Herman Badillo Public Relations Records
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 These records include press releases, clippings, correspondence, election campaign materials and other historical documents highlighting his political career, accomplishments, and setbacks.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.
- Creation: 1960s-1990s
- Creation: 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.
6 Cubic Feet
Language of Materials
Metadata Rights Declarations
- License: This record is made available under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Creative Commons license.
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.
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.
Genre / Form
- Bronx (New York, N.Y.) -- Economic conditions
- Bronx (New York, N.Y.) -- Politics and government
- Bronx (New York, N.Y.) -- Social conditions
- New York (N.Y.) -- Politics and government
- South Bronx (New York, N.Y.)
- Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
- Elections -- New York (State) -- New York -- 20th century
- Hispanic American legislators
- Hispanic Americans -- Politics and government
- Political campaigns -- New York (State) -- New York
- Puerto Ricans -- New York (State) -- New York
- Speeches, addresses, etc.
- Herman Badillo Public Relations Records
- Juber Ayala, Ana Perez and Pedro Juan Hernandez.
- September 2020
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- 2022: Additional material added to finding aid by Susan M. Kline