Special Collections of the ODU Libraries

Joseph T. Fitzpatrick Papers, 1895-2004, undated | Special Collections and University Archives

By Samantha West; Brooklyn Arrington; Kathleen Smith

Collection Overview

Title: Joseph T. Fitzpatrick Papers, 1895-2004, undated

ID: 00/MG 118

Primary Creator: Fitzpatrick, Joseph T. (1929-2006)

Extent: 12.5 Linear Feet

Arrangement: This collection is broken down into the following series: Series 1: Norfolk City Involvement; Series 2: Virginia General Assembly; Series 3: Campaign Material; and Series IV: Personal Files.

Date Acquired: 01/24/1977. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: audiovisual materials, City council members--Virginia--Norfolk, City treasurers--Virginia--Norfolk, Civic leaders--Virginia--Norfolk, Fitzpatrick, Joseph Thomas, Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963, Norfolk (Va.)--History--20th century, Norfolk (Va.)--Politics and government--20th century, Real estate agents--Virginia--Norfolk, Virginia--Politics and government.

Languages: English


This collection consists of political documents, correspondence, clippings, artifacts, and other items pertaining to the career of Joseph T. Fitzpatrick.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Joseph T. Fitzpatrick collection contains an assortment of documents related to his multiple governmental positions in Virginia. The collection also includes newspaper clippings, personal writings and artifacts. The date range of this collection is from 1964 to 2001.

Collection Historical Note

Joseph Thomas Fitzpatrick was born on June 1st, 1929 in Norfolk, VA. He was born to Clarence Thomas and Alice Fitzpatrick. He graduated from Holy Trinity School in 1947, and went on to attend the Norfolk Division of William & Mary College.He married Ms. Angeline Venuto in 1949, and they stayed married for forty-four years, until she died in 1993. They had three daughters: Barbara Fitzpatrick Cox, Kathleen Fitzpatrick McGinnis, and Mary Regis F. Williams. Their daughters married and began families of their own, making Joseph and Angeline grandparents.

Besides the multiple personal achievements, Fitzpatrick also achieved many public government positions. He was Chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia from 1972 to 1979. From 1975 to 1981, he was Senator for the Commonwealth of Virginia. In 1981, Fitzpatrick became the Treasurer for the City of Norfolk, and stayed in the position until 2001. He was a very prominent governmental figure in Virginia, who wanted to make state and local government more open and transparent. Many people admired him for the unique perspective he brought to politics. Sometimes that unique perspective would cause some friction, that whenever a six foot four tall man with black rimmed glasses and thick silver hair walked through the door, everyone knew that a heated discussion was coming. Garrett Epps immortalized him by creating a character inspired by his personality in his 1997 novel, The Shad Treatment.

His achievements followed him everywhere he went. He worked eight years for the Norfolk Southern Railway, and fifteen years as a general traffic manager for Royster Company. He was also a licensed realtor for 20 years. Fitzpatrick was President of the Virginia Catholic High School League Coaches Association for four years, and received the award for Coach of the Year in 1962. During the 1960s, he led a group of young men who took part in Anti-Byrd campaign. He led the Second Congressional District Committee from 1968 to 1972 and the Norfolk Democratic Executive Committee from 1964 to 1968. He began organizing precincts as Norfolk Chair for the 1960 John F. Kennedy campaign. He was also asked to serve as Robert F. Kennedy's presidential campaign manager for the southern states. In 1971, he was the founding director of the Bank of Commonwealth. He won the Virginia Young Democrat Outstanding Virginian Award in 1975, then the Legislative Conservationist of the Year Award in 1979. He was also the founding director of the Bank of Hampton Roads in 1987. In 1990, he was named Treasurer of the Year by the Virginia Treasurers Association. From 1992 to 2000, Fitzpatrick was Vice President of St. Mary’s Cemetery Board. He also was President of the DePaul Advisory Board from 1994 to 1995. In 1995 he won the Virginia Commonwealth Award. In 1996 he received an honor from the Virginia Association of Local Executive Officers, as well as both the Distinguished Service Award and Virginia Statesman Award, which were created in his honor.

Joseph T. Fitzpatrick passed away on July 12, 2006 at DePaul Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia.

Subject/Index Terms

audiovisual materials
City council members--Virginia--Norfolk
City treasurers--Virginia--Norfolk
Civic leaders--Virginia--Norfolk
Fitzpatrick, Joseph Thomas
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963
Norfolk (Va.)--History--20th century
Norfolk (Va.)--Politics and government--20th century
Real estate agents--Virginia--Norfolk
Virginia--Politics and government.

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections and University Archives

Accruals: Additional accessions in 1980, 2007, 2013.

Access Restrictions: Open to researchers without restrictions.

Use Restrictions: Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from Special Collections and University Archives, and the holder of the copyright, if not Old Dominion University Libraries.

Acquisition Source: Joseph T. Fitzpatrick

Acquisition Method: Gift. Accession #A77-6

Related Materials: Randy Wright Papers (MG 108); Mason C. Andrews Papers (MG 62).

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], Box [insert number], Folder [insert number and title], Joseph T. Fitzpatrick Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Norfolk City Involvement, 1964-1994, undated],
[Series 2: Virginia General Assembly, 1968-1989, undated],
[Series 3: Campaign Material, 1960-1991, undated],
[Series 4: Personal Files, 1895, 1964-2004, undated],

Series 1: Norfolk City Involvement, 1964-1994, undated
This series includes material related to Joseph T. Fitzpatrick's involvement with local issues including his time on the Norfolk City Council.
Box 1
Folder 1: Booklet, 1977 December
Booklet about Beach Erosion and Accretion at Virginia Beach and Vicinity (Miscellaneous Report)
Folder 2: City Council, undated
Contains mail about election of Norfolk City Councils
Folder 3: Erosion, 1980-81
Includes the 1982-84 Erosion Budget Exhibit File and articles about erosion
Folder 4: Faxes, 1991
Telefax Transmittal Sheet
Folder 5: Hampton, 1982
Details about Demolition in Hampton
Folder 6: Historical Pamphlets, 1966
Pamphlets on the Historical Review of the Norfolk County
Folder 7: Ledger Star, 1964
Newspaper Clipping; Norfolk Electoral Board votes down against Fitzpatrick proposal
Folder 8: Ledger Star, 1968
Newspaper Clippings; Fitzpatrick resigned as chairman of the Norfolk Democratic Executive Committee.
Folder 9: Ledger Star, 1977
Newspaper Clipping; City Council fighting beach erosion
Folder 10: Ledger Star, 1981
Newspaper Clipping; Fitzpatrick helping city to fight beach erosion
Folder 11: Ledger Star, 1982 March
Newspaper Clippings; Fitzpatrick feuding over deposits
Folder 12: Ledger Star, 1982 April
Newspaper Articles; Fitzpatrick is accused of wanting to become Leader of the Democratic Party
Folder 13: Ledger Star, 1982 May
Newspaper Clipping; Fitzpatrick's duties of being Treasurer
Folder 14: Ledger Star, 1983
Newspaper Article; John F Kennedy visits Norfolk
Folder 15: Ledger Star, 1968, 1974, 1978
Ocean View petition gets send-off. Day-care center dedicated in memory of Joseph Fitzpatrick's wife, Angie Fitzpatrick
Folder 16: Ledger Star, 1980-81
Newspaper Clippings; Fitzpatrick in line to head District
Folder 17: Ledger Star, 1982, 1984
Fitzpatrick dismisses paymaster
Folder 18: Miscellaneous Sources, 1974, 1980
Ocean View
Folder 19: Miscellaneous Sources, 1982, 1984, 1985
Newspaper Articles; A tribute to Mrs. Angie Fitzpatrick
Folder 20: Miscellaneous Sources, 1991, 1994
Newspaper Articles; A tribute to Mrs. Angie Fitzpatrick
Folder 21: Miscellaneous Sources, 1973-1981
Fitzpatrick hopes for House victories for Democratic party. Fitzpatrick seeks State Party Post. Fitzpatrick tries for state party chairmanship.
Folder 22: Norfolk Compass, 1982
Labor groups split over City Council race
Folder 23: Norfolk Compass, 1984-1985
Fitzpatrick wins re-election
Folder 24: Norfolk Compass, 1991
Norfolk's State Senators and Delegates return
Box 2
Folder 1: NY Times and Wall Street Journal, 1984
Newspaper Clipping; City Treasure (Fitzpatrick) has to auction off boats in order for property to be moved
Folder 2: Official Documents, 1983
Papers; Details about Fitzpatrick's audit covering Custodian Bank Accounts
Folder 3: Personal Requests and Invitations, 1978, 1991
Joseph Fitzpatrick's request to have medical record forwarded to him and receiving invitations from members of the Senate
Folder 4: Scoring, undated
Details on Fitzpatrick coaching basketball
Folder 5: Stories, undated
Articles about Fitzpatrick being a volunteer basketball coach. Becomes Head Basketball Coach at James Barry Robinson High School
Folder 6: Virginia Observer, 1980-1982
Folder 7: Virginian Pilot, 1949, 1961-1968
Newspaper Clipping; Fitzpatrick resigns as chairman
Folder 8: Virginian Pilot, 1977, 1978, 1980
Newspaper Clippings; Fitzpatrick's exit as Chairman
Folder 9: Virginian Pilot, 1981
Newspaper Clippings; Plans to save Virginia Beach under consideration
Folder 10: Virginian Pilot, 1982 January-February
Folder 11: Virginian Pilot, 1983, 1984
Tax Collections
Folder 12: Virginian Pilot, 1982 April
Fitzpatrick upsets the Blacks
Folder 13: Virginian Pilot, 1985, 1997
Newspaper Clippings; Fitzpatrick suing Norfolk residents for not paying personal property taxes
Folder 14: Virginian Pilot and Ledger Star, 1982, 1991
Blacks still angry at Fitzpatrick
Folder 15: Various News Articles, 1981-1982, 1994
Newspaper Article; Fitzpatrick accused of launching political vendetta ('82)
Folder 16: Various News Articles, 1980-1985
Box 9
Item 1: Tapes and Slides, undated
Tapes and slides of Joseph Fitzpatrick speaking as Treasurer

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Norfolk City Involvement, 1964-1994, undated],
[Series 2: Virginia General Assembly, 1968-1989, undated],
[Series 3: Campaign Material, 1960-1991, undated],
[Series 4: Personal Files, 1895, 1964-2004, undated],

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