The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Darlene Hooley Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Janice Dilg.

February 3, 2014


“From the Playgrounds of Oregon to the War Zones of Iraq: A Life in Public Service”  February 3, 2014  Location: Hooley residence, Portland, Oregon.  Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)

In the interview, Hooley discusses her early life in North Dakota and Salem, Oregon, including her experiences working in a cannery and attending high school and Pasadena Nazarene College.

A significant portion of the session is devoted to Hooley's recollections of her two year undergraduate experience at Oregon State. Her decision to transfer to OSC is recounted, as are her living arrangements in Corvallis, her participation in choir and field hockey groups, her academic load and campus social life.

The remainder of the interview focuses primarily on Hooley's entry into the political realm and the gradual evolution of her political career. Hooley notes the playground injury suffered by her son that first spurred her interest in political action. She also discusses her involvement with the West Linn city council before detailing her experiences as a member of the Oregon legislature and the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners.

Hooley's session concludes with a detailed reminiscence on her years as a Congresswoman in the United States House of Representatives. She speaks to her early experiences as a House Whip and remarks on her involvement with veterans affairs, including a trip that she took to Iraq in 2003. She also recounts her work advocating financial privacy and individual access to their own financial information. The session ends with Hooley's general thoughts on her time in Washington and some advice that she would give to students today.