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Richard M. Saul papers

Identifier: MC107

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains subject files, reference material, audio cassettes and reels, films, and videotapes collected and created by Richard Saul. Much of the material relates to his development of a national weatherization program which provided funding to low-income families and individuals to insulate their home. There is also substantial information about his work developing anti-poverty programs within communities, his work with the Office of Economic Opportunity (later the establishing the VISTA program), and alternative energy technologies, such as wind.


  • 1964-1999, undated


Access Restrictions

One folder has restricted material.

Use Restrictions

The collection is the physical property of Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library. Bates College holds literary rights only for material created by College personnel working on official behalf of the College, or for material which was given to the College with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from rights holders for publication or other purposes that exceed fair use.

Historical Note

A developer of federal anti-poverty programs, Richard Marshall Saul was born in Philadelphia, PA on April 24, 1927. He received a diploma from the Sorbonne, his undergraduate degree from Harvard University in 1950, and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1953.

After Army service in France during World War II, he worked as an associate in his father's Philadelphia law firm, Saul, Ewing, Remick & Saul. During this time he participated in local politics and was active in the formation of WHYY, Philadelphia's now prominent public television station. In 1960, he moved to Washington to work as a lawyer for the Broadcast Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission. He served as the first chief of the complaints branch in the bureau's complaints and compliance division. In 1965, he joined the newly created Office of Economic Opportunity, a hallmark of President Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society and War on Poverty programs. At the OEO, Saul helped to develop the Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) program and became chief of VISTA program development for nine southern and western states.

In 1967, he joined the Office of Economic Opportunity's Community Action Program (later the Community Services Administration and then the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Community Services) where he oversaw grant programs and nationwide initiatives to address the needs of low-income individuals and communities. His work included establishing community credit unions, encouraging private savings accounts, and other economic development work.

An area in which Saul was particularly interested was the energy needs of low-income people. During the 1973 energy crisis, he proposed a program to fund the insulating of homes for the poor. Begun in Maine, the project went into operation within six weeks and became a pilot for a comprehensive federal weatherization program.

Saul retired in 1981 when President Reagan ended the federal anti-poverty program. Six years later he established a non-profit environmental consulting firm called Jobs for a Clean Environment. He published a directory of OEO programs in 1989 entitled "Seeds of Opportunity." In 1994, he rejoined the Department of Health and Human Services and retired again in 2004. He served on the board of the National Center for Appropriate Technology in Butte, Montana, and the Educating Children for Parenting organization in Philadelphia. Saul died from Lou Gehrig's disease on December 20, 2004.


5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Reference and subject files and audio/visual materials of Richard M. Saul, a public official who developed federal weatherization, energy, and anti-poverty programs. Much of the material pertains to Saul's work with VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), and the United States Office of Economic Opportunity, later known as the Community Services Administration.

Organization and Arrangement

The collection is organized into three series: I. Subject files, II. Reference material, and III. Audio and visual materials.

Acquisition and Custody Information

Gift of Judy Hubbard, 2008. Accession No.: 2008-090.

Processing Information

Processed by Kat Stefko, Sept. 2008.

Guide to the Richard M. Saul papers, 1964-1999, n.d.
Edited Full Draft
Kat Stefko
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in: English
Edition statement

Repository Details

Part of the Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library Repository

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