Paula Unruh Collection


7 cubic feet

portrait of Paula Unruh

Biographical Sketch of the Creator of the Collection

Paula Unruh, a longtime Republican Party activist, promoted GOP candidates for over fifty years. Especially active in the Tulsa area, she also served as the campaign coordinator for Arkansas Governor Frank White in the 1980s. A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Unruh attended the University of Arkansas and the University of Tulsa. Her work in politics included serving as a staff member for Representative Page H. Belcher, the veteran Oklahoma congressman from the First District, in the 1950s. She also worked for the Department of Energy and the Department of Commerce in the 1980s. In 1978 and 1994, she made two unsuccessful campaigns for Oklahoma's First District congressional seat. In addition, Unruh served as Oklahoma's state GOP chairperson from 1975-1977, during which time she also chaired the Southern Association of Republican State Chairmen.

Scope and Content of the Collection

This collection focuses on Unruh's work as a leading strategist in the Republican Party at the state and national level. Materials on the Oklahoma Republican Party as well as the Southern Association of Republican State Chairmen include correspondence, meeting minutes, schedules, clippings, and financial data. Also evident in the collection is material on various Oklahoma Republican races, including the congressional campaigns of Representative Page H. Belcher in the 1960s and 1970s, the succcessful 1974 Senate campaign of Henry Bellmon, and the gubernatorial campaign of Vince Orza in the 1990s. There is also some information on the campaigns of Arkansans Sheffield Nelson and Frank White. The collection also has schedules, correspondence, speeches, press releases, and clippings on the Republican presidential campaigns of Richard Nixon in 1972, John Connally in 1980, and Bob Dole in 1988. Also found in the collection is material related to Unruh's work as executive vice president of the Tulsa Global Trade Foundation as well as her service in the Departments of Energy and Commerce. The collection has various memorabilia, including a campaign dress worn by Belcher's Pages as well as one worn by women supporting Bellmon. There is also a DVD featuring many of the dresses and gowns worn by Unruh during her career. There is also a group of photos with this collection.

An inventory to this collection is available on this web site. For more information on the archival holdings, please contact the Carl Albert Center.

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