In Memoriam Ronald Dellums 1935 - 2018

Remembering Bay Area political leader and activist Congressman Ron Dellums

In Memoriam

Ron Dellums (1935 – 2018)

This week America lost one of its staunch advocates for African American people in the United States. Ron Dellums congressional career began in 1970 when he was elected to Congress as a representative of the state of California. He would represent California for 27 years [14-terms]. As a congressman, Dellums was outspoken man who took up the causes for minorities and fought against the involvement of America in various wars.  He also served as the chair of the House Services Committee.

Did you know that before former President Barack Obama introduced the idea of health care for all, Ron Dellums proposed the National Health Service Act? Dellums introduced this act in 1977 to provide universal and affordable health care that was available to everyone.  Though the bill was unsuccessful in passing, the blueprint for health care for all was drawn up by none other than Oakland’s own – Ron Dellums.

Dellums was one of the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus. The Congressional Black Caucus was formed to address the needs of the African American community in Congress that were not getting any attention. The caucus brought recommendations to help end racism, provide housing for families and provide a voice for African Americans people in America.

The African American Museum and Library at Oakland is home to the Ron Dellums papers. The Dellums collection includes his speeches, voting records and legislative issues that he tackled during his time in Congress.   

For more information on the late Ron Dellums see our archival collection on him at



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