Digital Collections

J. Erik Jonsson Collection

J. Erik Jonsson papers, 1881-1995

[Airport Blueprint 2]

[Airport Blueprint 2],
ca. 1960s-1970s

In Memorium to President John F. Kennedy

In Memorium to President
John F. Kennedy, 1963
3rd Regional Conference on the Super-City of Tomorrow

3rd Regional Conference on the
Super-City of Tomorrow, 1965

Dallas at the Crossroads

Dallas at the Crossroads, 1967

[Address by Mayor Erik Jonsson to the Salesman Club of Dallas, Version 3]

[Address by Mayor Erik Jonsson
to the Salesman Club of Dallas,
Version 3], 1968

[Documents and Correspondence Relating to Affiliation Agreement between the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas and Callier Hearing and Speech Center; January-February 1969]

[UT Southwestern Med. School
at Dallas and Callier Hearing
and Speech Center Papers], 1969

Urban America

Urban America, 1967

About the Collection

Holding library: DeGolyer Library

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J. Erik Jonsson (1901-1995) was a man driven to change Dallas for the better. Throughout his career, he served as Chairman of Texas Instruments (1958-1966), was elected Dallas Mayor (1964-1971) and was prominent in civic affairs (Dallas Citizens Council and the United Way). The J. Erik Jonsson papers, 1881-1995 (bulk 1964-1995), held by the DeGolyer Library, contain primarily his paper records—with some photographs, audio-visual materials and awards. A detailed finding aid for the collection is available in TARO.

John Erik Jonsson was born in Brooklyn, New York, on September 6, 1901, the only child of John Peter and Ellen Charlotte (Palmquist) Jonsson. His parents were naturalized citizens, having independently immigrated to the United States from Sweden in the 1890s. He began his career at Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) as a rolling-mill apprentice in 1922. In 1934, he moved to Dallas as secretary of Geophysical Service (GSI). In 1951, a new name was chosen for the parent company, Texas Instruments (TI), with GSI as a subsidiary. Jonsson continued to play a major role in TI as president (1951-58), chairman of the board (1958-66), and honorary chairman (1966-77).

[J. Erik Jonsson with Parents]

During Jonsson’s time with TI, he became involved with civic activities, and at a time when many retire, Jonsson was increasing his civic and community involvement. He participated in a wide range of community organizations, holding leadership positions in the Dallas Chamber of Commerce, the Dallas Citizens Council, and the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. He was a tireless advocate for education, serving or leading the boards of nearly a dozen educational institutions and forming partnerships to improve local educational facilities. Jonsson was also a founder of the Southwest Center for Advanced Studies, from which the University of Texas at Dallas was created in 1969.

Jonsson served as the mayor of Dallas from 1964 to 1971, and worked to improve the image and morale of the city in the wake of the Kennedy assassination. He was a key leader in the development of the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, serving as chairman of the project from 1968 to 1976. Jonsson proposed a pioneering urban goal-setting program, Goals for Dallas, in 1964, for which he went on to serve as chairman of the board (1965-1976) and chairman emeritus (1976-92). Jonsson received numerous honors and awards during his life, including ten honorary doctorates between 1959 and 1973. Jonsson died on September 1, 1995, in Dallas.

Holdings and Highlights

The physical collection, consisting of 170 boxes, is organized in 12 series numbered from most to least material:

A hand up, Not a handout.



See more historical photographs and documents from Dallas and Texas in these other collections from DeGolyer Library:

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