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Ralph Bunche
Alternative Title
Los Angeles Photographers Photo Collection
Curtis, Rolland J
Made accessible through a grant from the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation
Date Created and/or Issued
Circa 1960
Contributing Institution
Los Angeles Public Library
Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
Rights Information
Images available for reproduction and use. Please see the Ordering & Use page at for additional information.
Rolland Joseph 'Speedy' Curtis was born in Louisiana in 1922. After serving three years in the Marines during World War II, he and his wife, Gloria, relocated from New Orleans to Los Angeles in 1946. Curtis served four years with the Los Angeles Police Department, but resigned from the force in order to pursue both a Bachelor's and Master's degree from USC. He later became involved in city politics, as an associate of Sam Yorty, and later a field deputy to City Council members Billy Mills and Tom Bradley. He was briefly director of the Model Cities program in 1973. Rolland J. Curtis died in his home in 1979, the victim of a homicide. An affordable housing complex on Exposition Blvd. near Vermont Ave. was named in his honor in 1981, along with a nearby street and park.; Photograph included in the Exhibit: Firsts, Seconds and Thirds: African American Leaders in Los Angeles During the 1960s and '70s from the Rolland J. Curtis Collection.
Ralph Bunche (1904-1971) was the first African American to receive the Nobel Prize in 1950 for his mediation during the Israeli-Arab War. During World War II, Bunche worked for the OSS, a predecessor for the CIA. He was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President John F. Kennedy, and joined Martin Luther King Jr. for both the March on Washington in 1963 and from Selma to Montgomery in 1965.
Ralph Bunche shaking hands with Louise Ridgle White.
1 negative :safety ;10 x 13 cm.
Photographic safety negatives
Rolland J. Curtis Collection; Los Angeles Photographers Collection
Bunche, Ralph J.--(Ralph Johnson),--1904-1971
White, Louise Ridgle,--1928-
Civil rights workers--United States
Nobel Prize winners--United States
Educators--United States
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Time Period

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