Skip to main content

Robert Coughlan Papers

Identifier: 31/6/175
The papers of Robert Coughlan fill 25 boxes and date between 1904 and 1993. Included are mainly biographical materials, Life magazine articles, publications, drafts and research materials, Rose Kennedy book drafts and interview transcripts and research materials on the Kennedy family.

Biographical materials (Box 1, folders 1-5) include letters written and received by Coughlan, various materials relating to his work, medical records, one page of his will and a Northwestern Alumni News death notice. Folders and items within each folder are arranged in chronological order.

Box 1 (folders 6-16) through Box 3 contain Life magazine articles and article drafts written by Coughlan. Folders and articles within each folder are arranged in chronological order by date of publishing.

Boxes 4 through 14 (folders 1-7) include articles, drafts, letters, notebooks, interview transcripts, clippings and other research materials used by Coughlan for his publications. Folders are arranged in alphabetical order by title of the publication, items within each folder are arranged in chronological order.

Boxes 14 (folders 8-17) through 19 (folders 1-5) comprise drafts of Rose Kennedy’s memoirs Times to Remember. Folders are arranged chronologically, items within the folders by chapters.

Boxes 19 (folders 1-5) and 20 (folders 1-23) include transcripts of interviews Coughlan performed mainly with Rose Kennedy, but also with other members of the Kennedy family and friends. Folders are arranged in chronological order, items within the folders by date of the interviews.

Boxes 20 (folders 24-26) through 22 (folders 1-4) contain clippings, book drafts, letters, notes and other research materials relating to the Kennedy family. Folders and items within the folders are arranged in chronological order.

Boxes 22 (folder 5) through 25 (folders 1-5) comprise research materials for articles on film directors. Folders and items within each folder are arranged alphabetically by last name.

Box 25 (folders 6-10) contains general materials, such as letters, negatives and the two books Tropical Africa and Elizabeth and Catherine. Folders and items within each folder are arranged alphabetically by title.


  • 1914 - 1992


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is stored off-site and requires 48 hours advance notice for retrieval. Please contact us at or 847-491-3136 to schedule an appointment to view the collection.


25 Boxes


Northwestern University alumnus Robert Coughlan was a writer and editor at Fortune and Life magazines and an editorial associate with the John F. Kennedy Foundation. Between 1937 and 1974 he wrote several publications and articles and received numerous national journalism awards and citations.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Robert Coughlan Papers were donated to the Northwestern University Archives by Patricia Coughlan on September 17, October 11 and November 9, 1993 and on January 17 and 26, 1994 (Accession numbers 93-148, 93-160, 93-187, 94-14, 94-15). Accession number 93-199 has no date.

Processing Information

Yvonne Spura, 2018.
Guide to the (John) Robert Coughlan Papers
Yvonne Spura
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Repository Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US