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Mike O'Callaghan Professional Papers (MS-01055)

Abstract

The Mike O'Callaghan Professional Papers (1943, 1968-2004) mainly consist of research files gathered by Mike O'Callaghan in his post-political capacity as executive editor of the Las Vegas Sun as well as owner and publisher of the Henderson Home News, Boulder City News, and Green Valley News. The papers also contain handwritten and typewritten drafts of O'Callaghan's "Where I Stand" article for the Las Vegas Sun, along with his reporter's notebooks, monthly planners, and photographic prints. The research files cover a wide variety of topics, including but not limited to environmental issues; nuclear waste; state and local politics; military and veterans affairs; foreign relations including Israel, Iraq, and Korea; and education. The collection also contains copies of speeches given by O'Callaghan as the 23rd Governor of Nevada between 1971 and 1979, some of which contain handwritten notations.

Finding Aid PDF
Date
1943, 1968-2004
Extent
23.97 Cubic Feet (37 boxes)
20.04 Linear Feet
Resource Type
Papers
Related People/Corporations
Access Note

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Materials in this collection may be protected by copyrights and other rights. See Reproductions and Use on the UNLV Special Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permissions to publish.

Collection Type
Scope and Contents Note

The Mike O'Callaghan Professional Papers (1943, 1968-2004) mainly consist of research files gathered by Mike O'Callaghan in his post-political capacity as executive editor of the Las Vegas Sun as well as owner and publisher of the Henderson Home News, Boulder City News, and Green Valley News. The papers also contain handwritten and typewritten drafts of O'Callaghan's "Where I Stand" article for the Las Vegas Sun, along with his reporter's notebooks, monthly planners, and photographic prints. The research files cover a wide variety of topics, including but not limited to environmental issues; nuclear waste; state and local politics; military and veterans affairs; foreign relations including Israel, Iraq, and Korea; and education. The collection also contains copies of speeches given by O'Callaghan as the 23rd Governor of Nevada between 1971 and 1979, some of which contain handwritten notations.

Biographical / Historical Note

Donal Neil "Mike" O'Callaghan served as the 23rd Governor of Nevada from 1971 to 1979. O'Callaghan was born September 10, 1929 in La Crosse, Wisconsin. He joined the United States Marine Corps at age 16 and was discharged as a sergeant in 1948. When he returned home, he graduated from high school in Winona, Minnesota. After working as an ironworker and serving in the Marine Corps reserve from 1948 to 1950, O'Callaghan joined the Air Force as an intelligence operator and was assigned to the Aleutian Islands. In 1952, he joined the Army infantry during the Korean War. During his time in the Army he was injured in combat and, as a result, had his left leg amputated. His military honors include a Purple Heart, Bronze Star with Valor medal, and Silver Star medal.

After his years of military service ended, O'Callaghan attended the University of Idaho and Colorado State at Greeley and received his bachelor's and master's degree in education. In 1956, he began working as a teacher and boxing coach at Basic High School in Henderson, Nevada. O'Callaghan began his political career when he was appointed by then-Governor Grant Sawyer to head Nevada's newly formed Department of Health and Welfare from 1963 to 1964. He worked as Program Management Director for the Job Corps Conservation Centers from 1964 to 1966, and then as Regional Director for the Office of Emergency Preparedness from 1967 to 1969.

In 1966, O'Callaghan ran in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor but lost. In 1970, he received the Democratic gubernatorial nomination and won in the general election over his Republican opponent, Edward Fike, by a narrow margin. He was re-elected in 1974 by a four-to-one margin. O'Callaghan was the last Nevada governor before term limits and was eligible for an elected third term, but chose not to run again in 1978.

After he left office, O'Callaghan became the executive editor of the Las Vegas Sun. In 1981, O'Callaghan bought the Henderson Home News and its sister paper, the Boulder City News. In over two decades, O'Callaghan held a number of positions in the newspaper business, from columnist to executive editor and chairman of the board.

Donal Neil "Mike" O'Callaghan passed away on March 5, 2004 at the age of 74. His legacy as a Nevada politician and philanthropist is honored in four structures that bear his name: O'Callaghan Park in Henderson (1979), Mike O'Callaghan Middle School in East Las Vegas (1992), Mike O'Callaghan Federal Hospital on Nellis Air Force Base (1996), and the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge that spans the Colorado River (2010).

Sources:

Koch, Ed. "A giant dies: Sun executive editor, former governor was 74." Las Vegas Sun, March 5, 2004. https://lasvegassun.com/news/2004/mar/05/a-giant-dies-sun-executive-editor-former-governor-/

Hopkins, A. D. "Mike O'Callaghan," Las Vegas Review-Journal. February 7, 1999. https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/mike-ocallaghan/

Arrangement

Materials are arranged into four categories: professional, political, personal, and visual material. Within each category, materials remain in original order.

Related Collections

The following resource may provide additional information related to the materials in this collection:

Mike O'Callaghan oral history interview, 1999 May 06. OH-01408. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Preferred Citation

Mike O'Callaghan Professional Papers, 1943, 1968-2004. MS-01055. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

EAD ID
US::NVLN::MS01055
Acquisition Note

Materials were donated by Timothy O'Callaghan in 2021; accession number 2021-074.

Storage Location

Some materials are stored in the Lied Automated Storage and Retrieval Unit (LASR). Advanced notice may be required to access these materials.

Processing Note

In 2021, Sarah Jones processed the collection and created the finding aid in ArchivesSpace.

Finding Aid Description Rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
English