasing employment in Oakland, California
  • Tape: 15 Story: 5 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls his decision not to run for mayor for a second term
  • Tape: 15 Story: 6 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about lobbying
  • Tape: 15 Story: 7 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums describes his life since retirement
  • Tape: 15 Story: 8 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums reflects upon his legislative legacy
  • Tape: 15 Story: 9 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers his bipartisan collaboration
  • Tape: 15 Story: 10 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers his Congressional role models
  • Tape: 16 Story: 1 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about his children
  • Tape: 16 Story: 2 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums reflects upon his life