Oral Histories

Interview of John Anson Ford

Member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors from 1934 to 1958.
Subtitle:
John Anson Ford and Los Angeles County Government
Topic:
Politics and Government
Interviewer:
Dixon, Elizabeth I. and Cunningham, Craig
Interviewee:
Ford, John Anson
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Language:
English
Copyright:
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Abstract:
Grandfather's and father's careers as ministers; other family background; childhood in Wisconsin; education at Beloit College; early employment as newspaperman in Chicago; reporting strike settlement at Hart, Schaffner, and Marx; meeting Sidney Hillman; activities during World War I; move to Los Angeles, 1920; head of advertising and public relations firm in Los Angeles, 1927-34; service on 1928 grand jury; election of John C. Porter as mayor of Los Angeles; growing interest in politics; views on campaign financing; approached in late 1920s by Helen Werner political machine to run for seat on Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors; offer declined; encouraged to run in 1934 by George N. Wedge and Professor Louis Knott Koontz; tenure on board of supervisors, 1934-58; work toward local government reform; support for park system and cultural life; Hollywood Bowl; Althea Warren suggests Works Progress Administration murals for walls of supervisors' hearing rooms; reforms in county purchasing procedures; smog problem; creation of Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission; support of Otis Art Institute; unsuccessful mayoral candidacy, 1937; recall of Mayor Frank Shaw, 1938; relationship with Clifford Clinton; unsuccessful senatorial candidacy, 1940; work in Democratic Party politics; development of California Democratic Council; service on Democratic National Committee; Adlai E. Stevenson, Estes Kefauver, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Edmund G. "Pat" Brown, Sr.; service as chairman of California State Fair Employment Practices Commission, 1959-63.