Grace Lee Boggs was a human rights advocate whose work spanned the course of seven decades before her death in 2015. In the 1940s she co-founded the Johnson–Forest Tendency, a radical left group associated with Marxist humanism, and in the 1950s she married the Black radical activist James Boggs, and subsequently developed a professional relationship with Malcolm X. Her extensive FBI files cover two investigations: one from 1948-1974, and a separate one from 1953-1975.
New York Times obit: Grace Lee Boggs, Human Rights Advocate for 7 Decades, Dies at 100
John Trudell (Santee Dakota) was an activist for Native American rights and artist. His FBI file, which as-provided only goes to to 1975 (i.e., it was likely prompted by the February 1973 stand-off between federal agents and Native activists in Wounded Knee, South Dakota, and the subsequent court trials), summarizes his Navy career during the Vietnam War, and his early work with the American Indian Movement.
New York Times obit: John Trudell, Outspoken Advocate for American Indians, Is Dead at 69
Lois Weisberg was the first Commissioner of Cultural Affairs for the City of Chicago, from 1989 until January 2011. Her FBI file contains notes from an interview about the finances of the Vietnam Veterans Art Group (which has since become the National Veterans Art Museum), which she championed; her recounting of Jaroslav Kořán's visit to Chicago while Mayor of Prague in 1991; and two documents which remain almost entirely redacted.
New York Times obit: Lois Weisberg, Chicago’s Cultural Connector, Dies at 90
Vic Gold was a writer and Republican operative who worked as a speechwriter and spokesman for a number of GOP presidents and candidates, including Barry Goldwater, Spiro Agnew, and George H.W. Bush. His file, simultaneously released in the FBI Records Vault, consists primarily of background checks for those positions.
New York Times obit: Vic Gold, Hard-Charging G.O.P. Spokesman and Campaigner, Dies at 88
Lois Wheeler Snow was an actress and writer who, through her marriage to journalist Edgar Snow, became a prominent figure in China. Although she visited China frequently between 1970 and 1989, her FBI file consists of a single report of a 1975 visit described in the press.
New York Times obit: Lois Wheeler Snow, Critic of Human Rights Abuses in China, Dies at 97
Philip George was a designer responsible for both the celebrated interiors of several prominent Manhattan restaurants and for project managing the construction of the American National Exhibition in Moscow, the site of the 1959 "Kitchen Debate" between Nixon and Kruschev. His FBI file consists of a 1948 background check preceding his work with the Marshall Plan producing a display to promote Americanism, as well as 1963 interviews with FBI agents about his communications with Soviets while in Moscow.
New York Times obit: Philip George, Designer of Elegant Restaurants, Dies at 94
Elbert Howard, widely known as "Big Man," was a founder of and spokesman for the Black Panther Party through the late 1960s and early 1970s. The portion of his FBI file covered in this release documents his international travel and public speaking events, focusing on a trip to Japan. Muckrock has published an extensive write-up of these pages.
New York Times obit: Elbert Howard, a Founder of the Black Panthers, Dies at 80
Jacqueline Berrien chaired the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under President Obama. Her FBI file consists of a background check related to that appointment.
New York Times obit: Jacqueline Berrien, Head of E.E.O.C., Is Dead at 53
Concepción Picciotto was a peace activist who held a continuous vigil across the street from the White House from 1981 until ten days before her death in 2016. Her FBI file includes documentation of several complaints to the FBI, including self-published pamphlets.
New York Times obit: Concepcion Picciotto, Who Kept Vigil by White House for Three Decades, Dies
Fred Thompson was an actor, a Tennessee senator from 1994 to 2003, and a 2008 presidential candidate. His FBI file involves investigations of threatening calls and letters received by Thompson's Senate office, and a background check for clearance to classified information as special counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee.
New York Times obit: Fred Thompson, Former Senator, Actor and Presidential Candidate, Dies at 73
Robert Parry was an investigative journalist best known for his groundbreaking coverage of the Iran–Contra Affair while at the Associated Press. His short FBI file documents an investigation into a Students for Democratic Society chapter he founded at his alma mater.
New York Times obit: Robert Parry, Investigative Reporter in Washington, Dies at 68
Cathleen Morawetz was a mathematician and NYU professor whose research on the motion of fluids and waves was relevant to supersonic aircraft wing design. Her file describes a monthlong visit to the Soviet Union in 1963 as part of an Exchange Agreement, as well as FBI efforts to interview her (and apparently share technical information with her) without alerting her to the identity of a particular Bureau informant.
New York Times obit: Cathleen Morawetz, Mathematician With Real-World Impact, Dies at 94