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Addition of McCormick papers makes Libraries a journalism history hub

Georgie Anne Geyer's reporter notebook

Reporter’s notebook belonging to trailblazing journalist Georgie Ann Geyer.

Before the addition of the Robert R. McCormick’s personal and business papers, Northwestern Libraries already had a substantial collection of journalism archives deposited by influential alumni and faculty. Taken together, this trove of history makes a compelling concentration of business documents, reporter’s notes, personal letters and photographs spanning more than century of journalism history. Those archives, found in the Charles Deering McCormick of Special Collections and University Archives, include:

The papers of Stanton Cook. Like McCormick, Cook was an influential publisher of the Tribune. Cook was elected president of the newspaper and a director of the Tribune Company in 1972, and became publisher a year later. A 1969 graduate of the McCormick School of Engineering, he later served on Northwestern’s Board of Trustees, becoming a life trustee in 1996.

His collection is currently being processed and a finding aid will soon be available for researchers.

The Georgie Anne Geyer Papers. While a Medill student, Geyer ’56 served on the staff of the Daily Northwestern, then joined the Chicago Daily News in 1959 as a social reporter. By the mid-60s she became known for her international and political reporting. As a syndicated columnist for the Los Angeles Times from 1975-1980, Geyer was often the first woman to interview a male leader. In 1980, she moved to the Universal Press Syndicate, writing a column called The Geyer Files. Her extensive papers include correspondence, notebooks, clippings, scrapbooks, audio and video tapes, and artifacts.

The Charles “Chuck” Remsberg Papers. While still a Medill student, Remsberg ’58 ’59 MS, covered two memorable stories: First, as a Daily Northwestern editor, he broke the de-pledging of student Sherman Wu from his fraternity for being Asian (the inspiration for a Pete Seeger protest song). Later, as a graduate student and intern for the Chicago City News Bureau, he was the first reporter on the scene of a deadly fire at Our Lady of the Angels, an elementary school building on Chicago’s West Side, a tragedy that garnered international coverage. Remsberg went on to become a prolific freelance reporter, writing about social issues for many magazines and newspapers. He was inducted into the Medill Hall of Achievement in 2012. His papers comprise photographs, scrapbooks, correspondence, research notes, manuscripts, clippings, audiovisual tapes and CDs.

The Rance E. Crain Papers. A former sports editor for the Daily Northwestern, Crain ’60 joined his father’s company, Crain Communications, shortly after graduation.  In his career he founded and helmed many business-related magazines for the company including Business Insurance and Crain’s Chicago Business. He is a charter member of Medill’s Hall of Achievement. The majority of the collection consists of his columns written for Advertising Age and, where he serves as the editor-in-chief, and his notes and research for the columns.

The Robert McClory Papers. In a long career of freelance writing and reporting for many of Chicago’s most prominent publications, McClory’71 MS wrote frequently about Chicago politics, racial conflict, and poverty. Many pieces reflect his background as a Roman Catholic priest and his view of social justice. He retired with emeritus honors in 2003 after 20 years as a Medill professor. His collection includes teaching materials, professional correspondence, and speech notes.

The Robert H. Lefley Collection. Lefley MS ’51 was the editorial director for Chicago radio station WFMT-FM from 1954 to 1961, and later served as managing editor on the publications that would evolve into Chicago magazine. In 1964, Lefley became the manager of press relations for Northwestern University, a position he held until 1969. In addition to materials from the length of his career, his collection includes recorded author interviews he conducted for the WFMT program Fiction Review.

The Eloise Henkel Papers. Henkel ’44 was a freelance reporter. Her collection centers on two years of writing and photography from Vietnam documenting the effects of the war on American soldiers and Vietnamese citizens.

The James S. Rosen Papers. Rosen ’96 is a former Fox News correspondent whose papers contain extensive reportage for his book “The Strong Man: John Mitchell and the Secrets of Watergate.”

The Eric R. Lund Papers. Lund worked at the Evanston Review and Chicago Daily News in the 1960s. His collection includes clippings, internal documents, correspondence and (especially for the Evanston Review) background materials. The Evanston Review materials are particularly on the culture and politics of Evanston in the 1960s.

Other archives that are still being processed include the papers of such alumni and faculty as:

  • Al Barcover, a Medill graduate and Chicago Tribune travel editor in the 1980s and 90s
  • Mervin Block ’55, a TV newswriter for “CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite” and other major broadcasts at ABC and NBC
  • Casey Bukro ’58 ’61 MS, a longtime reporter and editor for the Tribune who both graduated from Medill and lectured there about environmental journalism and journalism ethics
  • Patricia Callahan ’93 who has shared in two Pulitzer Prizes, including one for coverage of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting
  • Marilyn Green ’57, a USA Today reporter who heavily covered the AIDS epidemic in Africa and the Persian Gulf War
  • David Israel ’73, a sportswriter who covered the “Miracle on Ice” of the 1980 Olympics for the Chicago Tribune, then went on to produce dramas and mini-series for network TV
  • Sam Jameson ’58, ’59 MS, a former Tokyo bureau chief for the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times
  • Jerry Kirshenbaum ’60, a 30-year writer and editor at Sports Illustrated
  • Dick Longworth ’57, a longtime foreign correspondent for the Tribune and UPI who is both a Medill graduate and an adjunct professor of international relations
  • Robert Mulholland ’55 ’56 MS, a Medill professor and president of NBC News in the 1970s and 80s
  • Murray Olderman ’47 MS, a syndicated sportswriter and cartoonist who has profiled and caricatured every major sports figure for the past 70 years
  • John Palmer, a 40-year NBC reporter and anchor who appeared on both NBC Nightly News and the Today Show.
  • Dick Stolley ’52 ’53 MS, who retired as senior editorial advisor of Time Inc. in 2014
  • Bill Thomas ’50 ’51 MS, an editor and executive vice president of the Los Angeles Times, and for whom Medill’s William F. Thomas Professorship in Journalism is named
  • Sander Vanocur ’50, a broadcast journalist who covered the White House and several political conventions, as well as acting as a moderator during the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon debates.

To see material from any of these unprocessed archives, consult with a Northwestern archivist; Some material may be unavailable until a finding aid has been created.