Mary L. Gojack Papers

Identifier: 86-02

Scope and Contents

The Mary L. Gojack Papers reflect Gojack's life as a University of Nevada, Reno student, Nevada State Assemblywoman and Senator, candidate for U.S. Senate, candidate for Congress, banker, and women's right activist. Included in the collection are personal correspondence and diaries which range from 1965-1986. The major emphasis of the papers is on women's issues, her term in the State Senate, and her campaigns for U.S. Senate and Congress. Audiotapes include legislative testimony, campaigns, speeches, and taped meetings.


  • 1965-1993


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Biographical Note

Mary L. Gojack was born in Hillsboro, Iowa on February 19, 1936. She moved to Nevada in 1954. She worked as a casino dealer while attending the University of Nevada, Reno, and raising two children. Gojack received her Bachelor of Arts degree in history, political science, and secondary education in 1968, and her Masters in political science in 1981.

In 1972, Gojack, a Democrat, was elected to the Nevada State Assembly. One of her major accomplishments during this session was the passage of the 1973 Parkland Bill which required developers to pay for the building of parks. Gojack was also the first legislator to call for the removal of sales tax on food. In 1974, she was elected to the Nevada State Senate and served until 1978. Gojack pushed strongly for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. In 1980, Gojack ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate seat held by Paul Laxalt; in 1982 she ran against Barbara Vucanovich for the newly created Second Congressional District seat and lost by a narrow margin.

In addition to her political career, Gojack was a Consumer Affairs Officer with Nevada National Bank and a broker with Dickson Realty. Gojack died on November 12, 1985, after a bout with cancer. She received the Distinguished Nevadan Award from the University of Nevada, Reno after her death.


31.458 Linear Feet (33 boxes, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials



Mary L. Gojack (1936-1985) served in the Nevada State Assembly from 1972-1974 and the Nevada State Senate from 1974-1978. In 1980, Gojack unsuccessfully challenged Paul Laxalt for the US Senate seat, and, in 1982, she ran against Barbara Vucanovich for the newly created Second Congressional District seat. Vucanovich won the seat by a narrow margin. The collection includes correspondence, subject files, campaign files and newspaper clippings, and financial material from her public service, personal careers and academic studies; and materials collected in her activities involving women's rights and the Equal Rights Amendment.


Arranged into the following series: 1) Nevada Legislature; 2) Nevada Senate; 3) U.S. Senate Campaign; 4) U.S. Congress Campaign; 5) Personal Papers; 6) Audio Tapes; 7) Video Tapes

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Robert Gorrell in 1986.

Separated Materials

Photographs and video tapes transferred to the Special Collections photo archives as collection number UNRS-P1989-17.

Processing Information

Rolled maps were not located as of August 2013 by Jacque Sundstrand.



Guide to the Mary L. Gojack Papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department Repository

Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5724 (Fax)