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Ruth S. Peale Papers

An inventory of her papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: -
Date: circa 1965

Biographical History

Ruth Stafford Peale (1906-2008) was an American businesswoman, writer, editor, speaker and church leader. She was the wife of clergyman Norman Vincent Peale, and co-founder of Guideposts magazine and the Peale Center.

Born Ruth Stafford in Fonds, Iowa on September 10, 1906, she graduated from Syracuse University in 1928 and taught mathematics at Central High School. She married Norman Vincent Peale on June 20, 1930 and shortly began acting as his business manager and representing the family in committee work. She has been an active leader in denominational and interdenominational activities, including serving as vice president of the National Council of Churches and of the Board of Domestic Missions of the Reformed Church in America, as chairman of religion for the New York State Federation of Women's Clubs, as vice chairman o f the Broadcasting and Film Commission of the National Council of Churches, and chairman of the American Mothers Committee. She also appeared with her husband on the television program, "What's Your Trouble?"

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Ruth S. Peale Papers are divided into two series: National Council of Churches, and General File.

National Council of Churches contains correspondence, organizational records, committee reports and published material dealing with-the various activities of the National Council of Churches, for which Mrs. Peale served as vice president. Included in this file is material on such activities as. the Broadcasting and Film Commission, General Board, Finance Committee and the United Church Women.

General files contains correspondence, sermons and articles, financial reports, as well as some organizational records for both the Foundation for Christian Living and The Reformed Church in America. Among the manuscripts are articles by Mrs. Peale entitled "When My Husband Nearly Left The Church" and "Brides To Be." The correspondence contains family letters, business correspondence and social correspondence, including letters to and from Lowell Thomas, Jr., Billy Graham, Dr. Smiley Blanton, Dr. Peale and Leonard Le Sourd.

Arrangement of the Collection

National Council of Churches material is arranged alphabetically by major departments and their subdivisions, with separate files for the following years: 1950-1953, 1954-1957, 1958-1960, and 1061-1965.

General files are arranged alphabetically by subject in two groups, 1954-1961 and 1957-1959.


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.

Written permission of George Hart required to view materials in this collection.

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

See also the Norman Vincent Peale Papers.

Subject Headings


Blanton, Smiley, 1882-1966.
Graham, Billy, 1918-
LeSourd, Leonard E.
Peale, Norman Vincent, 1898-1993.
Peale, Ruth Stafford, 1906-2008.
Thomas, Lowell, 1892-1981.

Corporate Bodies

Foundation for Christian Living.
National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Reformed Church in America.


Spouses of clergy.
Women in church work.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Ruth S. Peale Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Table of Contents

National Council of Churches

General Files