UNC Charlotte Special Collections J. Murrey Atkins Library - Special Collections & University Archives

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Richard Elton Thigpen papers

Identifier: MS0187

Scope and Contents

This collection documents primarily Thigpen's role as campaign manager for Willis Smith during the latter's bid for the U.S. Senate in North Carolina in 1950. Also includes some material documenting Thigpen's membership on the Study Committee for City-County School Consolidation in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County in 1958.


  • 1950-1958, 1991


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English

Physical Description

17 items (including 1 photograph, 4 vinyl disc recordings, and 1 cassette).

Conditions Governing Access

Original audiovisual materials are closed to patron use. Please contact Special Collections to request the creation of use copies for particular items; requests will be accommodated when possible. The remaining materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

Richard Elton Storm Thigpen was born on May 9, 1900 in Wilmington, N.C., to William Washington (1861-1927) and Katherine Canaday Thigpen (1861-1928). The youngest of three children, he was educated in the public schools of Wilmington. Thigpen was graduated from Trinity College in 1922 and attended law school there from 1921 to 1923. In 1923 he was named Alumni Secretary at Trinity College, a position he held through the institution's transition to Duke University. Thigpen passed the bar examination in 1925 and, in 1929, he accepted a position as senior attorney with the U.S. Board of Tax Appeals in Washington, D.C. Thigpen moved to Charlotte in 1933 and set up a law practice specializing in taxation until his retirement in 1976. He served as president of the North Carolina Bar Association, 1948-49; Mecklenburg County chair for the U.S. Senate campaign of Willis Smith, 1950; chair of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce Study Committee for City-County School Consolidation, 1957-58; and as a trustee of Duke University, 1953-73. He married Dorathy Florence Dotger (1901-89) of Charlotte on June 28, 1923. They had three children: Dorathy Dotger Thigpen (1924-59); Harriet Thigpen (b. 1927); and Richard Elton Thigpen Jr. (b. 1930). Thigpen resided in Charlotte.


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Primarily photocopied material relating to Thigpen's work as Mecklenburg County manager for Willis Smith in the 1950 U.S. Senate campaign. Includes a scrapbook of clippings. Also includes a report (1958) of the Study Committee for City-County School Consolidation.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Richard E. Thigpen, Sr., 1992.

Separated Materials

[For more information, see Richard Elton Thigpen, 90 Years Into the Twentieth Century: The Autobiography of Richard Elton Thigpen (Charlotte: Richard E. Thigpen, 1991). RARE F260.42.T45 A3 1991]

Physical Description

17 items (including 1 photograph, 4 vinyl disc recordings, and 1 cassette).
Richard Elton Thigpen papers
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte 28223 United Stated