Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
WHITENER, Basil Lee (1915-1989)

WHITENER, BASIL LEE, a Representative from North Carolina; born in York County, S.C., May 14, 1915; educated in public schools of Gaston County; graduated from Lowell High School in 1931 and from Rutherford College in 1933; attended University of South Carolina 1933-1935; graduated from Duke University Law School in 1937; admitted to the North Carolina bar the same year and commenced the practice of law in Gastonia, N.C.; member of the State house of representatives in 1941 and renominated in 1942 but resigned to enter the United States Navy; served as gunnery officer and was separated from the service in November 1945 with rank of lieutenant; appointed solicitor, fourteenth solicitorial district, in January 1946 and elected in November 1946, reelected in 1950 and 1954, and served until December 31, 1956; delegate to the Democratic National Convention 1948; elected as a Democrat to the Eighty-fifth and to the five succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1957-January 3, 1969); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1968 to the Ninety-first Congress; unsuccessful candidate for election in 1970 to the Ninety-second Congress; resumed the practice of law; was a resident of Gastonia, N.C., until his death there on March 20, 1989; interment in Gaston Memorial Park, Gastonia, N.C.

Duke University
William R. Perkins Library Special Collections Department
Durham, NC
Papers: 1889-1968, approximately 297,300 items.
The papers of Basil Whitener contain correspondence between Whitener and his constituents, other congressmen, and government officials, legislative materials, drafts of bills, financial papers, speeches, invitations, printed material, clippings, photographs, and other papers, chiefly from congressional files (1957-1968), relating to issues of national importance during the 1960s, including the Vietnam War, crime legislation, gun control, riots, civil rights legislation, foreign aid, social security, and the Taft-Hartley Act. Correspondents include Sam Ervin, John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Sargent Shriver, and Strom Thurmond.


University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Library and Information Service-Special Collections
Charlotte, NC
Oral History: May 25, 1974. 14 pages (l hour, 5 minutes).
Interviewed by Chris Collins for Former Members of Congress Oral History Project. Restricted