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Transcript of interview with Thalia Dondero by Claytee D. White, March 6, 2014 and April 2, 2014







Thalia Dondero is most famous for being the first woman elected to the Clark County Commission. She ran her first successful campaign in 1974 and held office for twenty years. While on the commission, Dondero helped to create Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire state parks, to modernize McCarran International Airport and University Medical Center, and served on the Water Authority Board. She served as a member of the Board of Regents for the Nevada System of Higher Education for twelve years after retiring from the County Commission in 1994. Dondero died September 4, 2016 from complications from congestive heart failure. Thalia Marie Dondero was born January 23, 1920. Her father, Doyle Sperry, was a taxidermist and her mother, Sylvia Peck, was a violinist and worked in a laundry. She lived in both Colorado and Wyoming before her family settled in Bakersfield, California. Dondero moved to Las Vegas in 1943 when her employer took a job with Basic Magnesium, Inc. and requested that she follow him. On June 21, 1946 she married Harvey Dondero who taught English and journalism for local high schools,. The couple had two daughters and three sons together. Dondero was very active in her community. While her children were in school, she volunteered for the Parent Teacher Association and even served as the organization’s president. She was also very active with local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts troops in Las Vegas. She served as executive director of the girl scouts and was instrumental in creating the Foxtail Girl Scout Camp at Mount Charleston. Throughout her life, Dondero volunteered with a number of Las Vegas organizations, including the Junior League, the International Women’s Foundation, and the Gilcrease Foundation.

Digital ID



Thalia Dondero oral history interview, 2014 March 06, April 02. OH-00478. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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i AN INTERVIEW WITH THALIA MARIE DONDERO An Oral History Conducted by Claytee D. White The Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas i ©The Boyer Early Las V