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Oklahoma Community Leaders

Hear and learn from the oral histories of community leaders throughout the state of Oklahoma and how their work affected the lives of their fellow citizens.

Learn From These Influential Oklahomans

Ann Bartlett

Ann Bartlett

Former First Lady of Oklahoma

Ann Bartlett, former Oklahoma first lady and widow of the late Oklahoma U.S. Senator and governor Dewey Bartlett was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. Ann Smith met Dewey Bartlett …

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David Bernstein

David Bernstein

Community Leader

David Bernstein was the Executive Director of the Tulsa Mental Health Association from 1969-1973 and was instrumental in developing the first 24-hour telephone suicide prevention hotline in the Southwest, which …

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Dean VanTrease

Dean VanTrease

Tulsa Community College

Until 1969 Tulsa was served by two private higher education institutions. State lawmakers addressed the lack of a public post-secondary institution for Tulsa area residents by chartering Tulsa Junior College …

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Dr. G. Calvin McCutchen

Dr. G. Calvin McCutchen

Mount Zion Baptist Church

During the civil rights era of the 1950s and ’60s, Dr. G. Calvin McCutchen established himself as a leader among black pastors, coordinating efforts locally in the push for desegregation. …

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Gloria Dialectic

Gloria Dialectic

Gloria Dialectic – Social Worker

Through her work in several social agencies, Dr. Gloria Dialectic has made major contributions to the quality of life in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After earning her Ph.D. in English from Lehigh …

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J. Blake Wade

J. Blake Wade

Community Leader & Promoter

It was during J. Blake Wade’s military service, which included the Vietnam War, that he demonstrated his gift of leadership. When he returned to Oklahoma he dedicated himself to agencies …

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Jenny Brouse

Jenny Brouse

Business Owner / Community Leader

Brouse’s Shoe Store in Utica Square was a prominent business for many years in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Jenny Brouse was partner, buyer, and secretary/treasurer for the family-owned business from 1975 until …

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Lee Allan Smith

Lee Allan Smith

Community Leader & Promoter

Every great event needs a great promoter. Born in Oklahoma City in 1939, it was as a college student and an Air Force officer that Lee Allan Smith learned to …

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Loretta Young Jackson

Loretta Young Jackson

Community Leader

Verden, Oklahoma resident Allen Toles was an African American farmer who had become the owner of his land through the Homestead Act of 1862. He built Verden Separate School on …

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Nancy Feldman

Nancy Feldman

Educator and Civic Leader

Nancy (Goodman) Feldman grew up in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois, and graduated from the University of Chicago with undergraduate and law degrees. After completing her degrees, she married Ray …

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Norma Eagleton

Norma Eagleton

Public Official and Lawyer

Norma Eagleton is known for many accomplishments including first female Tulsa city commissioner and Oklahoma corporation commissioner. Norma was the first woman elected to a voting position on the Tulsa …

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Paul Thornbrugh

Paul Thornbrugh

Politician and Businessman

Paul Thornbrugh was a patriot, public servant, politician, and businessman. Paul served during World War II as a sailor in the U.S. Coast Guard. As a public servant he served …

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Ray Feldman

Ray Feldman

Community Leader

The son of Latvian immigrants, Ray Feldman was born January 10, 1922, and grew up in Tulsa. After graduating high school and attending the University of Tulsa and University of …

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Rev. Dr. John B. Wolf

Rev. Dr. John B. Wolf

Unitarian Minister

Dr. John Burton Wolf was the senior minister of All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, OK, for thirty-five years, becoming the Minister Emeritus in 1995. He served churches in Racine, …

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Sid Patterson

Sid Patterson

Up With Trees

In the 1950s, Sid Patterson worked for Patterson Steel, the family business, as a civil engineer. The company is responsible for constructing many of Tulsa’s long stand buildings. Sid was …

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Tom Clark

Tom Clark

President & CEO, Tulsair

Oklahoma University Regent Tom Clark was appointed by Governor Frank Keating in March 2001 for a seven-year term and was reappointed by Governor Brad Henry in March 2008. Clark graduated …

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