Romano L. Mazzoli Oral History Project
This interview covers the Congressman's life before politics: his childhood, his youth and college years, his service in the Army, and his career in the law. He also discusses family history, particularly his father's experiences immigrating from Italy as a child.
This interview covers the Congressman’s entry into politics: the state senate race in 1967 including the primary and his family’s role in the campaign; his service in the Kentucky State Senate; and his decision to run for mayor of Louisville in 1968.
In the first portion of this interview, Mazzoli discusses the Louisville mayoral race of 1968: why he ran, and what he learned during the campaign. He talks about how his campaign worked, including the "coffee caucuses" they held, the theme song that Harry Watson wrote for him, and the roles of his brother Richard, his wife Helen, Ken Kiely, and Bill Boughey. He discusses his loss to Frank Burke and Jim Thornberry in the primary and his subsequent entry into the congressional race against Republican incumbent William Cowger, an election he won narrowly. He discusses the issues of the 1970 election, including the war in Vietnam and his own commitment to being accessible to his constituents, which he believes was a factor in his victory. He discusses the delay in certifying his election, as well as his entry into Washington and the role of Peter Rodino (D-NJ) in helping him get settled in the capital. He describes his philosophy when dealing with controversial issues, as well as his people-oriented approach to campaigning. He talks about his decision to give up PAC funds in the early 1990s. Finally, he discusses the positive and negative effects of his congressional career on this family, and the important role that Helen Mazzoli has played throughout.
In this interview, the Congressman discusses the staff he worked with in both his Louisville and Washington, D.C. offices, as well as his impressions of many of the members of Congress with whom he served. He also discusses the presidents who held office while he was in Congress.
In this interview, the Congressman describes his impressions of national and international leaders he worked with and met, various members of his "class" -- others who came to Congress with him in 1971, in the "92nd Congress class" -- and notable personalities who served alongside him.