The Robert Clifton Weaver Photograph Collection depicts aspects of his personal life from the late 1800s to the 1990s, and his professional activities mainly as a government official and public figure from the mid 1950s to the 1970s. The collection consists of individual and group portraits, candid shots and snapshots of Weaver, his wife, Ella, son, Robert, Jr., and other family members and friends; snapshot and candid views of family social gatherings and vacations; individual and group portraits and views of government officials, members of Weaver's staff, and visiting dignitaries; views of social gatherings, meetings, legislative hearings, bill signings, diplomatic missions, dedications and college commencements; and views of urban renewal and housing projects. The collection is limited in depicting his professional activities before the mid-1950s, including his participation in Franklin Roosevelt's "Black Cabinet," and is likewise limited in depicting his activities as an educator and political advisor during the 1970s and 1980s.
Citation/reference: Collection consists of work by Bill Anderson, Robert L. Knudsen, Layne's Studio and Scurlock Studios, among others.
Biographical/historical: Robert Clifton Weaver, political official and educator, was born in Washington, D.C. in 1907. Educated at Harvard, where he received three degrees, including a doctorate in economics, Weaver served, beginning in 1933, as an advisor for the Franklin D. Roosevelt Administration in housing, employment and civil rights, as both a special assistant and as a member of the Administration's "Black Cabinet." Leaving the government in 1944, he served as a race relations advisor in Chicago, worked for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, and held various teaching posts before being appointed New York State Rent Commissioner in 1955, the first African American appointed to the state's Cabinet. In 1961, President John Kennedy appointed Weaver administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Agency. In 1966, after initial resistance from Southerners in Congress, President Lyndon Johnson established the Department of Housing and Urban Development with Weaver, the first African American appointed to a White House Cabinet post, as its first administrator. After leaving the government in 1968, Weaver was an educator in New York City during the 1970s and was an advisor on housing and transportation issues for New York City and State during the 1970s and 1980s. He died in New York in 1997