Aaron H. Payne Papers

Institution: University of Illinois at Chicago - Special Collections and University Archives
Richard J. Daley Library
801 S. Morgan St., Room 3-330
Chicago, IL 60607
Phone: 312-996-2742
Date: 1894-1989
Extent: 1.5 Linear Feet
Finding Aid

Biographical/Historical Note:
Aaron H. Payne (1901 to 1994) was a Chicago-area attorney and civic activist. In 1926, after studying law at the University of Chicago Law School, he was admitted to the Bar of the State of Illinois. Three years later Payne served as Assistant City Prosecutor, Assistant Corporate Counsel, and Arbitrator for the Illinois Industrial Commission. In addition, he served for several years as a member of the Legal Staff of the Chicago Transit Authority. Later, Payne started his own legal practice. As an independent attorney, he represented heavyweight boxing champ Joe Louis in a legal matter involving problems with the Internal Revenue Service. Additionally, he represented singer-songwriter Nat King Cole in a discrimination matter taken up against the Hoffman Hotel Company. Payne was also an active member of a number of civic and community groups which included: NAACP, Chicago Urban League, Fourth Ward Regular Democratic Organization, Defense Lawyers Association, and Hyde Park Neighborhood.

Scope and Content Note:
The Aaron H. Payne papers mainly reflect his work as an attorney and civic activist in the City of Chicago. The papers partially reflect his many philanthropic endeavors. The collection includes correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, scrapbooks, memos, telegrams, awards, and transcripts of speeches.

Related Material: None