University of Minnesota

Binkowski, Don, Papers

Finding Aid



Immigration History Research Center, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota

Descriptive summary

Creator: Binkowski, Don
Dates: 1945-2005
Abstract: Collection consists of correspondence, newspaper clippings, photocopied articles, pamphlets, print items, event fliers and other materials documenting the history and activities of the Polish American community in America and its relationships to Poland. Other, mostly European, immigrant groups to the United States are also represented in this collection.
Quantity: 61 lin.ft.
Language: English, Polish
Collection ID: IHRC329


Collection acquired from Judge Don Binkowski of Warren, Michigan, 1996-2008.


Born October 26, 1929 in the heart of Detroit's Polish ghetto to Alex Binkowski (b. Detroit, 1901-1949) and Helen Wojtowicz (b. Podwysokie, Poland, 1904-2000), at the start of the Great Depression, Don Binkowski was baptized at St. Albertus, Detroit's first Polish Roman Catholic Church.

Graduating from the University of Michigan, Binkowski attended the University of Detroit Law School in the evenings while working for the Social Security Administration.  Drafted into the army, Binkowski was fortunate to be stationed in Austria where he began his European travels in 1954 to Germany, Paris, London, and Italy.

After his graduation from Wayne State University Law School, he worked for the Michigan Attorney General and later started his elective career as a Delegate to the Michigan Constitutional Convention.  Crossing 8 Mile Road to adjoining Warren, Binkowski was elected to the City Council and then as a district judge in 1969, retiring in 1987.

He was president of the Warren Historical Commission and donated his Michigan histories to the Warren Library.  Listed in Who's Who in the Midwest;  Michigan Authors, Who's Who in Polish America, 1996; Who's Who in American Law, 2007-2008, he authored Col. P. W. Norris - Yellowstone's Greatest Superintendent, 1995; Poles Together: Leo Krzycki and Polish Americans in the American Labor Movement (Philadelphia: Xlibris, 2001); Leo Krzycki and the Detroit Left (Philadelphia: Xlibris, 2001) and currently completing a two volume work about Polish American officials of Michigan as well as various articles.  His web page:

Married to Christina Swieczkowski, Binkowski is particularly proud of his children, Donna F. Binkowski (1959), Beth Ann Binkowski (1960, Elder), and Alex Binkowski (1964).

Binkowski has returned to travel over a dozen times in most countries of Europe, Mexico, and South America.  He has donated historical materials to the Bentley Library, University of Michigan; University of Montana; Reuther Labor Archives; and the Immigration History Research Center.  Binkowski is a member of various professional, historical, and Polish American organizations.



The Binkowski, Don collection is available for public research.


The Binkowski, Don collection is the physical property of the Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota.

For further information regarding the copyright, please contact the IHRC.


The Binkowski, Don Papers, Polish American Collection, Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota

Index Terms

Community life
Social life and customs
Political activity
Religious life


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