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Hugh Joseph Beard papers

Identifier: MS0161

Scope and Contents

The Beard papers are primarily comprised of case files compiled during Beard's career as an attorney in Charlotte, N.C. and as an assistant counsel in the U.S. Dept. of Education and the U.S. Dept. of Justice. The files contain significant correspondence and legal records documenting Beard's involvement with conservative political groups and his long-time support for the Republican party and its ancillary organizations. The papers contain a relatively small quantity of personal and family papers, and these are not as extensive and complete as the case file documentation.


  • Creation: 1971 - 1992


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

Hugh Joseph Beard Jr. was born on July 25, 1946 in Greensboro, North Carolina to Margaret Lewis and Hugh Joseph Beard. He attended public schools in Burlington, North Carolina and Larchmont, New York. Beard graduated from Davidson College in 1968 with a B.A. in economics and received a law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1971. Active in conservative politics since the mid-1960s, he founded several conservative organizations during the 1970s. Beard served as a law clerk in the U.S. District Court in Greensboro from 1971 to 1972, and from 1972 to 1973 he served as an assistant United States attorney in the western district of North Carolina. Beard practiced law in Charlotte from 1973 until 1981, when he left private practice to serve as a deputy general counsel for the Department of Education during the Reagan administration. In 1983, he accepted an appointment as special counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in the U.S. Dept. of Justice, a position he served in until the end of the Bush administration in 1992. During his career in Washington, D.C., Beard became increasingly active in conservative gay organizations such as the Log Cabin Republicans, and was a founding member of the Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians (PLAGAL). Beard died in Washington, D.C. in July, 2002.


47 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Papers of a lawyer and conservative political activist, including records of his law practice in Charlotte, North Carolina and his service as an attorney at the U.S. Dept. of Education and the U.S. Dept. of Justice during the Reagan and Bush administrations. Includes correspondence documenting his involvement with various conservative political and religious groups, including the North Carolina Conservative Union, the North Carolina Fund for Individual Rights, the Southern Employees Education Fund, Young Republicans, and anti-abortion groups Birthchoice and Pro-life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians. Also includes material about his involvement with community organizations such as the Charlotte Jaycees, his unsuccessful political campaigns, and his involvement with gay conservative political organizations.


The collection is divided into seven series, one of which (Personal and Family Papers) is further divided into a subseries (Photographs, 1973-1978, undated). The seven series are: Case Files (1971-2001), United States Department of Education, Office of the General Counsel, Subject files (1981-1983), United States Department of Justice, Office of Civil Rights, Subject files (1983-1992), Organizatins (1970-2000), Republican Party (1976-2000), Personal and Family papers (1952-2001) and Chronological Correspondence (1973-1998).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Hugh Joseph Beard Jr., 1989; McDaniel L. Beard, 2002.

Processing Information

Processed by James Kusik, 2003.

Hugh Joseph Beard papers
James Kusik
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte NC 28223 United States

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