Oral Histories

Interview of John Anson Ford

Member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors from 1934 to 1958.
John Anson Ford and Los Angeles County Government
Interviews not in a series, part one
Politics and Government
Biographical Note:
Member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors from 1934 to 1958.
Dixon, Elizabeth I. and Cunningham, Craig
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.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
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.