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Donald Stewart Lucas papers
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This collection documents the professional life of Donald (Don) S. Lucas. It contains significant holdings relating to the Mattachine Foundation, the Mattachine Society, Pan-Graphic Press, the Council on Religion and the Homosexual, the Society for Individual Rights, and the Economic Opportunity Council of San Francisco, particularly the Central City Target Area. The collection contains a small cache of personal correspondence, mementos, and subject files.
Donald Stewart Lucas was born in rural Colorado in 1926. He was raised on a farm mostly by his mother; work took his father away from the family frequently and divorce separated his parents permanently when Lucas was 16. Lucas had one brother who was three years his elder and who had cerebral palsy. Lucas spent a good deal of his adolescence caring for his brother, who died when Lucas was 18. Lucas finished high school at the age of 16 and then attended the local junior college, in Pueblo, Colorado, until he was 18. With his brother dead and his parents divorced, Lucas left for Tacoma, Washington, where he lived for five years. He worked in the shipyards during wartime. In his spare time he also worked in children's theater, the production of educational films, and performed on the stage as the magician, "Jus Foo Ling." Lucas had visited San Francisco once, in 1943, and was impressed with the beauty and magic of "The City." Six years later, while making a stopover in San Francisco while driving back to Colorado, Lucas decided to stay and settle in the city. He first lived in a rooming house near the corner of Haight Street and Market Street. He continued performing in local theater until the middle 1950s and worked for North British Insurance Company between 1949 and 1960. Although Lucas studied "abnormal psychology" in junior college, he claims to have not thought of himself as a sexual "deviant" during those years; he also remembers having dated women at the time. Lucas's first exposure to a gay subculture came when he was living and working in Tacoma. When Lucas moved to San Francisco in 1949 his homosexuality was not at issue, but in that city he was introduced to the Mattachine Society and the idea of homosexual education and activism. An acquaintance invited Lucas to a meeting of a San Francisco chapter of the recently re-formed Mattachine Society in mid-1953. In November 1953 Lucas attended a Constitutional Convention of the Society in Los Angeles and from that point in time became progressively more involved in the organization. As the leadership of the Society migrated from southern to northern California, Lucas assumed greater leadership responsibilities. In 1954, Lucas was a representative of the San Francisco Area Council and in 1955 he moved into the position of chair of the Society's Legal-Legislative Committee. Beginning in 1955, he also worked with Hal Call on publishing the Mattachine Review in the position of Business Manager. Joining with Hal Call and two other investors, Lucas founded Pan-Graphic Press in 1954. Pan-Graphic was a private enterprise that provided printing services for a range of clients but whose main responsibility was publishing the Mattachine Review, beginning in late 1955. Along with printing the Mattachine Review and other Society documents, Pan-Graphic published gay-related novels, non-fiction, poetry, and transcripts of radio and television programs; the press also published the Dorian Book Service Quarterly, a journal that joined news about obscenity laws with a mail-order catalogue, and Town-Talk, one of the first gay bar-oriented gay newspapers to carry advertising. Lucas left his job as assistant claims manager at the North British Insurance Company in 1960 to work fulltime for Pan-Graphic and the Society, which he did between 1960 and 1966. During that period of time, he kept the books for Pan-Graphic, but spent most of his time performing what he called "lay counseling" for the Society. This activity included working with individuals who contacted the Society with a whole variety of problems relating to employment, housing, civil rights, arrests, family, gender identity, and psychology; to help the individuals, Lucas worked with social workers, psychologists, lawyers, journalists, business owners, clergy, and landlords. This work occurred at a time when the San Francisco homophile movement experienced a period of significant growth. Lucas played an important role in the expansion of the movement as he helped to found the Council on Religion and the Homosexual in 1964 and worked with several other organizations including the Society for Individual Rights and the Committee to Fight the Exclusion of Homosexuals from the Armed Forces. As Lucas's interest in social services and counseling increased in the middle 1960s, he was exposed not only to homosexuals in need, but to others (like runaway youth, hustlers, drug addicts, the elderly, and transgender youth) in the Tenderloin and South of Market area who were confronted with a variety of problems. At the same time, Lyndon Johnson's Great Society agenda started spawning a variety of antipoverty programs. In San Francisco, the Economic Opportunity Council was formed to distribute grants and establish neighborhood-based programs. In 1966, Central City (comprised of the Tenderloin and South of Market) became one of the five "Target Areas" within the city of San Francisco. Shortly thereafter, Lucas was hired as the administrative assistant and then assistant director to the Central City Area Director, Calvin Colt. When Colt transferred to the main EOC office in the Fall of 1967, Lucas was promoted to the position of Director of the Central City Multi-Service Center. He served in that position until May 1969, when the Nixon administration already had made severe budget cutbacks in antipoverty programs. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Lucas continued to work for communities in need by serving on the boards of North of Market Senior Services and the Haight-Ashbury Free Medical Clinic. However, after leaving the Central City Multi-Service Center, Lucas primarily worked as a bookkeeper and private consultant until retirement. As of February 2003, Lucas continues to live in San Francisco and makes periodic visits to his hometown in Colorado where he is active in the local historical society.
21 Boxes
Copyright to unpublished manuscript materials has been transferred to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.
Collection is open for research. Selections from this collection were digitized through a partnership with Gale/Cengage. Contact the GLBT Historical Society archivist for more information regarding access to the digital collection.