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Herman Badillo Public Relations Records

 Collection
Identifier: MSS 281

Scope and Contents

The Herman Badillo Public Relations Records were collected by Jim Vlasto, who served as press secretary and spokesman for Badillo during various stages of his political career. These records include press releases, clippings, correspondence, election campaign materials and other historical documents highlighting his political career, accomplishments, and setbacks.

The majority of the campaign materials pertain to Badillo's unsuccessful bids for New York City Mayor in 1969, 1973, and 1977, including his Democratic primary run off against Abe Beame.

Dates

  • 1960s-1990s
  • Majority of material found within 1969-1977

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open without restrictions, with the exception of some audiovisual material that is currently inaccessible due to format.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by Centro.

Biographical / Historical

Herman Badillo was the first Puerto Rican elected official to serve in the United States Congress representing the South Bronx, NY districts (21st and 22nd) from 1971 to 1977. In that capacity, he actively fought for increased voting rights protections, bilingual education and secured federal aid for Puerto Ricans who were subject to the military draft. Besides representing his district, he became Puerto Rico’s most powerful advocate in the federal government during those years.

Born in Caguas, Puerto Rico in 1929, Badillo moved to New York City after his parents died. He graduated from the City College of New York with a bachelor’s degree in 1951 and graduated first in his class from Brooklyn Law School in 1954.

Badillo was appointed by Mayor Robert Wagner as the Commissioner of the Department of Relocation from 1962 until 1965. Thereafter, he was elected the Bronx Borough President from 1966 to 1969. In 1977, he resigned from Congress and accepted Mayor Ed Koch’s appointment as Deputy Mayor in charge of labor relations and community outreach, a position that he held until 1979. Twenty years later, Badillo served as a Trustee of the City University of New York for over a decade and as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1999 to 2001.

Throughout his public service career, Badillo pursued the Democratic Party nomination as a mayor of New York City five times (1969, 1973, 1977, 1981 and 1985) and the Republican Party nomination in 2001. He also ran unsuccessfully for New York State Comptroller in 1986.

Despite these setbacks, he remained an influential political leader that made significant changes in New York City throughout his four decades of public service. Badillo passed away on December 3, 2014 at the age of 85 in New York City.

Extent

6 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials

English

Spanish; Castilian

Metadata Rights Declarations

  • License: This record is made available under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Creative Commons license.

Abstract

The Herman Badillo Public Relations Records were collected by Jim Vlasto, who served as press secretary and spokesman for Badillo during various stages of his political career. These records include press releases, clippings, correspondence, election campaign materials and other historical documents highlighting his political career in Congress, accomplishments, and setbacks as a candidate for New York City mayor.

Custodial History

Materials were collected and saved by Badillo's former press secretary and spokesman, James Vlasto prior to donation to Centro.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Gail Roberts Badillo.

Related Materials

Robert Garcia Congressional Papers, Olga A. Méndez Senatorial Papers and Oscar García Rivera Papers also held in the Centro Archives.

Title
Herman Badillo Public Relations Records
Status
Completed
Author
Juber Ayala, Ana Perez and Pedro Juan Hernandez.
Date
September 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Revision Statements

  • 2022: Additional material added to finding aid by Susan M. Kline

Repository Details

Part of the Archives of the Puerto Rican Diaspora Repository

Contact:
Silberman Building, Hunter College
2180 Third Ave. Rm. 122
New York New York 10065




About the Collections

Our collections consist of personal papers from prominent Puerto Rican artists, elected officials, social activists, writers, as well as the records of community-based organizations. Our largest collection, the Offices of the Government of Puerto Rico in the United States (OGPRUS) Records, measures approximately 2,900 cubic feet and contains an extraordinary amount of information regarding Puerto Rican migrants and the government institutions established to assist them. The collections date from the 1890s to the present, and document Puerto Rican communities in the Northeast, Midwest, Florida, California and Hawaii.