Ronald B. Stafford Papers, 1956-2002
- Stafford, Ronald B.
- The Ronald B. Stafford Papers document Stafford's service as a New York State Senator representing the 45th District.
- 86.56 cubic ft.
- English and English
- Preferred citation:
- Preferred citation for this material is as follows: and Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, The Ronald B. Stafford Papers, 1956-2002. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Stafford Papers).
Access and Use
- Conditions Governing Access:
Access to this record group is unrestricted with the exception of select folders in Series 1 and 11, which are marked.
The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
- Scope and Content:
The Ronald B. Stafford Papers document Stafford's service as a New York State Senator representing the 45th District. The collection represents the wide range of activities in which Stafford engaged during his 37-year tenure in the State Senate. Stafford's legislative activities are represented by a large amount of material on legislation which he sponsored, co-sponsored and supported. His work on behalf of his North Country constituents is represented by documentation of the casework in which his office solved constituents' problems and by letters of support for grant applications. Appointment books and telephone message pads document Senator Stafford's day-to-day activities, and his public accomplishments are recorded in news clippings and press releases. His activities as representative of the Adirondack region are described in series on the Adirondack Park Agency and the Lake Placid Olympics. Senator Stafford's career is further documented by photographs, memorabilia and physical artifacts acquired during his long service in the State Senate.
- Biographical / Historical:
Ronald B. Stafford was born in Plattsburgh, NY, on June 29, 1935. He was the adopted child of Agnes and Halsey Stafford, a grade-school teacher and a state prison worker, and was raised in Dannemora, NY. After graduating from Plattsburgh High School, Stafford earned a B.A. in government from St. Lawrence University in 1957. He served in the U.S. Army as an intelligence officer and earned his J.D. from Columbia School of Law in 1962. He was the first St. Lawrence graduate to be awarded an Edward John Noble Fellowship.
Initially selected by local Republican leaders to run in a special election in 1965, Stafford won his first election to the New York State Senate in 1966. He represented the 45th Senate District in New York State's North Country, which eventually came to include Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Warren, and Washington Counties. Stafford continued to serve the 45th district as State Senator until his retirement in 2002. During his 37-year tenure, Stafford served as Deputy Majority leader for Legislature Operations and as Chairman of several committees including the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Committee on Codes, the Senate Higher Education Committee, and the Senate Finance Committee. While Chairman of the Higher Education Committee in 1974, Stafford helped establish New York State’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) which provides need-based assistance to many undergraduate students who would otherwise be financially unable to attend college
Senator Stafford was instrumental in bringing the Winter Olympic Games to Lake Placid in 1980, having been appointed Chairman of the New York State 1980 Olympic Winter Games Commission in 1974. He is also noted for his support for the "Toxic Torts Bill," passed in 1986, which expanded legal protection to people exposed to toxic chemicals; Stafford opposed his fellow Republicans during the five-year battle to pass this bill.
As his district included a significant portion of the Adirondack Park, much of his attention was spent representing the needs of the Park and its residents. Governor George Pataki recognized Senator Stafford “for his tireless advocacy on behalf of the people of the Park” in his keynote address at the Adirondack Park Agency’s 30th Anniversary in 2003.
Stafford served on several boards during his career, including the Boards of Trustees of the College of St. Rose and St. Lawrence University and the Boards of Directors of the Champlain Valley School of Nursing and the Adirondack Council of the Boy Scouts of America. After his retirement, Governor Pataki appointed him to the Board of Trustees for the State University of New York. Senator Stafford’s family included his wife, the former Kay McCabe, two sons, a daughter, a stepson, a stepdaughter, and four stepgrandchildren. He died on June 24, 2005, after battling lung cancer.
- Acquisition information:
The Ronald B. Stafford Papers were donated by Kay Stafford to the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives in 2006.
The collection is organized into the following series:
All series are arranged chronologically with the exception of Series 1 and 2, Series 6 subseries 1, and Series 11 and 12 which are arranged alphabetically.
- Processing information:
Processed in 2013 by Jamie Brinkman. Kathleen Dunsavage and Nicholas Webb began processing the collection in 2009..
- Public Servants
Politics and Politicians
Conservation and the Environment
Athletics and Sports
Tuition--Law and legislation
Olympic Winter Games (13th : 1980 : Lake Placid, N.Y.)
- Stafford, Ronald B.
New York (State). Legislature. Senate
Adirondack Park Agency (N.Y.)
Lake Placid Olympic Organizing Committee
- New York (State)--Politics and government