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Joshua B. "Josh" Lee Collection

Identifier: CAC_CC_033
The Lee Collection is a small collection of 24.67 linear feet. It consists most of correspondence, speeches, and scrapbooks which include programs, clippings, publications, and additional correspondence. The material ranges in date from before Lee’s service as a Representative and Senator till after, though the bulk of it is during his tenure as a congressman. A well-known orator, Lee’s speeches are the highlight of the collection.


  • 1911-1972
  • Majority of material found in 1928-1966


Language of Materials


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.


24.67 Linear Feet (18 containers)

Biographical Information:

Josh Lee was born in 1892 in Childersburg, Alabama, and moved with his family to southern Oklahoma when he was three years old. He was educated in Baptist schools and graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1917, where as a senior he won the National Oratorical Council prize. He then served in World War I as a private in the 135th infantry. After the war, he joined the University of Oklahoma as an instructor in public speaking. He received the MA degree in political science from Columbia University in 1925, and an LLB degree from Cumberland Law School in Tennessee in 1926.

A Democrat, Lee represented Oklahoma's Fifth District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1935-1937. In 1936, he was elected to the U.S. Senate. As a congressman, Lee served on the Civil Service, Education, Pensions, and World War Veterans' Legislation Committees. As a senator, he served on the Commerce, Education and Labor, Irrigation and Reclamation, Military Affairs, and Public Lands and Surveys Committees.

Lee was a strong supporter of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal. Surprisingly in 1942, Lee was defeated in his Senate reelection bid by Edward H. Moore, an anti-New Deal Democrat, who had been nominated by the Republican Party. Lee had aroused the ire of beer forces with a proposed rider to a bill lowering the draft to prevent the sales of intoxicating liquor in the area of army camps. The beer forces campaigned for Moore, but the "drys" did not march for Lee. In 1943, President Roosevelt appointed Lee to an unexpired term on the Civil Aeronautics Board. He later served two additional six-year terms. In 1955, Lee returned to Norman, Oklahoma, to practice law. He died in Norman on August 10, 1967.

Arrangement of Materials:

The Lee Collection is organized into 7 series: Speaking Engagements and Speeches, Official Correspondence, Personal Correspondence, Resource Material, Scrapbooks, Maps, and Photographs. The Resource Material and Speaking Engagements series are organized alphabetically while the rest of the materials within each series are organized chronologically. The Photographs are grouped by content and event.

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Accruals and additions: June 25, 1985; September 1, 1998 (98-1); March 10, 2020.
Guide to the Joshua B. "Josh" Collection
Language of description
The collection description/finding aid is written in English
  • TypeCollection

Repository Details

Part of the Carl Albert Center Congressional and Political Collections Repository

630 Parrington Oval
Room 202B
Norman Oklahoma 73109 United States