The Role of the Leadership
Conference on Civil Rights
in the Civil Rights Struggle
Joseph L. Rauh, Jr.
Joseph L. Rauh, Jr. ( 1911-1992) was a familiar figure in liberal Democratic circles in Washington, D.C., in the 1960s. An attorney, he was the vice-chairman of Americans for Democratic Action (ADA), a national lobbying organization that traditionally supported liberal causes.
In his younger years, Rauh had worked in the presidential administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. He wrote FDR's 1941 executive order that set up a Fair Employment Practices Committee to work against racial discrimination in World War II defense plants.
Joe Rauh was the major lobbyist for the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, a group of about fifty labor and religious organizations that had banded together to lobby Congress on the general issue of civil rights. Rauh thus organized and led the major lobbying effort on behalf of the civil rights bill that eventually became the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Rauh, who was white, was joined in this effort by a black lobbyist, Clarence Mitchell, Jr., director of the Washington Office of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Shortly after President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law on July 2, 1964, Joe Rauh wrote this article about his experiences as one of the two main lobbyists for the bill and submitted it for magazine publication. The article was