Papers documenting Fred Karger's acting career, his activism for marriage equality, preservation of the Boom Boom Room (Laguna Beach, California) and other LGBT concerns, Karger's political consulting, and his candidacy for United States President, 2012, as the first openly gay candidate of a major political party.
The Fred Karger Papers consist mostly of secondary materials, film scripts, newspapers, periodicals, and clippings documenting activist and former presidential candidate Fred Karger's brief film and television acting career, his activism for preservation of the Boom Boom Room (originally the South Seas) at the Coast Inn, "Save the Boom", and material from his candidacy for president in 2012. The papers contain material related to Karger's activism for marriage equality and other LGBT concerns.
The collection includes material relating to his childhood education, such as school photographs; his acting career, scripts from television shows and motion pictures he appeared in; and brochures and flyers from his political activism, including boycotts of businesses supporting Proposition 8 (protecting "traditional marriage") in California. The bulk of material relates to Karger's efforts to save the Boom Boom Room (Laguna Beach, California) credited with being the oldest gay bar in West of the Mississippi. The collection includes protest posters, some hand made; columns, articles, clippings and magazines containing articles by and about Karger, some gay-oriented, others not. Material from his presidential campaign is also included such as yard signs, posters, and posters from the 2014 documentary, Fred. There is also a framed letter from Richard M. Nixon.
There are also vintage magazines and newspaper articles covering major events, such as President John F. Kennedy's assassination and the attack on 9/11.
These papers are arranged into four series.
Series 1: Activism and Presidential Campaign, 1988-2014, undated
Series 2: Theatrical Scripts, 1971-1976
Series 3: Newspapers and Magazines, 1963-2025
Series 4: Photographs and Ephemera, 1950-2010, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Portions of this biography were supplied by the donor, Fred Karger.
Fred S. Karger was born on Januray 31, 1950 in Glencoe, Illinois, the son of Richard (1911-1998) and Jean Foreman Karger (1918-2003). He attended primary and secondary schools in Glencoe. In the mid-1970s Karger pursued an acting career in Los Angeles, California. He later pursued a career in political consulting.
"Fred Karger is an American political consultant, LGBTQ rights activist, author, political pundit, writer, public speaker, former actor and 2012 presidential candidate for the Republican nomination for President. Karger has worked on ten presidential campaigns and served as a senior consultant during the campaigns of President's Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Gerald Ford.
Karger was a partner in the Dolphin Group, a California based political consulting firm for 27 years. He retired in 2004 and has since worked as an LGBTQ activist. He began in 2006 trying to save a Laguna Beach, California landmark gay bar, the Boom Boom Room.
In 2008 he founded Californians Against Hate, now Rights Equal Rights and led boycotts of four of the biggest donors to California's Proposition 8. He successfully settled three of those boycotts. Immediately after Prop 8 passed, Fred called for the State of California to investigate The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon Church) and later the states of Maine, Iowa, Hawaii and California to investigate the rabidly anti-gay National Organization for Marriage (NOM). In the summer of 2012, he launched the ongoing global Boycott of Amway after its owners, the DeVos family, contributed $750,000 to NOM.
Fred's running for the Republican nomination for president in 2012 made him the first openly gay presidential candidate from a major political party in American history, helping to pave the way for Mayor Pete Buttigieg's run in 2020." [Fred Karger Biography, AC/NMAH Control File, AC1439]
During his presidential campaign Karger appeared on six ballots; New Hampshire, Michigan, Puerto Rico, Maryland, California, and Utah. He campaigned in over 30 states and received, "widespread praise for paving the way for future LGBT candidates." Karger has been interviewed on many local, national, and international television, radio, and webcast programs. His autobiography, Fred Who? was published in 2011.
Donated to the Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution by Fred Karger in November 2017.
Collection is open for research.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Duncan Schiedt (1921-2014) was a jazz scholar, writer, photographer, film maker, researcher and pianist. He authored four books relating to jazz history. Many of his photographs and articles were featured in magazines, periodicals and documentaries. Schiedt also collected the work of other photographers on the subject of jazz. The collection primarily consists of photographs created by or collected by Mr. Schiedt.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of Schiedt's own photographs of jazz performers, photographs of jazz performers taken by other photographers, research notes, films, and recordings of jazz.
Collection is arranged into five series.
Series 1: Background Information and Research Materials, 1915-2012, undated
Series 2: Photographic Materials, 1900-2012, undated
Subseries 2.1: Historical Photographs and Negatives, 1915-2012
Subseries 2.2: Artist Files Photographs, 1900-2000, undated
Subseries 2.4: Roscoe Allen Photographic Prints, undated
Subseries 2.5: Individual Instrumentalists Photographic Prints and Negatives, 1938-1990, undated
Subseries 2.6: John Minor Negatives, undated
Subseries 2.7: Indianapolis Theater Photographic Prints and Negatives, 1935-1956, undated
Subseries 2.8: Theater and Vaudeville Negatives, 1910-1948, undated
Subseries 2.9: Glass Plate Negatives and Copy Prints, undated
Subseries 2.10: Publicity and Festival Negatives, 1930-1962, undated
Series 3: Charles T (Ted) Grubb Papers, 1919-1999, undated
Series 4: Scrapbooks, 1901-1950, undated
Series 5: Audiovisual Materials, undated
Biographical / Historical:
For over sixty-five years, professional photographer Duncan Preston Schiedt combined his love of jazz with his love of photography. Born in 1921 in Atlantic City, New Jersey to Jacob and Kitty Schiedt, he later moved with his family to New York City. In the mid-1930s, he discovered the two loves of his life. Ironically, he first heard jazz or "swing music" as it was then known in a radio broadcast while attending a boys' school in England in 1936. Back in the States by 1938, he was enthralled when a friend showed him his basement darkroom and taught him how to develop film. He soon bought his own camera and began taking pictures in the Times Square movie palaces, nightclubs, and big band shows of New York. In World War II, he served as a cameraman in the Army Air Force, where he recorded atomic bomb tests in the western Pacific area, including Bikini Atoll.
In 1950, Schiedt married Betty Benjamin and moved to Hollywood where he worked at the Atomic Energy Commission's film laboratory for eight months. After returning to civilian life, he worked as a photographer in advertising in New York before moving in 1951 to Pittsboro, Indiana, where his parents had relocated. He had two children, Cameron and Leslie.
Thereafter, his interests in jazz and photography merged and became more than a hobby, as he transformed himself into one of the country's leading jazz historians and photographers. He traveled the country to photograph performers in movie houses, night clubs, big-band shows, jazz festivals, and other venues. Schiedt always shot in black and white, since to him that was the essence of jazz. As he wrote in the introduction to his book, Jazz in Black and White: The Photographs of Duncan Schiedt, "Jazz is a black and white music. Its range, from blinding brilliance to deepest shadings, seems to demand the drama that black and white can so easily provide. Consequently, when I take a photograph of a jazz subject, I see it in those terms."
He processed all his own film in his own darkroom so that any picture bearing his name was totally his own work. His photographs have been exhibited in numerous galleries, including the Birmingham Civil Rights Museum, the Chicago Public Library, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and the Pensacola Art Museum. While shooting, Schiedt also interviewed his subjects, and those interviews added to his ever-growing scholarship in the field. He was the author of three books, The Jazz State of Indiana, Twelve Lives in Jazz,and Jazz in Black and White: The Photographs of Duncan Schiedt, and co-author of Ain't Misbehavin': The Story of Fats Waller. His photographs and articles have been published in the leading jazz periodicals and magazines. Over the years, he also amassed a first-rate collection of historical photographs of jazz musicians. Both his historical photographs and his original work were featured extensively in Ken Burns' Public Broadcasting Station series "Jazz." Duncan Schiedt died on March 12, 2014.
Materials in the Archives Center
Leonard Gaskin Papers, NMAH.AC.0900
Donated to the Archives Center in 2014 by Duncan Schiedt's daughter and son, Leslie Michel and Cameron Schiedt.
Collection is open for research.
Reproduction restricted due to copyright or trademark. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.