FRANK C. WALDROP PAPERS, 1902-1990
Frank C. Waldrop was a reporter, editor, biographer and historian. Waldrop was born in Veto, Alabama in 1905, attended the U. S. Military Academy at West Point from 1926-1928, then took his first reporting job at the Nashville Tennessean in 1929. Over the next four years, he worked his way up to managing editor of this paper before moving to Washington.
Waldrop went to Washington in 1933 to work as a reporter for the Washington Herald. He eventually became the executive editor of the Washington Times-Herald, working for Cissy Patterson. The highlight of Waldrop’s time as a Washington journalist came on December 7, 1941, when he was first to report the attack on Pearl Harbor to the nation’s capitol. Waldrop left the paper in 1953 to pursue his interests in biography and history, and to tend cattle ranches in Alabama and Tennessee.
After leaving the Times-Herald, Waldrop wrote reviews, magazine articles and books. Among the books he wrote was McCormick of Chicago, a biography of Cissy Patterson’s cousin, Col. Robert McCormick, the publisher of the Chicago Tribune. Frank Waldrop died December 21, 1997.
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE
The Frank C, Waldrop papers run to13 linear feet of material and contain book manuscripts, research files, correspondence, topical files and photographs. The Waldrop papers are arranged in five series: Book: McCormick of Chicago, 1932-1976; Columns and Articles, 1933-1990; Correspondence, 1919-1988; Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1920-1982; Topical File, 1902-1981; and Photographs. The collection provides uneven documentation of Waldrop’s career as a journalist, editor, and writer, offering richest coverage of his career as reporter and editor for the Washington Times-Herald and his book, McCormick of Chicago.
The Book: McCormick of Chicago, 1932-1976 series consists of about two linear feet of typescript drafts and research files for Waldrop’s biography of Chicago newspaperman, Robert McCormick. The two typescript drafts are the first items in this series, followed by research files arranged alphabetically. Of special interest are pamphlets of McCormick’s writings and speeches in Box 4.
The Columns and Articles, 1933-1990 series reflects Waldrop’s work for the Washington Times-Herald and his freelance writing after 1953. These articles comprise one linear foot of material and are arranged alphabetically by title (with untitled drafts at the end of the series). This series reveals Waldrop’s eclecticism as a writer, with a range of book reviews, light humor, history and political analysis appearing. The Times-Herald articles contain a series on European recovery after World War II.
The Correspondence, 1919-1984 series complements Columns and Articles in providing documentation of Waldrop’s career as journalist and writer. This bulk of correspondence is arranged chronologically, with a short run of prominent correspondents arranged alphabetically at the end. Altogether this series contains four linear feet of letters.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1920-1982 series contains under two linear feet of material compiled by Waldrop in his efforts to understand the exercise of power in Washington, especially as it was felt by newspapers, anti-Communist activists, and informants. There is some overlap between materials in this series and the topical files on the FBI and J. Edgar Hoover.
The Topical File, 1902-1981 series consists of three linear feet of disparate materials. Arranged alphabetically by topic, the strengths of this series are: the files compiled by Waldrop for a biography of Eleanor (Cissy) Patterson, his erstwhile boss at the Times-Herald, and the materials related to his cattle ranching business (under ‘Ranch’).
The last series, Photographs, consists of largely unidentified candid images of Waldrop, Cissy Patterson, and other denizens of Washington society from the mid-1930s to the 1950s.
1 McCormick of Chicago, 1932-1976
3 Hoover, Herbert H., 1963
4 Writings and Speeches of Robert McCormick, 1932-1954
5 Columns and Articles, 1933-1990
6 Editorials, 1937-1950 (2 folders)
7 Correspondence, 1919-1943 (9 folders)
8 Correspondence, 1944-1948 (10 folders)
10 Correspondence, 1958-1962 (6 folders)
11 Correspondence, 1963-1964 (8 folders)
12 Correspondence, 1965-1971 (9 folders)
13 Correspondence, 1972-1979 (9 folders)
14 Correspondence, 1980-1984 (8 folders)
15 Correspondence, 1985-1988 (4 folders)
16 McClean, Evalyn Walsh, 1945-46, Undated
17 Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1920-1982
18 Kent, Tyler Gatewood, 1944-1982 (4 folders).
19 Telephone Conversations, 1942
20 Waldrop Informer, 1936-56
21 Topical File, 1902-1981
22 Hoover, J. Edgar, 1948-1954 (2 folders)
23 McCormick Charitable Trust, 1960
24 Libel Case v. “New York World” and “Indianapolis News,” 1910 Panama
25 House in Washington, DC, 1902-26
26 Ranch Business
27 1959-1962 (5 folders)
29 Senate Subcommittee on Subversion and Terrorism, 1981
30 Photographs, Identified
31 Photographs, unidentified