First Advisor

David Horowitz

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in History






Organized crime -- Oregon -- Portland -- History, Prostitution -- Oregon -- Portland -- History, Political corruption -- Oregon -- Portland -- History



Physical Description

1 online resource (84 p.)


The present thesis describes the connection between political corruption and vice crime in Portland as it was portrayed by media and public institutions and agencies in the 1940s and 1950s. The main body of the thesis discusses attempts to rid Portland of its vice problem through the City Club's crusade against crime and crooked politicians in the late 1940s and early 1950s and Mayor Dorothy McCullough Lee's subsequent reform movements against gambling and prostitution. The thesis will analyze The Oregonian's expose' on bootlegging, gambling, prostitution and links drawn by the newspaper to the Teamster's Union and Oregon politicians. From there, the study focuses on Washington D. C. and the McClellan Committee's 1950s hearings on the mismanagement and corruption of Teamster leaders in local and national chapters. Finally, the thesis analyzes the role of Portland's two daily newspapers and their contributions to the controversies and mixed messages over vice and crime in the city between World War II and 1957.


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