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Parker, H. Sheldon, Jr., 1938-



H. Sheldon Parker, Jr. was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on April 14, 1938. He served as a Republican representative for the 42nd Legislative District of Allegheny County. Parker grew up in the Mt. Lebanon area, graduating from Mt. Lebanon High School and earning a Bachelor’s degree from Williams College in 1960. He went on to study political science at the University of Pittsburgh where he eventually earned his Master of Arts in 1965. He authored a political history of the Pittsburgh area titled, “The State of Allegheny: The Republican Party in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County From 1930 to 1961.”� Parker served in both the Pennsylvania National Guard, as well as the United States Army reserves in the mid-sixties. He worked as an investment broker for Parker/Hunter, Inc. in Pittsburgh before and during most of his political career with the House of Representatives. Before running for a seat in the House, Parker built his reputation as an active Republican in Allegheny Country as a committeeman and eventually the Chairman of the Republican Party in his district. In 1966 he was elected to the House of Representatives where he would serve six consecutive terms until 1978.� In 1978, Parker did not renew his bid for re-election, and instead went on to hold a position as General Manager/CEO of the Pennsylvania Public Television Network (PPTN). During his tenure with the House of Representatives, Parker was especially concerned with issues of government efficiency, tax reform, and improving communication and coordination between Federal and state government. His committee work reflected these concerns, as he was assigned to the Commerce Committee (1967-1969), the Appropriations Committee (1970-1973; 1976-1978), the Education Committee (1970-1975), and the Federal-State Relations Committee (1974-1978). He sponsored bills reducing the size of the House and Senate [House Bill 94 of 1973], attempted to establish a special commission to study Pennsylvania’s fiscal needs and prepare long-term financial goals for the Keystone State [Act 292 of 1974]. Though many of these initiatives failed to pass into law, Parker continued to advocate for more efficient government at both the state and Federal levels. He helped support the establishment of the Federal-State Relations Committee as a new Standing Committee. One important product of Sheldon Parker’s advocacy for long-term thinking in government was the Benjamin Franklin Symposium held January 17-19, 1976. The Symposium was an effort by the General Assembly to hold a series of presentations for both lawmakers and the public about specific economic, political, and social issues in the Commonwealth. Parker, and the other supporters within the General Assembly, hoped that over its three-day run, the Symposium would be both an educational experience for the public, and stimulate further research and scholarship about government and social issues unique to Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, poor attendance squelched any hope that the event would continue on an annual basis.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Benjamin Franklin Symposium, 1977-1979

Identifier: 2021.033
Scope and Contents The Benjamin Franklin Symposium was created in the 1975-1976 Regular Session with House Resolution 250. The first symposium was held January 17-19, 1977. To quote a 1977 editorial release for KDKA Radio 1020: "This year Pennsylvania's lawmakers will attempt to get a broader perspective on some of the long-range problems facing the state before they get down to their immediate nuts and bolts business. All 253 members of the legislature have been invited to participate in a three-day symposium...
Dates: 1977-01 - 1979-01

Papers of H. Sheldon Parker, Jr., 1967-1978

Identifier: 2019.028
Scope and Contents

This collection is additional materials donated by H. Sheldon Parker Jr. This collection contains newspaper clippings, campaign memorabilia, correspondence and research with Dick Thornburgh, and other mixed media.

Dates: 1967 - 1978; Acquisition: 2019-07-17