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Robert R. McCormick Business Correspondence

Identifier: I-60

Scope and Contents

This collection consists for the most part of that part of Robert R. McCormick’s business correspondence which does not relate directly to the Chicago Tribune. It includes a great deal of material on The Associated Press, The American Newspaper Publishers Association, and other organizations; The Ontario Paper Company; political matters, including McCormicks’s correspondence with U.S. presidents, senators, congressmen, etc.; his correspondence with other newspaper publishers throughout the country; various freedom of the press files; and some personal and family correspondence, as well as many other categories.

Most of the collection dates from 1927 to Colonel McCormick’s death in 1955, though a few files are from an earlier period. Two folders on James Keeley, for example, are dated 1913-1914.

Family letters are scattered throughout the collection, among them correspondence between Colonel McCormick and Joseph N. Patterson, Eleanor Medill Patterson (under New York News), and Ruth McCormick Miller (under Washington, D.C. newspapers - The Washington Times-Herald).


  • 1927-1955


Conditions Governing Use



139 Boxes

Language of Materials



The Robert R. McCormick Papers consist primarily of business correspondence dating from 1927-1955. This correspondence does not relate directly to the Chicago Tribune, but includes a great deal of material on organizations related to the newspaper publishing business and various political personages and departments, freedom of the press issues and some personal and family correspondence.


Arrangement completed prior to receiving collection from the McCormick Foundation.


The original filing system as set up by the Colonel’s secretaries has been maintained (an alphabetical arrangement of subjects and names). It should be noted that the arrangement is heavily geographical. Though many proper names appear directly in the alphabetical list, many others are files by locale. For example, Colonel McCormick’s interesting correspondence with Winston Churchill is files under "Great Britain - Churchill, Winston, 1929-1952." Lord Beaverbrook can be found under "Great Britain - Newspapers - Beaverbrook (Lord), 1937-1954" and William AllenWhite under "Kansas newspapers - Emporia Gazette, 1935-1953." Newspapers are filed by city or state for the most part, although there are exceptions to this rule as there are in other categories of the filing system. When looking for a specific subject or person, if the entry does not appear in its proper place in the alphabet one should check a possible geographic heading.

Also, Many names appear under various "United States" headings. Senators are filed alphabetically under "U.S. Senate"; congressmen under "U.S. House of Representatives"; Navy and army personnel under "U.S. Departments of - Navy Department" and "U.S., Departments of - War Department." Although some United States presidents (Herbert Hoover and F. D. Roosevelt, for example) are filed directly by name, President Dwight D. Eisenhower comes under the heading "U.S., Departments of - War Department - Eisenhower, General Dwight D."

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Chicago Tribune Company, and Nexstar Media Group on January 10, 2020, accession #SPEC-2020-1.

Related Materials

For correspondence between Colonel McCormick and his Chicago Tribune associates, see Tribune Company Files (I-61, 22 boxes) and Foreign Correspondence Files (I-62, 13 boxes). The Colonel's person papers (I-63, 34 boxes) should also be noted. For earlier papers, see I-23, Personal and Business Papers, 1904-1914; and for other McCormick papers consult the guide to manuscripts in the Tribune Company Archives.


Note: This collection is not included in the card index to Tribune Company Archive collections
Guide to the Robert R. McCormick Business Correspondence
Lee Major
March 4, 1980, updated April 2020
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