Mickey Edwards Collection


115 cubic feet

portrait of Mickey Edwards
Mickey Edwards Collection Box List and Inventory

Biographical Sketch of the Creator of the Collection

Mickey Edwards was born in Cleveland, Ohio on July 12, 1937, but spent most of his early life in Oklahoma City. His grandparents were Polish and Lithuanian Jewish immigrants and his parents changed their last name from Yanowsky to Edwards when Mickey was nine years old. Edwards received a B.A. in journalism from the University of Oklahoma in 1958 and a J.D. from the Oklahoma City University Law School in1969. He was admitted to the Oklahoma bar in 1970, and in his early career he worked in the fields of journalism, advertising, and public relations, and was an instructor of law and journalism at Oklahoma City University.

Edwards began his political career as a special legislative consultant to the Republican Steering Committee (1973-1974) and made an unsuccessful campaign for Oklahoma's 5th District House seat in 1974. His second attempt in 1976 proved more successful and he began what would be a sixteen-year career in the House on January 3, 1977. Policy development was one of Edwards's strong suits and it helped him get involved in Republican party activities. He served as an advisor to Ronald Reagan's 1980 presidential campaign and was the co-chair of a Republican National Convention platform subcommittee. During this period he was also the president of the American Conservative Union (1980-1984).

It was not long before Edwards attracted the attention of party leadership. He was elected vice-chair of the National Congressional Committee in 1980 and appointed as an assistant whip in 1981. A year later he was promoted to regional whip. He was appointed to the Executive Committee on Committees in 1986 and elected to the Republican Research Committee in 1987. His rise up the ladder was complete with his election as chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee in 1989, the 4th-highest post in the House Republican leadership.

Mickey Edwards was also very fortunate in his committee assignments. He was appointed to the Appropriations Committee in 1981. By 1985 he was the ranking Republican on the Military Construction Subcommittee and later the ranking member on the Foreign Operations Subcommittee. In 1987 he was given a seat on the Budget Committee, making him one of only four members to hold appointments to both powerful committees at the same time.

Despite his success in party politics and a history of wide election margins, Mickey Edwards encountered a difficult reelection campaign in 1992. The House Banking Scandal was in full-swing and Edwards had been named one of the top offenders for overdrafts. Though he was eventually cleared of intentional wrongdoing, the timing of the scandal was unfortunate. Edwards faced four Republicans in the primary election, and he had not raised enough funds to fare well in such an unusually competitive campaign. Edwards lost the primary election and finished his final term on January 3, 1993.

Since his career in congress, Mickey Edwards has been a lecturer at universities such as Harvard, Georgetown, and Princeton and continues to write articles, books, and columns. He remains involved with several policy groups and is a frequent commentator on news programs. Edwards is vice-president of the Aspen Institute and director of the Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership.


Scope and Content of the Collection

This collection is composed of four series: Correspondence, Adminstrative and Subject, Press, and Legislative. There are also small collections of maps and photographs.

  • CORRESPONDENCE SERIES – 1977-1992 (54.5 cubic feet)

This series contains constituent letters concerning legislation and issues and personal correspondence. Material is separated by year and then arranged alphabetically by topic.  Mickey Edwards’s office coded incoming mail by topic and that topic structue has been maintained whenever possible.  The folder inventories list sub-topics and correspondent names that appear at least twice in a folder, though all VIP names are included.  One representative item of each group of identical constituent form letters and postcards has been retained with a notation of how many others like it were deaccessioned. 

Topics well-represented in this series include federal budget, education, energy, oil and gas industry, health, taxes, and personal rights issues. Specific events and issues commonly referenced include funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, the breakup of AT&T, cable and satellite television, Contra aid, windfall profits tax, natural gas decontrol, Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, catastrophic health insurance, abortion, civil rights legislation, gun control, Social Security “notch years,” and taxes on interest and dividends. 

Issue surveys and opinion ballots are also common and are filed at the end of each year, as are compilations of Mickey Edwards’s form letters. 

Go to Correspondence Series Inventory

  • ADMINISTRATIVE AND SUBJECT SERIES – 1980-1992 (1 cubic foot)

This series contains a dozen routine administrative and office files arranged by topic.  Subject files generally contain reference material on events and organizations in Oklahoma, individuals, and conferences.

Go to Administrative and Subject Series Inventory

  • PRESS SERIES – 1979-1992 (16 cubic feet)

This series is composed of three subseries that are each arranged chronologically. 

The first subseries is News Summaries and Clippings.  News summaries are typically typed indexes to each week’s main headlines appearing in larger Oklahoma newspapers and those published in Mickey Edwards’s congressional district.  Clippings are primarily articles from these same papers covering both local and national events, as well as the activities of Mickey Edwards.

The second subseries is Press, which includes copies of articles, columns, editorials, and op-eds written by Mickey Edwards, as well as official press releases from Edwards’s office.

The third subseries is Speeches.  These files contain transcripts of speeches and notes made by Mickey Edwards.

Go to Press Series Inventory

  • LEGISLATIVE SERIES - 1977-1992 (43.5 cubic feet)

This series is arranged by topic and closely follows the filing structure used by Mickey Edwards’s office.  As would be expected, there is a large volume of material regarding issues and activities related to Mickey Edwards’s committee appointments, party leadership roles, and sponsored legislation.  Material relating to the Appropriations Committee covers several cubic feet, and there are separate file groups for foreign operations and military construction.  There is also substantial material on the budget. Edwards’s party involvement is represented in files concerning the Congressional Institute, House Republican Research Committee, and House Republican Policy Committee.  Legislation and issues that Edwards was especially interested in include defense, education, energy policy, foreign affairs, Contra aid and Central America, Persian Gulf Conflict, health care, taxes, and transportation.

Issues of local concern for residents of the 5th District that are well-represented include agriculture, savings and loan crisis, military installations, E-6A basing at Tinker Air Force Base, hostile corporate takeover of Phillips Petroleum, oil and gas industry, Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, and water projects,

The final portion of the series consists of Edwards’s legislative history, which is composed of voting records, roll call votes, legislative profiles, and issue folders.

Go to Legislative Series Inventory


Thirty-five images were found in this collection, though few actually show Mickey Edwards.  Most images are of aircraft or depict water and recreational area concerns in Oklahoma. View the inventory.

  • MAPS

There are eight maps associated with this collection.  View the inventory.


Mickey Edwards Collection Box List and Inventory

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