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Charles T. Manatt papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RS 21/7/233

Scope and Content

This collection (1971-2011, undated) consists primarily of ambassadorial training materials, news clippings (photocopies), press releases, photographs, and speeches related to Manatt's tenure as United States Ambassador to the Dominican Republic. Also included are materials related to a number of events that Manatt hosted or participated in as part of his ambassadorial duties such as the Entrepreneurs' Conference, the Ambassador's Golf Tournament, Fourth of July celebrations, and a Major League Baseball exhibit.

The collection also contains several files unrelated to Manatt's service in the Dominican Republic. These include biographical information, personal correspondence, and files related to the Dominican Republic-United States Business Council which organized a visit to Washington, D.C. in 2004.


  • Creation: 1971-2011, undated

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Charles Taylor Manatt was born to Mr. and Mrs. Price Manatt in Chicago on June 9, 1936. He was raised on a farm near Audubon, Iowa. Manatt received his B.S. (1958) in rural sociology from Iowa State College (University). He was an active member of the student body at Iowa State serving as president (1957-1958) of the Rural Sociology Club, president (1956-1957) of Delta Chi, president (1955-1956) of the Iowa State Debaters, president (1957-1958) of the Cardinal Guild (now the Government of the Student Body), and participated in several other campus organizations. After graduating from Iowa State, Manatt earned his J.D. (1962) from the George Washington University Law School.

Manatt's next move took him to Los Angeles where he was hired by a law firm to work in banking and finance. As part of his job, he worked with clients to establish savings and loan financial institutions. In 1965, he established his own law office, teaming up with fellow Iowa State alum Thomas Phelps to form Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP. The firm initially focused on serving the financial and banking industry, but eventually grew to offer international legal services to industries of all kinds including sports, entertainment, real estate, and corporate securities. In addition, Manatt also founded and served as chairman (1973-1989) of First Los Angeles Bank.

Shortly after moving to California, Manatt became active in state politics. In 1969, he was elected Chairman of the California Democratic Party. Several years later he was named the Democratic National Committee chairman (1981-1985). Manatt served as co-chairman of Bill Clinton's presidential campaign in 1992 and later President Clinton called on Manatt to serve as the United States Ambassador to the Dominican Republic (1999-2001).

Throughout his high-profile career, Manatt kept close ties to his hometown of Audubon and to Iowa State University. He and his wife built Taylor Hill Lodge outside of Audubon and he would frequently bring guests from Washington D.C. and the West Coast to Iowa. Iowa State recognized his career accomplishments by awarding him the ISU Alumni Association Outstanding Young Alumnus award (1971), the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Distinguished Service Award (2004), and the Distinguished Alumni Award (2008).

Charles Manatt married Kathleen Klinkefus of Audubon in 1957 and they had three children, Michele, Timothy, and Daniel. Manatt died July 22, 2011, in Richmond, Virginia, and was buried in Audubon, Iowa.


2.10 Linear Feet (5 document boxes)


Charles T. Manatt was a lawyer, politician, and businessman. Born in Chicago and raised in Audubon, Iowa, he received his B.S. (1958) from Iowa State College (University) and his J.D. (1962) from the George Washington University School of Law. He was a cofounder of the Los Angeles law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips and also founded First Los Angeles Bank. Manatt served as the state Democratic chairman in California, Democratic National Committee chairman (1981-1985), and co-chairman of Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign. He was named United States Ambassador to the Dominican Republic by President Clinton in 1999. This collection contains materials related primarily to Manatt's tenure as Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, including news clippings from both English and Spanish publications, correspondence, programs, and training materials.


The collection is organized Alphabetically with biographical information filed at the front.

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

RS 21/7/233. Charles T. Manatt papers, 1971-2011, undated
January 22, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672