Joseph E. Persico Papers, 1950 -- 1985


Title: Joseph E. Persico Papers
Dates: 1950 -- 1985
Creator: Persico, Joseph E.
Call Number: MS126
Size: 0.6 Cubic Feet, 1 Audiovisual Object(s), 3 Digital Object(s)
Language(s): English  
Permanent URL:
    Digital Collections and Archives, Tufts University


This collection includes audio tapes, correspondence, reports, notes, clippings, and ancillary materials used by Joseph E. Persico in writing the biography, Edward R. Murrow: An American Original. The bulk of the material dates from 1984 to 1985 and pertains to the interviews conducted for the book. Significant interviewees include the family of Edward Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Fred Friendly, and Lauren Bacall. Subject files pertain to the book and to the interviewees and include correspondence between Joe Persico and those interviewed, notes, and clippings regarding those interviewed. Also included are Freedom of Information files on Edward Murrow requested by Persico. Materials are arranged alphabetically.

Joseph Persico's papers are held at the University of New York, Albany and Stanford University's Hoover Institution Library and Archives.


This collection is organized into one series.


Biographical / Historical

Joseph E. Persico was born July 19, 1930 in Gloversville, New York. In 1952, after receiving a BA in both English and Political Science from the New York State College for Teachers, he entered the U.S. Navy and remained in the military for three years. In 1956, Persico enrolled at Columbia University to begin his graduate work. His career as a political writer began that same year. In 1966, he became the chief speechwriter for New York Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller, remaining Rockefeller's primary speechwriter as the Governor served as Vice President of the United States from 1974 to 1977. Afterward, Persico became a full-time author, focusing on historical subjects. In 1990, he wrote a biography of Edward R. Murrow entitled Edward R. Murrow: An American Original.

Access and Use

Access Restrictions

Access to this collection is restricted. Some materials are closed for 75 years due to privacy concerns.

Use Restrictions

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see "Reproductions and Use" on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. No documentation is available regarding the intellectual property rights in this collection.

Collection History

Processing Notes

In March 2016, it was decided to intellectually reunite the materials placed in the Murrow (MS025) collection back to the Persico collection (MS126). Two boxes, MS025-01 and MS025-02, were clearly materials that had been pulled from the MS025 and were placed in MS126.002 Unprocessed accession. Please note, two other boxes, MS025-007 and MS025-008 contain a mix of material some of which belongs to MS126. At this time, no attempt was made to confirm what material belongs to MS126 and will be done so at a later time.

Original description stated that photographs were included as part of the collection. Provenance however was disrupted and placed in the MS025. Currently, no photographs have been found in this collection and description was changed to reflect the current state.

This collection is processed.

Custodial History

The materials housed in this collection were donated by Mr. Persico on May 25, 1991 via a letter from him to Mr. Hewson Ryan of the Edward R. Murrow Center. While Mr. Perisco placed no restrictions on the use or publication of these materials, the audio cassettes in this collection may be subject to privacy concerns.

No accession number exists. The collection arrived in 1991 and went first to the Fletcher School (Murrow Center) and then came later to the DCA. The university was without an archivist from 1991-1997.Due to this gap, we believe the collection was never formerly accessioned.

Subjects and Genre Terms

Series Description

  1. Audiocassettes, 1961 -- 1985

    The bulk of these audiocassettes consist of Joe Persico's interviews with Murrow's family, friends and colleagues.

  2. Unprocessed accessions, 1950 -- 1985