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Bob Considine Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University


Finding aid created by: HBB
Date: Jan 1969



Biographical History

Bob Considine (1906-1975) was an American journalist and author, best known as the author of Thirty Seconds over Tokyo and The Babe Ruth Story, and for his long-running syndicated daily column "On the Line," which ran for thirty years in newspapers across the United States.

Bob Considine was born in Washington, DC on November 4, 1906. He attended Gonzaga High School in the city, and afterward majored in journalism at George Washington University, taking evening classes while working a variety of government jobs during the day. As a clerk at the Department of State, he met Mildred (Millie) Anderson, his future wife. His tennis interest (Considine was a noted tennis player in his early years, winning the 1929 National Public Parks doubles championship, the 1930 District of Columbia singles championship, and later about fifty other state and regional titles) led to his first job as a journalist, when he began to write a weekly tennis column at the Washington Post in 1929. A year later he was offered a full-time job in the sports department at the paper, writing sports, drama, and Sunday feature articles. In 1933 he moved over to the Washington Herald, a Hearst paper, where he served as sports editor and editorial and feature writer, and started his column "On the Line," at this time only on sports.

William Randolph Hearst brought Considine to New York City in 1937 to work with the New York American, then transferred him to the New York Daily Mirror (another Hearst paper), and subsequently to the Hearst syndicate, the International News Service (INS), which began syndication of his famous near-daily column "On the Line." He served as war correspondent in both the European and Pacific theaters during World War II, also covered the Korean War in the same position. At that time, he became a syndicated columnist and was also heard nightly on the radio in a program of news analysis and opinion, "On the Line." As a correspondent and reporter, Considine covered many of the famous people of the era he was writing in, particularly from the 1940s to the early 1960s and especially political leaders like Eisenhower and Nixon, American military leaders, and Roman Catholic Popes. In his "On the Line" columns, he traded anecdotes from his many trips around the world and from New York City, where he lived. He was known for being a quick typist, and this contributed to his prolificacy and workaholic nature. Two historical trips stand out: the interview with Nikita Krushchev at the height of the Cold War in 1957 in Moscow by the Hearst Papers team (of which Considine was a part), and Richard Nixon's 1972 trip to China (Considine was part of the press corps that accompanied the President).

Considine was also active as an author, especially as a collaborator with famous persons writing their autobiographies. His books include Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (with Capt. Ted Lawson); Gen. Wainwright's Story (with Gen. Jonathan Wainwright); The Babe Ruth Story (with Babe Ruth); Men Against Fire, The Men Who Robbed Brink's. and The Remarkable Life of Dr. Armand Hammer. He also wrote for the movies, including The Babe Ruth Story for Allied Artists and The Beginning or the End (about the development of the first atomic bomb) for MGM.

Considine won numerous awards for his newspaper work including the Lasker Award and the Overseas Press Club Award, and was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. He served as president of the Overseas Press Club and was a member of the National Press Club. Considine traveled the world as a reporter but New York City remained his home and he died there in 1975, an active writer to the very end -- his last "On the Line" column was published in September, only a few days before his death.


Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Bob Considine Papers consists of biographical material, correspondence, subject files, manuscripts, memorabilia, newspaper columns, published material, and recordings (both audio and visual).

A single folder of Biographical material is filed at the beginning of the collection.

Correspondence is divided into four parts: General correspondence, Fan mail, Outgoing correspondence, and Correspondence of others. General correspondence consists of letters from friends, fellow journalists and authors (Walter Annenberg, "Bugs" Baer, Richard Berlin, William Randolph Hearst, Anita Loos), celebrities (Maurice Chevalier, Clark Gable, Zsa Zsa Gabor), political and military figures (Spiro Agnew, Omar Bradley, Dwight Eisenhower, J. Edgar Hoover, Douglas MacArthur, Richard Nixon), businessmen (Bernard Baruch, Armand Hammer), religious leaders (Cardinal Francis Spellman), and various groups and organizations. Fan mail is from readers of his column.

Subject files, most of which were compiled by Considine and remain as he created them, cover a variety of topics. Most appear to be background material for potential or completed projects on individuals (Jack Dempsey, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight Eisenhower) or subjects such as the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, wonder drugs, and various types of aircraft including the F-80 and the Boeing 747. There are also bills and invoices, information on a Bob Considine Scholarship Fund, material relating to organizations with which Considine was involved, letters to the editor, memos, information on Pope Paul VI's visit to Israel, photographs of Considine (alone and with others), reviews of Considine's books, telephone messages, and so on.

Manuscripts includes both those by Considine and those by others. Manuscripts by Considine (1927-1975) contains a wide range of formats, including articles, books, broadcasts, interviews, movie scripts, reports, screenplays, speeches, stories, and television shows. Manuscripts by others (1926-1974) is likewise varied, including articles, books, interviews, outlines, poems, scripts, speeches, and stories.

Memorabilia consists mostly of scrapbooks. Of particular interest is the one on Considine's 1957 trip to the Soviet Union with William Randolph Hearst, Jr. and their meeting with Nikita Krushchev. A small amount of miscellaneous memorabilia completes this section.

The separate Newspaper column, "On the Line" series consists of typescripts of Considine's daily "On the Line" column, which was syndicated in hundreds of INS newspapers from coast to coast. Considine covered whatever was happening at the time, from national events (the Vietnam War, Watergate, the US space program) to political happenings (Nixon's trip to China, the Democratic and Republican conventions) to the New York City scene (the closing of Toots Shor's iconic restaurant). Occasionally his columns touched on personal thoughts, such as his "Newspaperman's Prayer," or his column on the occasion of his granddaughter starting kindergarten (where she would, she announced, "learn to protect her own cat.")

Published material contains a wide range of printed or published items, most of which are by, about, or featuring Considine. These include advertisements, articles, books, catalogs, newspaper clippings, magazines, newsletters, promotional material, and much more. A number of published editions of books by Considine have been transferred to Rare Books for cataloging; they are noted in the inventory below.

Recordings consists of more than 25 audio recordings in various formats, and two films. The audio recordings include news broadcasts (Chet Huntley and David Brinkley), speeches and addresses (Lt. Gen. Maxwell Taylor), notable events ("One Giant Step" featuring Neil Armstrong), and several commercial recordings of popular music (e.g., Elvis Presley).


Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is subdivided by type; General correspondence and Correspondence of others is arranged alphabetically by sender, while Fan mail and Outgoing correspondence is arranged chronologically. Subject files are arranged alphabetically by title or topic. Manuscripts are subdivided into those by Considine and those by others. Each subseries is arranged alphabetically by type (articles, books, etc.); within each type, manuscripts by Considine are arranged alphabetically by title while those by others are arranged alphabetically by author. Newspaper columns consists entirely of copies of Considine's syndicated column "On the Line" and are arranged chronologically.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions:

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

Access to recordings requires advance notice to produce a use copy.

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.


Related Material

Published editions of several of Considine's books have been transferred to Rare Books for cataloging. Please refer to the Classic Catalog to locate these items.

See also the papers of Mildred Considine, Bob Considine's wife.


Subject Headings

Persons

Berlin, Richard E., 1894-
Considine, Bob, 1906-1975.
Costa, Joseph.
Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969.
Hearst, William Randolph, 1863-1951.
Hearst, William Randolph, Jr., 1908-1993.
Hoover, J. Edgar (John Edgar), 1895-1972.
Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973.
Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich, 1894-1971.
MacArthur, Douglas, 1880-1964.
Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994.
Shor, Toots, 1903-1977.

Corporate Bodies

Hearst Corporation.
International News Service.

Subjects

Astronautics -- United States.
Authors, American.
Journalists -- United States.
Newspapers -- Sections, columns, etc.
Radio journalists -- United States.
Reporters and reporting -- United States.
Sportswriters -- United States.
Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Press coverage.
War correspondents -- United States.
Watergate Affair, 1972-1974 -- Press coverage.

Places

China -- Politics and government -- 20th century.
Russia -- Politics and government -- 20th century.
United States -- Politics and government -- 20th century.

Genres and Forms

16mm.
Articles.
Audiocassettes.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Correspondence.
Drafts (documents)
Film reels.
Galley proofs.
Manuscripts for publication.
Newspaper columns.
Phonograph records.
Photograph albums.
Photographs.
Scrapbooks.
Sound recordings.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Bob Considine Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Robert B. Considine, 1966-1968.

Gift of Mildred Considine, 1976.


Table of Contents

Biographical material

Correspondence

Subject files

Manuscripts

Memorabilia

Newspaper column, On the Line

Published materials

Recordings


Inventory