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Mickey Edwards Collection

Identifier: CAC-CC-016
The Edwards Collections is approximately 126 linear feet, plus 8 maps and 50 photographs. The Correspondence and Legislative series represent the majority of the materials in the collection and include constituent correspondence, issue surveys and opinion ballots, voting records, issue folders, memos, notes, and legislation. Topics of note include cable and satellite television, the break-up of AT&T, civil rights legislation, foreign affairs, energy policy, Contra Aid, Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, water projects, and military installations including Tinker Air Force Base. Because of Edward’s committee appointments there is also substantial information related to government appropriations and the budget. The Press series provides an interesting look at Oklahoma during Edward’s service with its news summaries that are typed indexes of each week’s main headlines across Oklahoma.


  • 1977-1992


Conditions Governing Use:

The University of Oklahoma asserts no claim of copyright over photographs in this collection taken by private citizens. Any publication of such photographs requires the consent of the copyright holder.


147 Linear Feet (116 containers)

Biographical Information:

Mickey Edwards was born in Cleveland, Ohio on July 12, 1937, but spent most of his early life in Oklahoma City. His grandparents were Polish and Lithuanian Jewish immigrants and his parents changed their last name from Yanowsky to Edwards when Mickey was nine years old. Edwards received a B.A. in journalism from the University of Oklahoma in 1958 and a J.D. from the Oklahoma City University Law School in1969. He was admitted to the Oklahoma bar in 1970, and in his early career he worked in the fields of journalism, advertising, and public relations, and was an instructor of law and journalism at Oklahoma City University.

Edwards began his political career as a special legislative consultant to the Republican Steering Committee (1973-1974) and made an unsuccessful campaign for Oklahoma's 5th District House seat in 1974. His second attempt in 1976 proved more successful and he began what would be a sixteen-year career in the House on January 3, 1977. Policy development was one of Edwards's strong suits and it helped him get involved in Republican party activities. He served as an advisor to Ronald Reagan's 1980 presidential campaign and was the co-chair of a Republican National Convention platform subcommittee. During this period he was also the president of the American Conservative Union (1980-1984).

It was not long before Edwards attracted the attention of party leadership. He was elected vice-chair of the National Congressional Committee in 1980 and appointed as an assistant whip in 1981. A year later he was promoted to regional whip. He was appointed to the Executive Committee on Committees in 1986 and elected to the Republican Research Committee in 1987. His rise up the ladder was complete with his election as chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee in 1989, the 4th-highest post in the House Republican leadership.

Mickey Edwards was also very fortunate in his committee assignments. He was appointed to the Appropriations Committee in 1981. By 1985 he was the ranking Republican on the Military Construction Subcommittee and later the ranking member on the Foreign Operations Subcommittee. In 1987 he was given a seat on the Budget Committee, making him one of only four members to hold appointments to both powerful committees at the same time.

Despite his success in party politics and a history of wide election margins, Mickey Edwards encountered a difficult reelection campaign in 1992. The House Banking Scandal was in full-swing and Edwards had been named one of the top offenders for overdrafts. Though he was eventually cleared of intentional wrongdoing, the timing of the scandal was unfortunate. Edwards faced four Republicans in the primary election, and he had not raised enough funds to fare well in such an unusually competitive campaign. Edwards lost the primary election and finished his final term on January 3, 1993.

Since his career in congress, Mickey Edwards has been a lecturer at universities such as Harvard, Georgetown, and Princeton and continues to write articles, books, and columns. He remains involved with several policy groups and is a frequent commentator on news programs. Edwards is vice-president of the Aspen Institute and director of the Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership.

Arrangement of Materials:

The Edwards Collection is arranged into 6 series: Correspondence, Administrative and Subject, Press and Speeches, Legislative, Maps, and Photographs. The Edwards office organized its correspondence and legislative files topically and alphabetically and that structure is reflected in its current arrangement. The Administrative and Subject Series and the Photographs are also organized alphabetically and topically. The Press and Speeches Series is arranged either alphabetically or chronologically depending on the subseries.

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Guide to the Mickey Edwards Collection
Language of description
The collection description/finding aid is written in English
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Repository Details

Part of the Carl Albert Center Congressional and Political Collections Repository

630 Parrington Oval
Room 202B
Norman Oklahoma 73109 United States