Sheldon "Shelley" Andelson was born in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles, at the time a Jewish enclave of Los Angeles, and went on to have a lucrative career in law and real estate. He was the first openly gay University of California Regent. In describing Andelson, the Los Angeles Times called him a "Democratic Party heavyweight, once regarded as the nation's most influential gay political figure." Andelson was nominated to the Board of Regents by Governor Jerry Brown. He survived a nasty confirmation battle and served as a University of California Regent from 1980-1986. He was instrumental in the appointment of one of the first openly gay judges in California, Rand Schrader. At Andelson's urging, California Governor Jerry Brown appointed Schrader to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1980. Andelson was also a fund-raiser for Senator Edward M. Kennedy and Walter F. Mondale.
Other notable accomplishments, honors and contributions include, founder and Chairman of the Bank of Los Angeles, a member of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, a founder of the Museum of Contemporary Art, director of the ACLU Foundation, and a member of a committee of the 1984 Olympic Games held in Los Angeles.
The Andelson Collection at the University of California, Santa Barbara Library is named in his honor. Located in the Ethnic and Gender Studies Library, the Collection supports the teaching curriculum and research interests of faculty and students in gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and studies across the disciplines.
- "Kevin Roderick, "Andelson Dies of AIDS; Gay Regent, Activist," ''Los Angeles Times,'' December 30, 1987". Articles.latimes.com. 1987-12-30. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
- Kevin Roderick, Andelson Dies of AIDS; Gay Regent, Activist. Los Angeles Times. December 30, 1987. Accessed May 22, 2015
- Tracy Wilkinson, Municipal Court Judge Faces Challenge of AIDS - Disease Archived 2011-08-13 at the Wayback Machine, The Los Angeles Times (November 25, 1991).
- Obituaries: Sheldon Andelson, Political Fund-Raiser, 56, The New York Times (January 01, 1988).
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