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J. Westbrook Pegler Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Pegler, J. Westbrook (James Westbrook), 1894-1969.
Title: J. Westbrook Pegler Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1940-1962
Quantity: 5 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American journalist, columnist, distributed by King Features Syndicate. Collection includes newspaper columns (1951-1962) in the form of teletype press releases, as distributed to various newspapers.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

James Westbrook Pegler (1894-1969) was an American journalist. Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on August 2, 1894, he was educated at the Lane Technical School and at Loyola University in Chicago. He received an honorary LL.D. from Knox College in 1943. He was a correspondent on the European staff of United Press during World War I (1916-1918) and then served in the U.S. Navy (1918-1919); later he was sports editor of the United News, the Chicago Tribune, the New York World-Telegram, and the Chicago Daily News. In 1944 he moved his syndicated column to King Features Syndicate. His collected columns were published in several books: 'Taint Right (1936), Dissenting Opinions of Mister Westbrook Pegler (1938), and George Spelvin, American (1942).

In his syndicated columns, Pegler criticized many American figures and institutions, including the Supreme Court, the tax system, labor unions, and every President from Herbert Hoover to John F. Kennedy. In 1962 he lost his contract with King Features Syndicate due to outspoken criticisms of executives of its parent company, the Hearst Corporation.

Pegler was a member of the National Press Club and received numerous awards for his work. In 1941 he received the Pulitzer Prize for reporting for his expose of racketeering in Hollywood labor unions. In 1942 he was named one of the country's best adult columnists and in 1944 he won the Gold Medal from the Nassau Bar Association. Other awards include the National Headlines Club Award (twice), the American Legion Award, and the Distinguished Service Medal of Army and Navy Union.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Westbrook Pegler Papers consists entirely of Writings, in the form of more than ten years' worth of Pegler's columns.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Items are arranged chronologically.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings


Pegler, J. Westbrook (James Westbrook), 1894-1969.


Journalists -- United States.
Newspapers -- Sections, columns, etc.

Genres and Forms

Newspaper columns.



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

J. Westbrook Pegler Papers
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: --
Date: Aug 1967
Revision history: 5 Aug 2008 - converted to EAD (MRC); 30 Aug 2018 - rehoused, inventory updated (MS)

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Printed material
Oversize 1 The Saturday Evening Post 14 Sep 1940
Box 1 Columns 1951 Jan-Apr, Jul-Dec; 1952 Jan-Feb (11 folders)
Box 2 Columns 1952 Mar, May-Dec; 1953 Jan-Feb (11 folders)
Box 3 Columns 1953 Mar-Dec; 1954 Jan (11 folders)
Box 4 Columns 1954 Feb-Dec; 1955 Jan (12 folders)
Box 5 Columns 1955 Feb-Dec; 1956 Jan-Mar (14 folders)
Box 6 Columns 1956 Apr-Dec; 1957 Jan-Apr (13 folders)
Box 7 Columns 1957 May-Dec; 1958 Jan-Jul, Sep-Dec; 1959 Jan-Feb (14 folders)
Box 8 Columns 1959 Mar-Aug, Oct-Dec; 1960 Jan-Oct (10 folders)
Box 9 Columns 1960 Nov-Dec; 1961 Jan-Dec; 1962 Jan-Aug (11 folders)

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