Solarz, Stephen J. (Stephen Joshua), 1940-2010

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Stephen Joshua Solarz (September 12, 1940 – November 29, 2010) was an American academic and politician. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the U.S. Representative from New York's 13th congressional district from 1975 to 1993.

Born in Manhattan, he attended public schools in New York City before earning a B.A. degree from Brandeis University and an M.A. from Columbia University. Solarz taught political science at Brooklyn College during the 1967–1968 academic year. In 1966, Solarz was the campaign manager for an anti-war campaign, for a U.S. House seat. He used that experience to make a successful run for the State Assembly two years later. He was a member of the New York State Assembly from 1969 to 1974, sitting in the 178th, 179th and 180th New York State Legislatures. In 1973, he challenged Sebastian Leone for Brooklyn borough president, losing both the Democratic primary and the general election as the candidate for the Liberal Party of New York.

In September 1974, Solarz defeated incumbent Democrat Bertram L. Podell in the Democratic primary for the New York 13th District. At the time, Podell was under federal indictment; he was later convicted. In November 1974, Solarz was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, to the 94th Congress, beginning January 3, 1975. He was re-elected eight more times, serving until January 3, 1993. In the 1980s, he chaired the Asian and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, an area of growing interest to the American people in that decade. Solarz had strong ties to India and was held in high esteem by Indian leaders across the political spectrum. His motivations were partly driven by the presence of prosperous Indian Americans in his district. He visited India dozens of times, during and after his term in Congress, and once received a standing ovation on the floor of the Indian Parliament. Following the 1990 Census, his district was divided; rather than challenging Democratic incumbent Ted Weiss or Republican incumbent S. William Green, he sought election to the open seat in the heavily Hispanic 12th Congressional District, coming second behind Nydia Velázquez.

In 1993, Solarz was appointed as chairman of the U.S. government-funded Central Asian-American Enterprise Fund by President Bill Clinton to bring private sector development to central Asia. He remained in this role until 1998. From 1994 until his death, Solarz remained active with the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. He was also a member of the Intellibridge Expert Network and of the executive committee of the International Crisis Group. Along with Zbigniew Brzezinski, Solarz served as co-chairman of the American Committee for Peace in the Caucasus. Solarz served on the Board of Directors of the National Endowment for Democracy from 1992 to 2001. He was also a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Hollings Center for International Dialogue, helping to establish the organization's presence in Turkey, and served until his death in Washington, D.C.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Staff Secretary. 1976 - 1981. Presidential Files. 1977 - 1981. 12/21/79 [1] Jimmy Carter Library
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Staff Secretary. 1976 - 1981. Presidential Files. 1977 - 1981. 5/4/77 [2] Jimmy Carter Library
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Staff Secretary. 1976 - 1981. Staff Scheduling Memoranda. 1977 - 1978. 5/2/77-5/18/77 Jimmy Carter Library
referencedIn New York Times Company records. A.M. Rosenthal papers, 1955-1994, 1967-1986 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Families of Vietnamese Political Prisoners Association. Records, 1905-2002 1977-1999. Texas Tech University Libraries, Academic Library
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Staff Secretary. 1976 - 1981. Presidential Files. 1977 - 1981. 10/12/78 Jimmy Carter Library
referencedIn American Association for Ethiopian Jews (AAEJ), records, undated, 1960-1961, 1963, 1965-1968, 1970-1995, 2001-2002 American Jewish Historical Society
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Staff Secretary. 1976 - 1981. Presidential Files. 1977 - 1981. 12/20/79 [1] Jimmy Carter Library
referencedIn Collection Number: 1849., 1905-2002, bulk 1977-1999 The Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University
referencedIn Guide to the Daily Worker and Daily World Photographs Collection, 1920-2001 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn Andreĭ Sakharov papers, 1852-2002 (inclusive), 1960-1990 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn Mary McGrory Papers, 1928-2004, (bulk 1956-2002) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Solarz, Stephen. Voting behavior in a Congressional primary. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Solarz, Stephen J. Reminiscences of Stephen J. Solarz : oral history, 1977. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Association for Ethiopian Jews (AAEJ) corporateBody
alumnusOrAlumnaOf Brandeis University corporateBody
alumnusOrAlumnaOf Columbia University corporateBody
associatedWith Communist Party of the United States of America. corporateBody
employeeOf CUNY (Brooklyn College) corporateBody
associatedWith Families of Vietnamese Political Prisoners Association. corporateBody
associatedWith Goldstein, Judith, person
correspondedWith McGrory, Mary, 1918-2004 person
associatedWith National Endowment for Democracy (U.S.) corporateBody
memberOf New York (State). Legislature. Assembly corporateBody
associatedWith Rosenthal, A. M. (Abraham Michael), 1922-2006 person
correspondedWith Sakharov, Andreĭ, 1921-1989 person
memberOf United States. Congress. House person
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York City NY US
District of Columbia DC US
Waltham MA US
Subject
Legislators
Lobbying
Occupation
State Representative
Professors (teacher)
Representatives, U.S. Congress
Activity

Person

Birth 1940-09-12

Death 2010-11-29

Male

Americans

English

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