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Rodney Ellis Collection

Identifier: MSS 0061

Content Description

The Rodney Ellis Collection contains materials related to the personal and professional activities of Rodney Ellis from 1972 to 2012. Newspaper clippings, which make up the greatest quantity of materials, highlight his legislative work during the early twenty first century. Clippings cover the legislative activities surrounding the veto of Senate Bill 750, a death penalty bill to limit the execution of the intellectually challenged. Includes a small quantity of letters, programs, an award, photographs, and a photograph book. Two scrapbooks contain additional photos, letters, programs and clippings of his career and family from 1972 to 2008. Researchers interested in politics, legislators and the role influence of African Americans in government will find this collection a valuable resource.


  • 1972-2012


Language of Materials

This collection is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Rodney Ellis Collection must be obtained from the African American Library at the Gregory School or the appropriate copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Rodney Ellis Texas (1954-) is a former Texas Senator, Houston City Councilman and the current Harris County Commissioner and politician, who is dedicated to public service.

A native Houstonian, Rodney Ellis was one of three children born to Eligha and Oliver Teresa and raised in the Sunnyside neighborhood. He attended the Texas public school system from grade school through law school. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas Southern University, a master’s degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, and a law degree from The University of Texas School of Law. Ellis also studied at Xavier University in New Orleans and the London School of Economics.

Rodney Ellis served three terms on the Houston City council beginning in 1983. On the council he where he worked to increase funding for anti-drug efforts, increase low income housing options and to increase economic development in Houston. Before his election to the senate he worked as chief of staff to the late U.S. Congressman Mickey. Ellis was elected to the Texas senate in 1990, where over 26 years he passed 700 pieces of legislation on economic development, education, civil rights, budget issues, responsible environmental policy, tax cuts for the middle class, criminal justice, and workforce development. He founded the Texas Legislative Internship Program, an educational internship program for undergraduate and graduate students attending Texas colleges and universities to serve as interns in the Texas legislature, various state agencies and local government. In 2016, Ellis won the race for Harris County Commissioner for Precinct One.

A community leader, he chaired the Board of Directors for the Innocence Project from 2003 to 2017 and is a member of the Founders’ Circle for the national group. He became the President of the National Association of Black County Official (NABCO) in 2018. Commissioner Ellis is married to Licia Green-Ellis and has four children.


4.5 Linear Feet (4)


This collection is arranged in four series by format.

Series I Clippings

Series II Printed Materials

Series III Photographic Materials

Series IV Scrapbooks

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Rodney Ellis in 2011.

Related Materials

The Houston Metropolitan Research Center holds related materials in the following collections:

MSS 1002 Rodney Ellis Papers

Processing Information

Processed by Sheena Wilson, October 2018
MSS 0061 Rodney Ellis Collection
An Inventory of his Records at the African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library
Sheena Wilson
October 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Gregory School Repository


The African American Library at the Gregory School
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
Houston Metropolitan Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002