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UAW Vice President's Office: Leonard Woodcock Records

Identifier: LR000734

Scope and Content

This collection relates to Woodcock's activities as UAW Vice President from 1955 to 1970, his involvement with UAW negotiations, the aerospace industry, and General Motors. Also included are files concerning his many non-union activities, especially his service to the Wayne State University Board of Governors.

Important Subjects include: Aerospace companies Union Jurisdictions GM negotiations WSU Board of Governors

Important correspondents: Irving Bluestone, Douglas Fraser, Larry Gettlingger, Emil Mazey, Ernest J. Moran, E.S. Patterson, Victor Reuther, Walter P. Reuther, Steven I. Schlossberg, Nat Weinberg

Series 1: General Union Files, 1955-1970 Series 2: Jurisdictional Files, 1950-1970 Series 3: General Motors Negotiations, 1951-1970 Series 4: Aerospace Files, 1957-1969 Series 5: UAW Internal Studies, 1957-1967 Series 6: Union Correspondence, 1955-1970 Series 7: Articles and Speech Notes, 1956-1970 Series 8: Organizations and Activities Files, 1957-1970 Series 9: Wayne State University Board of Governors Files, 1955-1970 Series 10: Personal Correspondence, 1956-1970


  • 1950 - 1970


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials.


Leonard Woodcock was born in Providence, Rhode Island on February 15, 1911. His early education was in British schools as his family lived then in Northampton, England. They came to Detroit in 1926.

Woodcock attended Detroit City College (now WSU) and then the Walsh Institute of Accounting. His first job was at the R.G. Dun Cigar Company. By 1933 he was working at the Detroit Gear Company and had joined the AFL.

In 1938 Woodcock became education director of the Wayne County CIO Council. He was assigned to the UAW-CIO Region ID staff in 1940, and given the job of organizing General Motors Fisher Body in Grand Rapids. He worked as a punch press and dynamometer operator for Continental Aviation from 1944 until 1946, When he returned to the UAW-CIO staff-as administrative assistant to its newly elected president, Walter P. Reuther.

From 1947 to 1955 Woodcock served as director of Region 1D and of the American Motors Department. He was elected a vice president in 1955 and simultaneously served as director of the Agricultural Implement and Aerospace Departments. He remained vice-president and director of the UAW General Motors Department until May 1970 when Reuther was killed in a plane crash and Woodcock was elected to succeed him as UAW president.

Woodcock was involved in many civic activities, including committees on education, housing, employment, social security and mental health. Ile was a member of the World Automotive Council and the International Metal Workers Federation. He served on several state and federal government task forces and commissions, and was an elected member of the Wayne State University Board of Governors from 1954 until 1970.


42 Linear Feet (84 MB)


Subjects include: UAW General Motors and Aerospace Departments; negotiations; rank and file attitude surveys; WSU BOG


Arranged in 10 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-35), Series 2 (Boxes 36-44), Series 3 (Boxes 45-53), Series 4 (Boxes 54-57), Series 5 (Boxes 58-59), Series 6 (Boxes 60-63), Series 7 (Boxes 64-70), Series 8 (Boxes 70-78), Series 9 (Boxes 78-82), and Series 10 (Boxes 83-84). Folders are arranged alphabetically.


The records of UAW Vice President Leonard Woodcock were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs on August 13, 1975 and February 11 1977.

Related Materials

UAW collections


Periodicals, pamphlets, and books have been transferred to the Archives Library. The Archives Audiovisual Collections received several boxes of photographs.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by P. Painter on October 7, 1981.
Guide to the UAW Vice President's Office: Leonard Woodcock Records
Processed by P. Painter.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA