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L. William Seidman papers

Identifier: RHC-12

Collection Description

The L. William Seidman documents the life and work of Michigan-born economist and founder of Grand Valley State College L. William Seidman from 1958 through the end of his career in government. The collection includes personal papers; records of his participation in the founding of Grand Valley and of his service on the Board of Control 1958-1968, as an advisor to Presidents Ford and Reagan. The bulk of the collection consists of his files as chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) from 1985-1991.


  • 1958 - 1990


Access to Materials

Collection is open for research use. Materials may be accessed by request at Special Collections and University Archives in Seidman House. Materials do not circulate.

Publication Rights

For information on copyright or permissions for this collection, contact Grand Valley State University Special Collections.


Lewis William Seidman (L. William) was an American economist and financial commentator born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Seidman received his undergraduate education at Dartmouth College. He was one of the founders of Grand Valley State College and one of the original members of the Board of Control. He served from 1960-1974, and 1977-1983.

Seidman began working in United States government as an economic advisor to President Gerald Ford from 1974 to 1976, and later to President Ronald Reagan from 1982-1984. In 1985, he became the chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and served until 1991, working extensively during the American savings and loan crisis to restore solvency to the failing savings and loan sector of American banking. He was the first chairman of the related agency, the Resolution Trust Corporation, which was created specifically to address issues arising from the Savings and loan crisis, from 1989 until his retirement from active government in 1991. Since then Seidman has worked as the thief financial commentator for the CNBC network. Seidman died in 2009.


134.0 Linear feet (132 cartons and 4 boxes)

Language of Materials



Arranged in 4 series: 1) Personal and professional papers 1948-1985, 2) Grand Valley Board of Control records, 1958-1968, 3) Ford administration files, 1974-1979, and 4) Records of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), 1985-1991.

Source of Acquisition

The papers were donated by L. William Seidman in 1993, and by his family after his death in 2010.
L. William Seidman papers, RHC-12
Special Collections & University Archives
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Repository Details

Part of the Grand Valley State University Special Collections and University Archives Repository

Seidman House
1 Campus Drive
Allendale MI 49401 United States