Eldon Murray Papers, 1938-2007

Scope and Content Note

Murray's childhood and adolescence in Vincennes, Indiana is represented in grade school reports, high school yearbooks and related materials, and photographs. Incoming correspondence from the 1950s and 1960s sheds light on his relationship with his mother, Eleanor Littleton (previously Murray), and his circle of gay friends and sexual partners. Of particular interest is incoming correspondence from Lt. George Lawson, who wrote to Murray from Ellington Air Force Base in Houston, Texas, often commenting on "gay life" in the officer training program. Murray's outgoing correspondence from this period consists of drafts to various correspondents, including Lawson, and the original correspondence sent to his mother, returned to Murray presumably upon her death.

Murray's political activism in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is represented in files pertaining to various local organizations such as the Business Association of Milwaukee, the Council on Religion and the Homosexual, the Milwaukee AIDS Project, and SAGE/Milwaukee. The series of SAGE/Milwaukee records consists of Murray's personal copies of materials. Murray's involvement with the Gay Peoples Union is well-represented in the editorial files of the Gay Peoples Union records, a related collection held by the UWM Libraries Archives Department.

The collection includes an extensive series of newspaper and magazine clippings compiled by Murray and documenting coverage of homosexuality in print media from 1947 to 1974. Many clippings were taken from the Milwaukee Journal and Milwaukee Sentinel, although coverage is national in scope.

Finally, the collection includes materials created by Louis Sullivan, born Shelia Sullivan, a transgender community activist with whom Murray became acquainted through the Gay Peoples Union. Sullivan moved to San Francisco in 1975 and became a pioneer in the female-to-male transsexual community. The collection includes a signed presentation copy of Sullivan's ground-breaking Information for the Female-to-Male Crossdresser and Transsexual, as well as research notes on homosexuality and transgender issues, and miscellaneous writings.