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Charles W. Whalen Jr. Congressional papers

Identifier: UASC-001

Scope and Contents

This collection provides a window into local and national history in the 1960s and 1970s through the files of Ohio's 3rd District representative to Congress, Charles W. Whalen Jr. Although these papers span 1945-2003, the majority are from Whalen's years in the U.S. House of Representatives (1966-1979). The papers include correspondence, news clippings, financial reports, speeches, bills, scrapbooks, memorabilia, and other materials pertaining to Whalen's campaigns, legislative career, and personal life.


  • Creation: 1945-2003
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1967 - 1978


Access to Materials

With the exception of certain casework files, this collection is open and available to the public for research in the University Archives and Special Collections reading room. The materials are non-circulating. Social Security casework files are restricted for a period of 75 years from creation.

Copyright Notice

Materials created by Congressional members in the course of their official duties are in the public domain. Materials in this collection that were created apart from Rep. Whalen's official duties are protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code).

Biography of Charles W. Whalen Jr.

Charles W. Whalen Jr. was born on July 31, 1920, the son of Charles W. and Colette Kelleher Whalen. He attended Oakwood Public Schools, graduating from Oakwood High School in 1938. He received a B.S. from the University of Dayton in 1942 and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1946. He also holds an honorary L.L.D. from Central State University (1966).

Whalen served as first lieutenant in the U.S. Quartermaster Corps during World War II, including 18 months in the India-Burma Theatre. After receiving his M.B.A., Whalen joined the family business, the Dayton Dress Company, until 1952. He then became vice president of the Whalen Investment Company. He also taught retailing and economics at the University of Dayton from 1952 to 1966, serving as chairman of the economics department for four years during that time.

Whalen entered politics as a Republican in 1954, serving as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives (1955-1961) and the Ohio Senate (1961-1966). In 1966, he was elected to represent Ohio's 3rd District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He served six terms and retired in early 1979. During various Congresses, he served on the Armed Services Committee, the International Relations Committee, and the District of Columbia Committee, as well as several subcommittees. He was especially interested in international economic issues. He was an active member of Members of Congress for Peace through Law (MCPL) and was a delegate to the 32nd United Nations General Assembly in 1977 and to the U.N. Special Session on Disarmament in 1978.

Whalen was characterized as a liberal Republican who supported civil rights, freedom of information, and certain urban issues, and he vigorously opposed U.S. involvement in Vietnam. In the 1976 primary, some conservative 3rd District Republicans ran a candidate against him. Whalen won both the primary and general elections, his last as a Republican. He stayed neutral in the 1978 race between Democrat Tony Hall and Republican Dudley Kircher and later changed his party affiliation to Democrat.

Following his service in Congress, Whalen took the position of director in the non-profit organization, New Directions, with the agenda to lobby for economic and political diplomacy throughout the world. At various times in the 1980s, Whalen served on committees at the Washington Institute of Federal Affairs, the International Communication Agency, and the Institute for Policy Studies. Whalen also published several newspaper articles that concerned political and economic diplomacy, as well as several books that he co-authored with his wife, Barbara. The most notable of these books is The Longest Debate, which discusses the debate and passage of the 1965 Civil Rights Act.

Whalen was married to the former Barbara Gleason. They had six children: four sons, Ted, Chip, Dan, and Joe; and two daughters, Anne and Mary. Charles W. Whalen Jr. passed away on June 27, 2011.


256.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This collection contains the congressional and personal papers of former Congressman Charles W. Whalen Jr. (1920-2011) of Ohio's 3rd District, which he served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1966-1979. A former economics professor at the University of Dayton, Whalen was interested in political and economic diplomacy and international economic issues. His papers also reference major political issues of the period, including civil rights and the Vietnam War.


The papers of Charles W. Whalen Jr. are arranged into ten series.

Missing Title

  1. Series 1: Alphabetical files
  2. Series 2: Campaign files
  3. Series 3: Casework files
  4. Series 4: General files
  5. Series 5: Legislation files
  6. Series 6: Audiovisual media
  7. Series 7: News release files
  8. Series 8: Personal files
  9. Series 9: Memorabilia
  10. Series 10: Scrapbooks

Technical Requirements

Some audiovisual materials in this collection require special equipment to access. Please contact the University Archives and Special Collections in advance of your visit if you are interested in accessing this material.

Acquisition Information

Charles W. Whalen Jr. donated his papers to the University of Dayton in the late 1970s, around the time of his retirement from the U.S. House of Representatives.

Digitized Materials

Digitized materials from the Charles W. Whalen Jr. Congressional papers are available on Digital@UDayton.

Processing Information

The original processing of this collection occurred in the early 1980s after acquisition. In 2012, the entire collection was re-housed in new boxes and folders. This project was supported in part by an award from the Ohio Historical Records Advisory Board, through funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), National Archives and Records Administration.

Guide to the Charles W. Whalen Jr. Congressional papers, 1945-2003, bulk 1967-1978
Lisa Pasquinelli
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Repository Details

Part of the University Libraries Repository

300 College Park Dr.
Dayton Ohio 45469-1360