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Rex E. Lee papers

Identifier: MSS 2017

Scope and Contents

Contains letters, briefs, clippings, photographs, awards, and other material documenting the life and career of Rex E. Lee. Includes materials from his work with the Jennings, Strouss, & Salmon law firm, the establishment of Brigham Young University's J. Reuben Clark School of Law, Lee's service as assistant United States Attorney General, his service as United States Solicitor General, and his tenure as president of Brigham Young University. Materials date from between 1910 and 1996.


  • 1910-1996


Conditions Governing Access

Donor restricted. Permission to use materials must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to use material from this collection must be obtained from Reference Services at

Biographical History

Rex E. Lee (1935-1996) served as solicitor general of the United States and as President of Brigham Young University.

Rex E. Lee was born in 1935 and grew up in St. John's, Arizona. He served a mission in Mexico from 1955 to 1958, then married Janet Griffin. He received a BA from Brigham Young University in 1960 and a JD from the University of Chicago in 1963. He held five honorary doctorate of law degrees. In 1963, he served as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Byron R. White. From 1981 to 1985, he served as solicitor general of the United States, after which he worked for the firm Sidley & Austin.

In 1989, he was named as President of Brigham Young University. During his tenure, he enacted policies that regularized procedures, contributed to timely graduation, and organized massive fundraising and construction. His long-term planning has affected university issues into the 21st century.

At the end of 1995, he stepped down as President due to health reasons. He passed away March 11, 1996.


174 boxes (87 linear ft.)

8 oversize boxes (4 linear ft.)

4 cartons (4 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Arranged in eight series: 1. Rex E. Lee reference files, 1978-1989. 2. Rex E. Lee papers on Jennings, Strouss, & Salmon, PLC, 1967-1995. 3. Rex E. Lee papers on J. Reuben Clark Law School, 1972-1978. 4. Rex E. Lee papers on Attorney-General, 1975-1976. 5. Rex E. Lee papers on Solicitor General, 1973-1986. 6. Rex E. Lee papers on Office of the President, 1910-1996. 7. Rex E. Lee awards, commendations, and plaques, 1963-1996. 8. Rex E. Lee memorabilia, 1981-1983.

The majority of the records were in a useable state and their original order was maintained.

Other Finding Aids

File-level inventory available online.

Custodial History

The Rex E. Lee personal papers were donated to the Brigham Young University Archives by Rex and Janet Lee in several accessions between 1985 and 1997.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Rex and Janet Lee; 1985-1997.


Faculty (University Archives collecting policy, July 2003).

Related Materials

See also The story of Rex Lee, the father of Rex E. Lee (UA 5536).

Processing Information

Processed; J. Gordon Daines III; 2003.

Register of the Rex E. Lee papers
J. Gordon Daines III, University Archivist
2003 January
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.
Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections. University Archives Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo UT 84602 US