Kingman, Harry Lees

Biography: 

(1892–1982), briefly played baseball for New York Yankees (1914–16), coached freshman baseball for U. of Calif., Berkeley; headed Stiles Hall, an off-campus university YMCA that worked actively for free speech, civil rights, student participation; served in China for six years (1921–27) for Intl. YMCA, sent informal newsletters on events in China to various prominent officials; headed the West Coast office (Region XII), FEPC (1943–45). Mitchell considered him most effective of FEPC regional leaders; campaigned for state FEPC legislation in Calif.; after retirement (1956), came at Mitchell’s urging to D.C., where with wife, Ruth, created Citizens Committee for Freedom and Fair Play, under which they personally lobbied for civil rights, integration, cooperative housing, statehood for Alaska and Hawaii, representation of relations with China, world peace (1957–70). Mitchell considered him to be the most effective of the FEPC regional leaders. He campaigned for state FEPC legislation in California before retiring in 1956. Shortly after his retirement—and at Mitchell’s urging—he returned to Washington, D.C., where he and his wife created the CCFFP. He helped Mitchell develop a solid relationship with Sen. William Knowland (R-Calif.); active with Leadership Conference on Civil Rights; campaigned for John F. Kennedy; opposed Vietnam War; lobbied for passage of Federal Fair Housing Law. Born in China to Congregational missionary family; educated in Claremont, Calif.

Birth: 
1892
Death: 
1982
Gender: 
Male