Oral Histories

Interview of Ralph Dills

California assembly member from 1939 to 1949. Los Angeles Municipal Court judge from 1952 to 1966. California senator from 1967 to 1998.
Ralph Dills
California State Archives State Government Oral History Program
Politics and Government
Biographical Note:
California assembly member from 1939 to 1949. Los Angeles Municipal Court judge from 1952 to 1966. California senator from 1967 to 1998.
Vasquez, Carlos
Dills, Ralph
Persons Present:
Dills and Vasquez.
Place Conducted:
Dills's office in Gardena, California.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Carlos Vasquez, Director, UCLA State Government Interview Series, UCLA Oral History Program; B.A., Political Science, UCLA; M.A., Political Science, Stanford University; Ph.D. candidate, History, UCLA.There exist no private papers which the interviewer was able to consult for this interview.
Processing of Interview:
Vasquez checked the verbatim manuscript of the interview against the original tape recordings, and with editor David Gist edited for punctuation, paragraphing, and spellings, and verified proper names. Insertions by the editors are bracketed. The interviewer prepared the introductory materials.Dills reviewed the edited transcript and returned the transcript with only minor corrections.
Series Statement:
Interviews in this series were undertaken by the UCLA Oral History Program under the auspices of the California State Archives and in conjunction with the California State University, Fullerton, Oral History Program; California State University, Sacramento, Center for California Studies Oral History Program; Claremont Graduate School Oral History Program; and the University of California, Berkeley, Regional Oral History Office. Funds were allocated to the state archives after Governor George Deukmejian signed into law Assembly Bill 2104 (Chapter 965 of the Statutes of 1985), establishing a state government oral history program "to provide through the use of oral history a continuing documentation of state policy development as reflected in California's legislative and executive history." All interviews in the series are available at the California State Archives in Sacramento.
Background and education; early political involvement in the EPIC (End Poverty in California) movement and in the Democratic Party; employment as public school teacher; assemblyman representing the Sixty-ninth Assembly District; serves as justice of the peace; municipal judge; state senator; Dills's brother, Clayton A. Dills, serves in the California State Assembly, 1943-66; Ralph Dills's principal legislative interest to preserve California's public education system; Dills's legislation includes bills to create El Camino Community College and California State University, Long Beach; Dills and other Los Angeles County legislators create foundation for a law school at the University of California, Los Angeles; sponsors bills contributing to teacher collective bargaining and retirement systems; authors landmark bills addressing waste management and promoting California tourism; the Watts riots in 1965.