John M. Meek Collection

1934-1999 (bulk: 1967-1968)

5.5 cubic feet

portrait of John Meek

Biographical Sketch of the Creator of the Collection

A native Oklahoman of Choctaw ancestry, John Martin Meek was one of the most successful public relations counselors in the Washington, D.C., area from 1969 to his relocation to Arizona in 1999. Following high school graduation, he served in the U.S. Navy and saw action during the Korean Conflict. After completing his military career, he attended the University of Oklahoma and graduated with a degree in journalism in 1958. He also received a master's degree from Syracuse University. During his newspaper career, he worked on newspapers in Oklahoma, Texas, and New York. In 1959, he became manager of the Community Development Department for the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce. Following the election of President John F. Kennedy, Meek moved to Washington where he served as press secretary to U.S. Senator Robert S. Kerr of Oklahoma. Following Kerr's unexpected death in 1963, he held the same position with Senator J. Howard Edmondson who was appointed to succeed Kerr.

During the 1964 Democratic National Convention, Meek was the assistant to the publicity director. In 1965, he held a similar position for the presidential inaugural. Shortly thereafter, he moved to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and served as the director of congressional relations. As the chief liaison between the DNC and all Democratic members of Congress, he was involved in numerous activities related to the day-to-day operations of congressional offices. He became coordinator for the 1968 Democratic National Convention held in Chicago. In this position, he was responsible for many of the arrangements necessary for conducting the event.

Following the convention, he became a public relations counselor in Washington, D.C. During his years in the nation's capital, he was involved in numerous projects. In the late 1980s, he served as the counselor to the state of Arizona in its quest to become the site of the Superconducting Super Collider. He also worked on major national public education programs in health care for Glaxo Wellcome.

Since 1999, Meek has lived in Tucson, Arizona, where he continues to write and consult. He also is an adjunct professor at Pima Community College. His first novel, The Christmas Hour, is slated for publication in late 2002.

Scope and Content of the Collection

The John M. Meek Collection is a small collection which includes material on aspects of the organization of the 1968 Democratic National Convention, from hotel accommodations to first aid and security to requests from committees and entertainers to appear at the convention. While there is a copy of the proceedings of the convention, there is little else in the papers that relates to the event as it occurred. Most materials concern preliminary preparations for the convention. A small photograph collection is also included in the collection. An inventory to the collection is available. For more information on the archival holdings, please contact the Carl Albert Center.

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