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 2: Virginia General Assembly, 1968-1989, undated
This series contains material related to Fitzpatrick's time in the Virginia State Senate and other legislative issues.
Box 3
Folder 1: As Chairmen, 1973, 1978
Fitzpatrick received a letter as a member of the General Assembly from a member of the House of Delegates
Folder 2: As Senator, 1978
Fitzpatrick received a letter as a member of the Joint Subcommittee Studying the Shellfish Industry. More letters from the Senate
Folder 3: Booklets, 1978-1979
Includes a report of the Coastal Erosion Abatement commission to the governor and the General Assembly of Virginia Senate Document 4. and a Coastal Resources Management Booklet
Folder 4: Documents Part One, 1980
Letters to Joseph Fitzpatrick regarding the Nature Conservancy
Folder 5: Documents Part Two, 1980
Letters sent to Fitzpatrick that deal with The Nature Conservancy
Folder 6: Erosion and State Funding, 1980
Letters from the House of Delegates to Joseph Fitzpatrick
Folder 7: Erosion Study Committee, 1980 October 2
Mail delivered to Mr. Fitzpatrick from the Division of Legislative Services
Folder 8: Erosion Study Committee Policies, 1980
Documents from the Department of the Army to Joseph Fitzpatrick and letters to him as Senator about Norfolk's harbor and channels
Folder 9: Erosion Study Committee Publications, 1979
Includes a report of the Coastal Erosion Abatement commission to the Governor and The General Assembly of Virginia
Folder 10: From Senate and House, 1981, 1984
Includes Senate resolutions and bill along with House bill
Box 4
Folder 1: Government Correspondence, 1976
Fitzpatrick received a letter from President Reagan and sent out a letter to certify the new members of Convention Committees
Folder 2: Government Official Papers, undated
Random official papers from the Government
Folder 3: Legislative Papers, 1981 September
Report to the Coastal Erosion Abatement Commission Commonwealth of Virginia concerning the Inventory of Sand Supplies in the Southern Chesapeake Bay
Folder 4: Maps and Charts, 1981
Includes information on Coastal and Bay issues for Virginia and Maryland and contains statement of revenues, expenditures and changes in fund balance
Folder 5: Marine/Wetlands, 1980
Includes a Joint Permit Application and Sea Grant Program booklet
Folder 6: Public Beach Commission Document, 1981
More letters to Fitzpatrick concerning the Commission on the Conservation and Development of Public Beaches
Folder 7: Richmond Times Dispatch, 1978, 1981, 1989
Newspaper Articles; Jerry Falwell attacks Fitzpatrick's resolution. Senate Rejects Falwell view
Folder 8: The Gazette, 1981
Newspaper Clipping; Senator Fitzpatrick recalls state's religious heritage
Folder 9: Newspaper Articles, 1975
Fitzpatrick gains interest in Senate
Folder 10: Newspaper Articles, 1975, 1978
Delegates join Democrats along with Fitzpatrick
Folder 11: Newspaper Articles, 1964, 1970-1972
Newspaper clipping; the Fitzpatrick plan of '64
Folder 12: Newspaper Articles, 1974-1975
Newspaper Clipping; Fitzpatrick quits reform study. Fitzpatrick also announces Candidacy for State Senate
Folder 13: Newspaper Articles, 1977
Newspaper Clipping: Virginia Democrats to Attend Inaugural
Folder 14: Newspaper Articles, 1978
Fitzpatrick Quits Top Va. Democratic Job
Folder 15: Virginia Pilot, 1975-1982
Abortion proposal moved to the House floor
Folder 16: Whitehouse Correspondence, 1968, 1978
Letters containing information about Fitzpatrick's job as chairman at the White House
Folder 17: Wildlife Federation, 1979
Documents of information about Virginia's Wildlife Federation

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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