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Albert D. Lasker (1880-1952) Collection, 1884-2010

Identifier: MS172

Scope and Contents

Description of the Collection: The Albert D. Lasker Collection fills 16 boxes and spans the years 1884 to 2010. The entirety of the collection was used as research for the writing of The Man Who Sold America. Though mostly made up of photocopies and secondary materials, there is primary source material throughout the collection. Many copied materials come from other institutions, such as Texas Tech University, NARA, the University of Chicago, the Wisconsin Historical Society, the Library of Congress, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Library and are marked as such. The collection is divided into three series, Biographical Materials, Advertising, and Political Career. Descriptions of the series are as follows:

Biographical Materials contains items that give an overarching view of Lasker’s life. Materials include photographs, newspaper clippings, and interviews by Boyden Sparkes. In 1937, Lasker hired Sparkes to ghostwrite his autobiography. These interviews were Sparkes’ research for that book, which was never completed. There is one subseries within the series, Family, which contains folders on Lasker’s immediate family. The series contains both primary and secondary materials, ranging from personal correspondence to posthumous articles.

Advertising contains materials that illustrate the early years of the advertising profession, including many house advertisements from Lord & Thomas and subject files on former Lord & Thomas employees, such as John Kennedy and Claude Hopkins. There are also folders with materials relating to the agency after Lasker’s departure, renamed Foote, Cone, & Belding. There are two subseries, Clients, which includes subject files on Lord & Thomas clients, and Radio, which contains materials relating to the radio programs produced as part of the advertising for Pepsodent (“Amos n’ Andy”) and the American Tobacco Company (“Your All-Time Hit Parade”).

Political Career contains items that relate to Lasker’s longtime involvement with Republican politics, including his position as an advisor to Warren G. Harding’s 1920 campaign for President, his time as chairman of the United States Shipping Board, and his behind-the-scenes orchestration of the advertising campaign to upend Upton Sinclair’s 1934 campaign for California Senator.


  • 1884-2010


Conditions Governing Access



16 Boxes

Language of Materials



The Albert D. Lasker Collection contains the primary and secondary materials used by Arthur W. Schultz and Jeffrey L. Cruikshank while writing The Man Who Sold America: The Amazing (but True!) Story of Albert D. Lasker and the Creation of the Advertising Century. Materials in the collection include interviews, correspondence, client files, and advertisements.


The collection is divided into three series, Biographical Materials, Advertising, and Political Career.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated to Northwestern University Special Collections by Arthur W. Schultz, June 14-December 1, 2010

Separated Materials

5 linear feet of duplicates were removed from the collection.

Guide to the Albert D. Lasker (1880-1952) Collection, 1884-2010
Amanda Axel; transcribed by Nick Munagian, 2020-04-08
April-May 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Repository Details

Part of the Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections Repository

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