Bernard B. Wolfe Papers, 1968-1973


Bernard B. Wolfe Papers, 1968-1973


Wolfe, Bernard B. (1914-       )


Papers, 1968-1973


1.67 linear feet (2 archival boxes)


Illinois Representative (Democratic) from fifteenth district (1965-1974). Chairman of Family Study Commission on Marriage, Divorce, and Parental Responsibility. (1967-1969).


Correspondence, reports, clippings, statements and testimony, public hearing transcripts, and legislative bills concerning the Family Study Commission.


Access:            Open for Research


Acc. No.:         76-44


Processed by:  Rodney W. Meyer, October 1981

                                                              Bernard B. Wolfe                                                     Page 2

                                                            Biographical Sketch


Bernard B. Wolfe, Democratic state representative from the Fifteenth District (1965-1974), was born inChicagoon July 1, 1914 and attended public schools in New York,Los Angeles, andDetroit. Wolfe was a graduate of Crane Junior College and Chicago-Kent Law School and was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1937. In 1942 and 1943 he was employed as a Rent Enforcement Officer for the Chicago Defense Rental Area. From 1943 to 1945 he served in the U.S. Navy and in 1946 became Chief Regional Enforcement Officer for the Office of Price Administration.


An active member of the Fortieth Ward Democratic Organization, Wolfe was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives from the Fifteenth District in 1964 and served as a representative of that district from 1965 to 1974. During his five terms in the House, he was twice selected as “Best Legislator” by the Independent Voters of Illinois. He served as chairman of the Family Study Commission on Marriage, Divorce, and Parental Responsibility from 1967 to 1969. This commission was created in 1967 in order to “Make a thorough study of laws and decisions in this state…which pertain to the family.” The Commission’s work was divided among five subcommittees in which laws on marriage, divorce, parental responsibility, adoption and guardianship, abortion, and paternity were reviewed. A report recommending revisions in various state statutes was presented to the General Assembly in 1969. In addition to his work on the Commission, Wolfe served on the House Higher Education, Judiciary, and Revenue Committees.


After leaving the General Assembly, Wolfe resumed his legal practice inChicago.


Wolfe had been an active member of a number of professional and civic organizations including the Chicago,Illinois, and Federal Bar Associations; American Judicature Society, American Legion, Peterson Park Improvement Association; City Club of Chicago; Nu Beta Epsilon Law Fraternity; and Peterson Park B’nai B’rith Lodge. He has also been a director of the A.G. Beth Israel congregation. He is married to Harriett Poncher, and they are the parents of two children, Richard and Michele.



                                                            Bernard B. Wolfe                                                       Page 3

                                                            Scope and Content


The Bernard B. Wolfe Papers, 1968-1973, consist of 2 cubic feet of correspondence, reports, newspaper and magazine clippings, statements and testimony, public hearing transcripts, and legislative bills. The collection is arranged alphabetically by topic and deals almost exclusively with the Family Study Commission and its work. Documented are the meetings and public hearings of the Commission and the results of the Commission’s work. Also documented are the views of various individuals and groups on issues studied by the Commission, primarily abortion. Of particular interest are the transcripts from the Commission’s public hearings and the Commission’s 1969 report and recommendations to members of the General Assembly.




                                                            Bernard B. Wolfe                                                       Page 4

                                                              Container List


Box     Folder


1          1                      Abortion, 1973

            2                      Abortion Conference, March 7, 1973

            3                      Abortion Laws

            4                      Miscellaneous Material re: Abortion

            5                      Commission Minutes and Notices

            6                      Commission Testimony, Minutes, and Correspondence

            7                      Divorce Laws

            8                      Divorce Laws – Remarks

            9                      Family – Divorce [Miscellaneous]

            10                    Public Letters of Request

            11                    Miscellaneous Material

            12                    Parental Responsibility


2          1                      Paternity – [HB 1293, 1969 and] HB 274, 1974

            2                      Paternity – HB 404, 1973

            3                      Pension: Aldermen – Chicago, 1973

            4                      Public Hearings

            5 (BV)             Public Hearings at University of Illinois Chicago Circle Campus, October                                          11, 1968 (Volume 1)

            6 (BV)             Public Hearings at University of Illinois Chicago Circle Campus, October                                          11, 1968 (Volume 2)

            7 (BV)             Public Hearing atUniversity ofIllinois –Champaign, December 2, 1968

            8 (BV)             Public Hearing at University of Illinois – Chicago Circle Campus, February                                       7, 1969

            9                      Report of Commission on the Study of Paternity Law, February 22, 1969

            10-11               Report and Recommendations to Members of the General Assembly, 1969                                        (2 copies)

            12                    Vouchers File

            13                    Wolfe [Work File]



“Bernard B. Wolfe Papers, 1968-1973,” Chronicling Illinois, accessed April 25, 2019,