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Regis Groff Papers

Identifier: ARL34

Scope and Contents

The Regis F. Groff papers span the years 1946-2003. The bulk of the collection records Groff’s time as a Colorado State Senator. Documents include correspondence, campaign literature, photographs, newspaper clippings, articles and publications. The collection also contains a few personal items including copies of pages from the 1953 Monmouth High School yearbook, membership cards, biographical sketches, resumes and a black and white portrait. Also included in the collection are awards, certificates and plaques from clubs and organizations received by Groff and a few audio-visual items including an audio cassette of a talk by Groff titled Money Talks.


This series documents Groff’s career as a Colorado State Senator. Papers include campaign literature, newspaper clippings, correspondence, press releases, brochures and reports. Items are arranged chronologically. Box 5 (FF4 and FF5) are restricted until 2030.

SERIES 2 PERSONAL PAPERS 1962-2003, n.d. BOX 5

Papers include copies from Monmouth High School 1953 yearbook, Western Illinois University commencement program, membership cards, church programs, biographical sketches and resumes.


This series comprises awards, plaques and certificates of appreciation received by Groff from community and government organizations.

SERIES 4 EPHEMERA 1986, 1992, n.d. BOX 8

Political buttons from Groff’s campaigns and other candidates, a “Regis Groff for Lieutenant Governor” t-shirt, address stamps, name tags and a desk name bar comprise this series.

SERIES 5 PHOTOGRAPHS 1946, 1980-1994, n.d. BOX 8

Photographs include Groff in the Senate, on various political trips (Israel, Taiwan, and South Africa), at community functions and several personal photographs.

SERIES 6 AUDIO-VISUAL 1981-1993, n.d. AVBOX 8

The audio-visual series contains audio cassettes from a National Black Caucus of State Legislators meeting in 1981, property tax public hearing, and talk by Groff titled Money Talks. A video tape on Juneteenth “91” and two video cassettes on education are also included in the series.


The oversize series includes campaign posters, certificates, a United States House of Representatives calendar signed by Pat Schroeder and a framed portrait of Groff. A few items from Groff’s travels are also included.


  • 1946-2003

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research. Box 5 (FF4 and FF5) are restricted until 2030.


All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.

Biographical / Historical

Regis F. Groff was born April 8, 1935 in Monmouth, Illinois. He graduated from Monmouth High School in 1953. From 1953 to 1957, Groff served in the United States Air Force stationed with the Northeast Air Command in Labrador. He attended Western Illinois University (Macomb, Illinois) and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Education in 1962. In 1972, he received a masters degree in Secondary Education (History) from the University of Denver. Groff attended the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University in 1980.

Groff was a teacher of American history, United States government and African American history with the Denver Public Schools. He taught at Smiley Junior High School (1963-1966), Lake Junior High School (1967-1969) and East High School (1967-1977). Groff also was an instructor of African American history at the University of Denver, University of Colorado, Colorado State University and Metropolitan State College during the summer months. He also served as the Intergovernmental Relations Specialist and Community Affairs Coordinator with the Denver Public Schools for several years. He retired from Denver Public Schools in 1992.

Groff was elected to the Colorado State Senate in 1974 to fill the two remaining years of the senate seat vacated by Lieutenant Governor George L. Brown. He was elected to his first full four-year term in 1976 and served as a Senator until 1994. After the 1976 election, Groff was elected Assistant Minority Leader by his colleagues. In 1978 and again in 1980 he was chosen Senate Minority Leader. Groff ran for Colorado Lieutenant Governor in 1986.

As a Senator, Groff pushed Colorado to divest itself from business relationships with the apartheid regime of South Africa. He also lobbied for rational gun control. One of his proudest moment as a legislator came in 1984, when he persuaded the Senate to pass a bill making Martin Luther King's birthday a state holiday.

Groff traveled to many countries including Nigeria, Germany, Jamaica, Israel, China and South Africa to work on a variety of important issues. In South Africa he went on a fact finding mission and he visited China with a small group of fellow legislators as part of a good will tour.

Groff left the Senate in 1994 to assume the directorship of the Youthful Offenders System, a multi-million dollar rehabilitation facility for violent juveniles. In 1998 he retired from State service and accepted the position of Executive Director of the Metro Black Church Initiative, a faith-based organization for community service.

Groff served as vice-president of the Denver Federation of Teachers (1968-1970), president of Black Educators United, president of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (1991-1994). He also is a member of the Colorado Education Association, National Education Association, American Federation of Teachers, Colorado Federation of Teachers, National Conference of State Legislators, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), National Black Caucus, and the Anti-Defamation League. Groff is an active member of the Shorter African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Denver, Colorado.

Groff has received numerous civic and social awards including: Legislator of the Year Award from the Associated Press, Distinguished Service Citation Award from the United Negro College Fund and Coloradoan Award presented by the Colorado Education Association.

He married Ada Brooks, a physical therapist, in 1962. They divorced after 33 years of marriage. They are the parents of two children, Peter and Traci.

Mark Udall, Colorado Congressman, called Regis Groff “the conscience of the Colorado Senate." In remarks to the United States House of Representatives in 2001 Udall stated that “as a State Senator Regis Groff was a man who never backed down from a fight and always stood up for what he believed in. Although he often stood alone, he never hesitated to do what he believed was right.” As of 2006, Groff is retired but remains active in civic and community organizations.


8 Boxes (8 linear feet)

1 Audiovisual box

1 oversize box

1 oversize folders

2 oversize folio

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Regis Groff, 2004.


Catalog record based on preliminary inventory.


Number of Boxes: 8

Audio-Visual: 1 box

Oversize: 1 box, 1 folder, 2 folios




Tammi E. Haddad

August 2001


Merrie Jo Schroeder



Ellen Zazzarino

Regis Groff Papers
Keli Schmid
2005, 2017
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Denver Public Library, Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library Repository

2401 Welton St.
Denver Colorado 80205