Name and location of repository
Level of description
Oral history interview with Bob Straub
- 1991-05-14 - 1991-06-17 (Creation)
.1 cubic feet 6 audiocassettes (5 hr., 24 min., 27 sec.)
Name of creator
Robert "Bob" W. Straub was born in San Francisco, California, in 1920. He grew up in Los Altos, a town south of San Francisco. He studied liberal arts at Dartmouth College, earning a bachelor's degree in 1943 and a master's of business administration in 1947. While in college, he met Pat Stroud on top of a mountain in New Hampshire. They married in 1943 and later had six children. Straub served as a corps master in the Army Quartermaster Corps during World War II. After the war, he worked as a supply clerk for various lumber companies, and he eventually started a business as a building contractor in Springfield, Oregon. He was a Democrat and a Lane County commissioner from 1955 to 1959. He represented Lane County in the Oregon Senate from 1959 to 1963, was Oregon state treasurer from 1965 to 1973, and was Oregon governor from 1974 to 1978. After leaving politics, Straub turned to farming and ranching. He died in 2002.
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This oral history interview with Bob Straub was conducted by Clark Hansen at Straub's home near Salem, Oregon, from May 14 to June 17, 1991. Pat Straub was also present. In this interview, Straub discusses his family background and early life in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. He then discusses attending Dartmouth College; meeting his wife, Pat Stroud; and serving in World War II. He then talks about running his own business as a building contractor in Springfield, Oregon; his involvement with the Democratic Party; and getting into politics by running for Lane County commissioner in 1954. He discusses serving in the Oregon Senate from 1959 to 1962, including his campaign and constituency. He also discusses his fellow legislators, including Charles Porter, Alfred Corbett, and Howell Appling. He also discusses legislation he worked on, including on taxes. He talks about working with prominent politicians while chairman of the Democratic Party in Oregon, including Monroe Sweetland; serving on the Board of Control; and serving as state treasurer from 1965 to 1973 under Governor Tom McCall. He then discusses ranching in the years before he served as governor. He discusses his 1974 campaign for governor against Vic Atiyeh; his staff, particularly Stafford Hansell; and administrative and judicial appointments he made, including appointing Ron Wyden to the Nursing Board, Wally Carson to the Marion County Circuit Court, and Betty Roberts to the appellate court. He also discusses his working relationship with the Legislature. He talks about many of the issues he dealt with as governor. He speaks briefly about his involvement in the creation of the Willamette Greenway. He then speaks briefly about several national and state politicians, including President Jimmy Carter, U.S. Senator Wayne Morse, and congressman Bob Duncan. He closes the interview by discussing his family life and activities since leaving politics.
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Copyright is held by the Oregon Historical Society. Licensed under Creative Commons, BY-NC-SA: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/
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Preferred citation: Oral history interview with Bob Straub, by Clark Hansen, SR 1128, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
Forms part of the Oregon Legislature Oral History Series.
Incomplete transcript (186 pages) is available for in-person use at the Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
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Finding aid based on DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard), 2nd Edition.
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- Oregon. Legislative Assembly (Subject)
- Democratic Party (Or.) (Subject)
- Straub, Pat, 1923-2016 (Subject)