Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: MC 241

Papers of Dorothy McCullough Lee, 1905-1963 (inclusive), 1928-1963 (bulk)


Correspondence, speeches, photographs, etc., of Dorothy McCullough Lee, lawyer.


  • Creation: 1905-1963
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1928-1963

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Dorothy McCullough Lee is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


3.96 linear feet ((9 + 1/2 boxes) plus 1 folio folder)

This collection covers Dorothy McCullough Lee's career mainly from 1928 to 1963; it contains some speeches and photographs, but consists largely of newsclippings.


Dorothy McCullough was born on April 1, 1901, in Oakland, California. She lived in various parts of the United States and in several foreign countries where her father, a naval officer, was stationed. She received the B.A. degree from the University of California (Berkeley) in 1921 and the J.D. degree two years later. In January 1923 Lee was admitted to the California bar and practiced law in San Francisco until July 1924, when she married W. Scott Lee and moved to Portland, Oregon; here she practiced law after being admitted to the bar in October 1924.

Lee was first elected to office in 1928. She served in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1929 to 1931 and in the State Senate from 1932 to 1943. As a legislator she sponsored numerous social welfare bills. In August 1943 she resigned from the Senate to become Commissioner of Public Utilities for the City of Portland. In May 1948, while still serving as Commissioner, she was elected Mayor of Portland; she was Mayor from January 1, 1949 to December 31, 1952, but was defeated in the campaign for a second term.

In January 1953, Lee went to Germany as Consultant on Women's Affairs for the Department of State. On August 7, 1953, President Eisenhower appointed her a member of the United States Board of Parole and on September 4, 1956, a member of the Subversive Activities Control Board; she became Chairman of this Board on January 2, 1957, and resigned in August 1962 to resume the practice of law in Portland and to serve as lecturer in political science at Portland State College and the University of Portland.

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 76-367

The papers of Dorothy McCullough Lee were deposited with the Schlesinger Library by Dorothy McCullough Lee in November 1976.


  1. Box 1: 1-14
  2. Box 2: 15-30
  3. Box 3: 31-49
  4. Box 4: 50-69
  5. Box 5: 70-89
  6. Box 6: 90-109
  7. Box 7: 110-131
  8. Box 8: 132-148
  9. Box 9: 149-162
  10. Box 10: 163-170

Processing Information

Processed: January 1977

By: Neil McElroy

Lee, Dorothy McCullough, 1901-1981. Papers of Dorothy McCullough Lee, 1905-1963 (inclusive), 1928-1963 (bulk): A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

3 James St.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA