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--1951-

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--1951-

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, Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, Old Dominion University Libraries, Norfolk, VA 23529.

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 3: Campaign Material, 1960-1991, undated
This series  contains newspaper clippings, photographs, flyers and other material related to Fitzpatrick's involvement with political campaigns. Of particular note is material related to John F. Kennedy's visit to Norfolk during his presidential campaign in 1960.
Box 5
Folder 1: A. Fitzpatrick, undated
Information about Mrs. Fitzpatrick's campaign in 1975 and her memorial tribute after her death about two decades later
Folder 2: Campaign, undated
Newspaper Clipping; Fitzpatrick wins independent audit (now City Treasurer). Details about Henry Howell included
Folder 3: Campaign Photos, undated
Various pictures from Mr. Fitzpatrick's campaign days
Folder 4: Campaign Articles, 1990
Various campaign articles
Folder 5: Campaign Expenditures, 1979 November 6
Reports of campaign Contributions and Expenditures
Folder 6: Campaign Letters, 1982
Campaign candidates sending letters to reach out to different communities
Folder 7: Campaign Materials, 1982
Includes an agenda of the public hearing and report of the False Cape State Park Subcommittee to the Governor and the General Assembly of Virginia
Folder 8: Campaign Photos, undated
Paper of Fitzpatrick's campaign re-election for Precinct Committeeman
Folder 9: Democratic Party, 1982
Papers and flyers for the Democratic Team
Folder 10: Democratic Party Statements, 1975
Statements from Joseph Fitzpatrick as the State Chairman
Folder 11: Fitzpatrick election ads, 1970-1976
Various election ads
Folder 12: Fitzpatrick for City Treasurer Flyers, undated
Flyers for Fitzpatrick
Folder 13: Fitzpatrick for Senate, 1976
Flyers for Fitzpatrick running for Senate
Box 6
Folder 1: George Heiling, 1991
Flyers mailed to the Fitzpatrick's from other candidates
Folder 2: George Heiling for Delegate Ad, undated
Ad for George Heiling
Folder 3: News clipping: John F. Kennedy's Presidency, 1983
Newspaper Articles about John F. Kennedy's Presidency
Folder 4: Poll Workers, 1979 November 6
Shift schedule of poll workers for the general election of 1979
Folder 5: Sales Syndications, 1984 January 13
Includes a Financial Partnership agreement
Folder 6: Summary of Funds Received, 1980 June 27
Includes summary of funds received and disbursed
Box 8
Folder 1: JFK Speech 1, 1960 November 4
Vinyl record
Folder 2: JFK Speech 2, 1960 November 4
Vinyl record

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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