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Only top-level descriptions Frye, William F., 1929-1988
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Oral history interview with Helen J. Frye

  • SR 1249
  • Collection
  • 1981-03-19 - 1981-03-19

This oral history interview with Helen J. Frye was conducted by Linda Dodds in Frye's chambers in Portland, Oregon, on March 19, 1981. In this interview, Frye discusses her family background and early life on a farm in Klamath County, Oregon. She talks about the difficult experience of a huge change in her family situation as a child, when she was reunited with her mother and brother after having been raised entirely by her grandparents. She then discusses attending the University of Oregon, including influential professors, and meeting and marrying William Frye. She talks about raising a family and how postpartum depression drove her to start her teaching career. She also discusses her involvement in politics, including William Frye's political campaigns. She then talks about attending the University of Oregon law school in 1963, including other women in her class, balancing family life, and starting to practice law.

She describes becoming a judge for the Lane County Circuit Court, including her appointment by Governor Tom McCall and her later campaign. She talks about how her gender affected the way defendants perceived her. She also discusses how this new position affected her marriage and her divorce in 1975. She talks briefly about serving as a judge for the U.S. District Court of Oregon. She closes the interview by discussing her current family life in 1981 and her plans for the future.

Frye, Helen J. (Helen Jackson), 1930-