Skip to main content

Romano L. Mazzoli papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 1995_134-UA

This 677 linear foot collection documents Romano (Ron) Mazzoli’s personal life as well as his political career. This collection comprises 633 boxes, or just over 677 linear feet, and is divided into fourteen series. A detailed description of each series is available in the Series Description Note. The collection dates primarily from the mid-1960s through the mid-1990s, when Congressman Mazzoli was in (or seeking) office, although there is earlier material that documents his childhood and family life. Types of materials range from correspondence to campaign material, from records relating to his service on Congressional committees to his work on behalf of individual constituents, and include photographs and audio-visual materials.

The collection documents his day to day schedule before, during and after his terms in Congress via 18 linear feet of schedules, calendars, itineraries, and guest books. His literary production, such as articles, speeches, and transcripts from public forums, are also represented in a similar quantity. In addition, records of his campaigns – from his 1967 campaign for the Kentucky State Senate through his campaigns for each term of office – make up a total of more than 27 linear feet of materials, including financial records, organizational records, brochures, bumper stickers and letters to voters. The day-to-day operation of a congressional office is documented in general office files.

Legislative work represents the largest subset of materials, totaling over 200 linear feet. This series documents all of Congressman Mazzoli’s work in Congress, other than committee work, which by itself totals more than eighty linear feet. The committee records reveal the work within the committee structure of the United States Congress, including his work on immigration reform. The collection also contains files on various issues, subjects and projects, both general and local. General issues are those things that were of concern to people all across the United States, and about which local people often contact their representatives in Washington. Examples include abortion, school busing, the Equal Rights Amendment, tobacco, and Watergate. Local projects are focused on actions and issues specific to the Third District of Kentucky, such as the fate of the Naval Ordnance Station in Louisville, the development of the Louisville Waterfront, Kosmosdale, and the expansion of Standiford Field. Together the records of general and local issues total over one hundred linear feet. In addition, there is a small amount of information relating to local Democratic Party politics, including local Democratic clubs.

Thirty-one linear feet of case files chronicle the assistance that Congressman Mazzoli and his staff gave to constituents encountering problems with the federal bureaucracy. These materials are a randomly sampled 10% of the case files originally transferred from the Congressman’s offices. These files, and the files of those nominated for military academies, are restricted due to the personal nature of the contents of many of these files. The nominations to the military academies were also culled, and consist only of those candidates who ultimately attended the academies.

The collection includes a substantial amount of correspondence, which is found throughout the papers but concentrated in a series titled “general and personal correspondence” that totals more than fifty linear feet. Correspondence includes invitations and responses, copies of notes sent by the Congressman, and form letters as well as personal correspondence for the period from 1995 to 2000.

The collection also contains a small amount of documents and photographs covering Mazzoli’s family history and Italian heritage, his family life and other aspects of his pre- and post-political career. In addition, there are fifty linear feet of news clippings, summaries and videos of coverage of Mazzoli. Finally, the papers include twenty-eight linear feet of photographs, both official and otherwise, along with video and audio tapes of interviews and media appearances, including his own “In Congress with Ron Mazzoli” program.


  • 1920s-2011


Conditions Governing Access

Case files and records of candidates for the service academies, are restricted for fifty years following the date on the file, for privacy reasons.


677 linear feet (633 boxes and 3 scrapbooks)

Biographical / Historical

Romano L. Mazzoli was born November 2, 1932 in Louisville, Kentucky where he attended Catholic schools. Upon graduation from the University of Notre Dame in 1954, he was drafted into the United States Army, where he served for two years. He then returned to Louisville and graduated from the University of Louisville School of Law. After a brief career practicing law, began his career in politics, running for the Kentucky State Senate from the 35th District in 1967. He served as a State Senator until his election to the United States House of Representatives from the Third Kentucky District in 1970. While in the Congress, Mazzoli chaired the Immigration, International Law and Refugees Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee for twelve years and was responsible, with Senator Alan Simpson, for the last major immigration legislation enacted in the U.S. to date, the Simpson-Mazzoli Immigration Act or Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Congressman Mazzoli retired from Congress in January 1995, and returned to Louisville, Kentucky to teach. He also served as a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2002, and earned a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the Kennedy School in 2004. He has been married to the former Helen Dillon of Louisville since 1959 and they have two children and four grandchildren.


Romano L. Mazzoli served in the Kentucky Senate for two years and the United States House of Representatives for twenty-four years, in a political career that began in 1967. This collection documents his personal life as well as his political career. The Romano L. Mazzoli Papers have been divided into fourteen series reflecting Mr. Mazzoli’s family history and personal life, political career, and his pre- and post-Congressional professional activities. Materials came from both the Washington DC office and the 3rd District office in Louisville and are organized together in each series. Each series begins with the files from the Washington office, followed by those from the Louisville office. In some cases only one office or the other held a certain type of files. Other materials came from the Mazzoli home.

Due to the nature of Mazzoli’s political career, there is frequent overlap of kinds of materials in different series. There may be correspondence in several series other than Series XI. Correspondence, if the original files were kept in that manner. All of the Congressman’s speeches and writings may not be in Series II. Literary production: campaign speeches can probably be found in the series dealing with the campaigns, and his speeches on the floor of the House of Representatives are mainly in Series V. Legislative work. There could be files in Series VIII. Local Projects that complement those in several other series, such as Legislative work, Congressional Committee work, or News clippings.

For the most part, the collection is arranged chronologically within each series, and then again chronologically as Washington office files or Louisville office files. Within this matrix materials are usually in alphabetical order.


Romano L. Mazzoli Papers
Katherine Burger Johnson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections Repository

Ekstrom Library, Lower Level Room 17
Louisville KY 40292
502 852-6752