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John Parr Papers

Identifier: WH2033

Scope and Contents

The collection contains numerous materials relating to Parr's involvement with the following: political campaigns of Colorado Governor Richard Lamm (1974, 1979) and Denver Mayor Federico Peña (1972, 1983-1984, 1986-1988, 1990); the Winter Olympics Boycott (1972, 1976); the National Civic League (1981-1983, 1989, 1990, 1992); INNOVATIONS (1985-1996); the Denver Board of Water Commission (1973); the Denver Regional Council of Governments records/DRCOG (1992); Colorado Common Cause (undated): graduate school instructional materials (1984, 1985, 1990-1994); photographs with Dick Lamm and the Parr family (undated); political ephemera; and audio recordings (undated).


  • 1972-1995


Language of Materials

Material is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.


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

John Parr (1948-2007) graduated from Dartmouth University before receiving his J.D. from the University of Denver Law School. He was well known for his involvement in the political election campaigns of Colorado Governor Richard Lamm and Denver Mayor Federico Peña.

Parr also served as the President of the National Civic League (NCL) from 1985-1995, was co-founder of the Denver-based Center for Regional and Neighborhood Action (CRNA), served as President/CEO of the Alliance for Regional Stewardship and worked as an associate with the Citistates Group. As an attorney he had extensive experience in public administration, strategic planning, mediation, public group management, and political campaign organization. He had also been a lecturer in public affairs at the University of Colorado (CU), and taught at the University of Denver (DU), Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). John Parr was married to journalist and co-founder of the Westword newspaper, Sandra Widener (d.2007). Parr, Widener, and one of their two daughters died in a car accident in 2007.


13 Boxes

1 audiovisual boxes

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Carol Relf, 2008.


Catalog record based on preliminary inventory.


Repository also has Federico Peña papers (WH2024) and the Denver Regional Council of Governments records (WH2000).

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Repository

10 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy
Denver CO 80204 United States