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New Book Explores the History of Odell McConnell

Odell McConnellA new online book, Life and Family of Odell S. McConnell, explores the history of the noted lawyer and friend of Pepperdine for whom the School of Law building is named. Pepperdine’s Harnish Law Library charged Ted Taylor, senior cataloger, with the task of gathering and organizing the history for the 70-page book.

“It is my desire that this book will let people learn about Odell S. McConnell’s life and the influence his family had on him,” said Taylor. “He certainly felt early in life that he too was destined to become a lawyer and to carry on the family tradition. I am pleased that there were enough pieces of his puzzle to stand back and appreciate what he did during his life.”

The book includes three generations of McConnell history complete with photos, letters, tickets, and maps of Los Angeles before the freeways were built. Notes from friends of McConnell’s such as Dale Carnegie, the acclaimed author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, are also included. In an inscription on a book, Carnegie calls Odell McConnell, “The yoga of Yale and the hero of Harvard.”

“I feel like Odell enjoyed his life and he enjoyed helping others along the way,” continues Taylor. “When people enter the Odell S. McConnell Law Center, they have walked past the portraits of his grandfather and his father, so it is my hope that this book will help us learn from his past and appreciate more what was accomplished in his life.”

“He was a well-educated man of impeccable taste, who was dignified, gentle, well-traveled, benevolent, and articulate, with a heavy dose of idealism and culture,” said Ron Phillips, dean emeritus and senior vice chancellor. “Odell McConnell never married, and late in life Pepperdine became his family. A great deal of the legacy of Odell McConnell is closely tied to Pepperdine University School of Law. Its facility bears his name, and his influence is widely felt. Having an online history of Odell McConnell, that is easily accessible to all who are interested, is a marvelous gift to us.”

Read the book.