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Hampton Roads Biography Project Records Recollections of Leaders

By Brian Morgan

The Norfolk Historical Society is supporting an effort to capture the recollections of local leaders in the latter half of the 20th century.

This generation, now largely retired, transformed the World War II Navy city and its surrounding counties into today's cultural and economic capital of southeast Virginia. They created many of the institutions, buildings, and even landscapes which define the region today.

Overseen by the Hampton Roads Biography Committee, which includes James B. Oliver, Jr. (chairman), Richard F. Barry III, William C. Wooldridge, Louis L. Guy, Jr., Thomas G. Johnson, Jr., and Vince J. Mastracco, Jr., the project will record, transcribe, edit, and publish leaders' memories of post-War Hampton Roads.

The evolution of Hampton Roads from a group of towns to an economic region in the last 40 years highlights the need to document now the histories of its constituent communities and their leaders. To understand how the region developed, the project aims to preserve the stories of the people who brought today's region into existence.

This undertaking will be open-ended. No effort has been made to define in advance a full list of everyone who may be involved. The ultimate scope of the project will depend on the resources that become available.

Former mayor Roy B. Martin, Jr., has already provided some fascinating material for the initial monograph. When enough progress has been made, several monographs will be combined into a book.

[Editor's Note: The Martin Years was published in the Spring of 2001.]


Return to Spring 2000.



For more information, please contact:

The Norfolk Historical Society
P.O. Box 6367
Norfolk, VA 23508-0367

or e-mail

The Norfolk Historical Society is certified as a tax-exempt, public charity under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and gifts are tax-deductible.