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The Bohemian Club did make a push in 1970 for blacks to join up. Gaines, the first black to be awarded a creative writing fellowship at Stanford University, declined to join because he was "just sort of tired of being the first to go into things," and he doubted he "would have found people with whom he could discuss [Ernest] Hemingway." Cecil Poole, who was a black federal appeals judge, also would not join. I can't explain what it means for someone who was persecuted in Germany to still be denied membership in a club of his peers. In October of the same year, Prince Philip of Great Britain, on a visit to Los Angeles to inspect equestrian sites for the 1984 Olympics, turned down an invitation to an evening at the California Club when he discovered that his host, Mayor Tom Bradley, refused to attend because the club "prohibits women and has no black members." On May 28, 1986, Lodwrick M.In 1976 the California Club admitted a Jew, Harold Brown, the United States secretary of defense and former president of the California Institute of Technology, "several years after he was first nominated for membership" by Franklin Murphy, chairman of the board of the Times-Mirror Company, and after "a protracted struggle among club members." Jews were admitted to membership about 1966 in the Los Angeles Chancery Club, for attorneys, and in 1976 there was one black Chancery Club member — Sam Williams, president-elect of the County Bar Association. Cook, chief executive officer of the oil giant Arco, sent a memo announcing that the firm would no longer reimburse executives for memberships in "discriminatory private clubs." The order affected "about 30" people who belonged to the California and Jonathan clubs in Los Angeles and the Dallas Petroleum Club.In July 1969, there were no Jewish members in the California Club but "at least one Jew" in the Jonathan Club, yet the latter club hadn't "taken in any Jewish members for at least two decades," Neil C.Sandberg regional director of the American Jewish Committee, told Jack Smith of the Los Angeles Times.
Los Angeles bookseller Jake Zeitlin claimed in 1980 that many clubs, such as his city's Zamorano Club, an organization of bibliophiles, used a refusal to admit Communists as a pretext for excluding Jews; he said he was denied admission for more than forty years under those circumstances.The Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith said that in 1962 twelve of the "leading country clubs" and eight of the "most prestigious city clubs" in the Greater Los Angeles area were open only to Christians, but in 1969 those figures had dropped to eleven and five.Six of the city and country clubs that discriminated in 1969 were listed in Los Angeles, five in Pasadena, two in Glendale and one each in La Habra, Long Beach and Upland.But a survey made by the Wall Street Journal in May 1976 "indicated that most companies felt any rules could be dodged," primarily by giving employees a salary increase instead of paying their club fees.Responding to letters from the Jewish Federation Council, California Club president Luther Anderson wrote in September 1975 that the club "has no membership policy of any sort, and that individual decisions are made by an autonomous admissions committee over which the board of directors has no control." A year later, on October 1, 1976, the council mailed letters to top officials at 160 major corporations in Southern California, urging them not to hold meetings or functions at the California Club and to "reconsider" their policies of paying club membership dues for their executives.
Membership discrimination in California social clubs has been based on sex, race, religion, political views and social standing.