Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search results

Simmons, Roscoe Conkling, 1881-1951

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 1878 - 1951

Biographical note

Roscoe Conkling Simmons (born 1878 or 1881, died 1951) was an African-American orator, civic leader, journalist and politician. He graduated from Tuskegee Institute in 1899. He served as head of the Colored Division of the Speakers' Bureau of the Republican National Committee in 1920, 1924, and 1928. He was an advisor to three American presidents. He worked for the Chicago Defender from 1916 through the mid-1930s, and for the Chicago Tribune from the late 1940's until his death in 1951.
Footnote on birth date The date of his birth is uncertain. Obituaries state his age in 1951 as anywhere between Simmons' own assertion that he was sixty-three and his oldest friends' statements that place his age nearer to seventy-five. A birth date of June 20,1878 in Greenview Mississippi is listed in the earliest inventories of his papers produced by the Harvard University Archives. A passport appliction holds a 1918 certification of birth signed by his parents that state the year and place of his birth as 1881 in Macon, Mississippi. See Kaye, Andrew M. Roscoe Conkling Simmons and the Mechanics of Black Leaderhisp, 1899-1951 (Thesis, doctoral--University of Newcastle upon Tyne, 2002), p. 23 for a full note on the evidence for various dates and places of birth.

Found in 90 Collections and/or Records:

Colonel Roscoe Colkins [sic] Simmons : America's foremost orator, 1930

photoDescriptionUnit — Box: HUM 2.85 Box 9, Box: Folder 1Identifier: HUM 2, HUM 2.85, HUM 2.85 (492)
Scope and Contents: Most of the identifiable photographs are signed or unsigned portraits of Simmons, his family, and political colleagues or other prominent Americans, especially members of the African-American community. There also numerous photographs of unidentified group events, such as graduations or funerals, as well as photographs of unidentified monuments and buildings. Simmons' apparent interest in United States foreign policy and military actions is evident in this series. There...

Mapping the campaign to win young colored voters for Governor Landon and Colonel Knox, 1936

photoDescriptionUnit — Box: HUM 2.85 Box 1, Box: Folder 7Identifier: HUM 2, HUM 2.85, HUM 2.85 (43)
Description: Publicity photograph and attached press release for the campaign to elect Kansas Governor Alf Landon, Republican Party nominee in the 1936 presidential election. Pictured, from left to right: Roscoe Simmons, Sidney Jones, Robert Kratky, Myrtle Stryker, and Cornelius R. Richardson.

Mapping the campaign to win young colored voters for Governor Landon and Colonel Knox, 1936

photoDescriptionUnit — Box: HUM 2.85 Box 1, Box: Folder 7Identifier: HUM 2, HUM 2.85, HUM 2.85 (42)
Description: Publicity photograph and attached press release for the campaign to elect Kansas Governor Alf Landon, Republican Party nominee in the 1936 presidential election. Pictured, from left to right: Roscoe Simmons, Sidney Jones, Robert Kratky, Myrtle Stryker, and Cornelius R. Richardson.

Publicity photograph of Roscoe Simmons holding a trowel, possibly at a cornerstone laying ceremony, 1940s?

photoDescriptionUnit — Box: HUM 2.85 Box 1, Box: Folder 6Identifier: HUM 2, HUM 2.85, HUM 2.85 (38)
Scope and Contents: Most of the identifiable photographs are signed or unsigned portraits of Simmons, his family, and political colleagues or other prominent Americans, especially members of the African-American community. There also numerous photographs of unidentified group events, such as graduations or funerals, as well as photographs of unidentified monuments and buildings. Simmons' apparent interest in United States foreign policy and military actions is evident in this series. There...

Roscoe Conkling Simmons, 1915

photoDescriptionUnit — Box: HUM 2.85 Box 3, Box: Folder 2Identifier: HUM 2, HUM 2.85, HUM 2.85 (190)
Description: Studio portrait.

Roscoe Simmons (center) meeting in Los Angeles with Dr. J.T. Smith (left) of Lincoln Motion Picture Co. and J.B. Loving, probably 1919

photoDescriptionUnit — Box: HUM 2.85 Box 1, Box: Folder 8Identifier: HUM 2, HUM 2.85, HUM 2.85 (45)
Description: Inscribed on back: Compliments of Clarence Brooks, Secty of Lincoln Motion Picture Co., Los Angeles.

Roscoe Simmons (center) posing in front of a statue with four unidentified men, 1940s

photoDescriptionUnit — Box: HUM 2.85 Box 1, Box: Folder 9Identifier: HUM 2, HUM 2.85, HUM 2.85 (54)
Scope and Contents: Most of the identifiable photographs are signed or unsigned portraits of Simmons, his family, and political colleagues or other prominent Americans, especially members of the African-American community. There also numerous photographs of unidentified group events, such as graduations or funerals, as well as photographs of unidentified monuments and buildings. Simmons' apparent interest in United States foreign policy and military actions is evident in this series. There...

Roscoe Simmons (center) standing with two unidentified men, 1930s?

photoDescriptionUnit — Box: HUM 2.85 Box 1, Box: Folder 11Identifier: HUM 2, HUM 2.85, HUM 2.85 (66)
Description: Inscribed on back: Recopyed [sic] by Patricia Cummings.

Roscoe Simmons (center) standing with two unidentified men, 1930s?

photoDescriptionUnit — Box: HUM 2.85 Box 1, Box: Folder 11Identifier: HUM 2, HUM 2.85, HUM 2.85 (67)
Description: Inscribed on back: Copyed [sic] by [Patricia] Cummings.

Roscoe Simmons (center) standing with two unidentified men and a boy dressed in uniform and possibly Clifton F. Richardson Sr., publisher of the Houston Defender, 1930s?

photoDescriptionUnit — Box: HUM 2.85 Box 3, Box: Folder 2Identifier: HUM 2, HUM 2.85, HUM 2.85 (186)
Scope and Contents: Most of the identifiable photographs are signed or unsigned portraits of Simmons, his family, and political colleagues or other prominent Americans, especially members of the African-American community. There also numerous photographs of unidentified group events, such as graduations or funerals, as well as photographs of unidentified monuments and buildings. Simmons' apparent interest in United States foreign policy and military actions is evident in this series. There...