Harold Louis Hamill, 78; Longest-Serving City Librarian in L.A.

Share via

Harold Louis Hamill, who when he resigned in 1970 had become the longest-serving city librarian in Los Angeles’ history, is dead at age 78.

The man who headed a 1957 municipal bond issue that resulted in the building of 28 branch libraries died Saturday in North Hollywood after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Hamill came to this city in 1947 from Kansas City where he was chief librarian. Earlier he had worked in Washington, D.C., New York and Maryland.


Hamill had ranked first in a nationwide Civil Service examination for the Los Angeles post.

In 1970 Hamill resigned to teach library science at USC. The resignation followed his advocating the paving of a portion of the Central Library’s grounds to provide a parking lot for employees and his defense of such publications as the Evergreen Review, attacked by some in the administration of Mayor Sam Yorty as pornographic.

He retired from USC in 1976. He is survived by his wife Frances, two daughters, Joan Trafecanty and Mary Louise Giloth and nine grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers the family is asking contributions to the Los Angeles Public Library to help replace books lost in last month’s Central Library fire.