Manuscript Collections - Frank C. Waldrop Papers

Oct 18, 2021

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13 linear feet, 7 liner inches (31 LGA-S boxes)
Herbert Hoover Presidential Library


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.


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
                        Draft, 1963-1966 (4 folders)
                        Manuscript Edited, 1964-1966 (6 folders)

2          Research
                        Annual Spring Luncheon, 1946
                        Award, 1969
                        Biographies and clippings, Undated (2 folders)
                        Correspondence, 1963-1976 (6 folders)
                                    Death Documents, 1955
                                    Eisenhower, Dwight D., 1963

3                                  Hoover, Herbert H., 1963
                                    Kennedy, Joseph P., 1963
                                    McCormick, Amy, First Wife, 1895-1963
                                    Midway Case, Charged With Espionage, 1942-1964
                                    Military Career, 1963
                                    Plan for Book, Undated
                                    Promotion Photos
                                    Publicity Questionaire, 1964
                                    Research By Assistants, 1963-64
                                    Research Documents, 1880-98
                                    Reviews of Book, 1966
                                    Roosevelt, Franklin D., 1932-62
                                    Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, 1963-64
                                    “Time, Inc.,” Memos and Correspondence, 1936-64                            
Truman, Harry S., 1945-63

4          Writings and Speeches of Robert McCormick, 1932-1954     

5          Columns and Articles, 1933-1990
                        The Admiral’s Return, undated
                        Angelica’s Other Life, undated
                        Baptists, undated
                        Book Reviews, 1951-1966 (3 folders)
                        Books Read or Dipped Into in the Waldrop Library, undated
                        Christian Heurich At Home, undated
                        Civil War, 1988
                        Colson, Kennedy and the Nazi Spy, undated
                        FDR and JFK and JEH and Inga, 1978
                        Five in Peril, undated
Four Steps to Reduce Error in Selection of New Foreign Service 
 Officers, undated
                        Harvard’s Ku Klux, 1941
                        Headhunting Among an Endangered Species, undated
                        Henry James at Mt. Vernon, undated
                        Learning the Hard Way, 1938
                        MacArthur’s Mother, 1964
                        MacArthur on War, 1942-1947
                        Ma Graham vs. Ma Bell, 1990
                        The Monarchial Executive, undated
                        My Enemy, the Snail Darter, undated
                        The Perils of BJ: A Foundling’s Tale, undated
                        Political Abuse and the FBI, undated
                        Selling the Canal, undated
                        Shelters and Survival, 1962
                        State Department Consultant, 1960
                        Taking Chances, Chapters 1-2, Undated
                        Television: The Struggle For Power, 1937-1939
                        That’s Washington, undated
                                    Articles, 1936-48
                                    Biggest Story, 1950
                                    Brussels, France, 1945
                                    Communism, 1950

6                                  Editorials, 1937-1950 (2 folders)
                                    England, 1945
                                    Germany, 1945-47
                                    Holland, 1947
                                    Scandinavia, 1947
                        The Ultimate Wiretap, 1973
                        Weird Washingtonians, undated
                        What is White Slavery? 1938
                        Why You Should Know Where Washington Really Is, undated
                        Untitled drafts, 1933-1986 (2 folders)
                        Untitled drafts, undated (2 folders)

7          Correspondence, 1919-1943 (9 folders)

8          Correspondence, 1944-1948 (10 folders)
9          Correspondence, 1949-1957 (6 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)             
                        DeSavitsch, Eugene, 1932-44
                        Duell, C. Halliwell, 1935-53
                        Essary, Helen, 1909-40
                        “The Evening Tennessean,” 1932-1945 (3 folders)
                        Fairbanks, Douglass Jr., 1944
                        Kent, Tyler, Trial, 1961-63
                        Limpert, J., 1979
                        Kennedy, Kathleen, 1933-34
                        Kennedy, Joseph P., 1942-48

16                    McClean, Evalyn Walsh, 1945-46, Undated
                        Magruder, Felicia, 1979
                        Mencken, H. L., 1941-47
                        Meyer, Stanley, Director of Loewe’s, Inc., 1957
                        Monteagle Sunday School Assembly, 111964-86
                        Patton, George S., 1945
                        Pearson, Drew, 1938-70
                        Personal, 1960-69
                        Phillips, Laughlin, “Washington Magazine,” 1968-69
                        Goldwater, Barry, 1964
                        St. Johns, Adela Rogers, 1935-41
                        Soviet-American Relations, 1960-62
                        Washington School of Psychiatry, 1963
                        White, John, 1942-45
                        White, T. J., Chicago Herald American, 1940-49

17        Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1920-1982
                        Arvad, Inga, aka Mrs. Paul Fejos, Mrs. Tim McCoy, 1941-1978
                        Domestic Responsibilities, 1932-1964 (2 folders)
                        Espionage, 1930-56
                        Freedom of Information, 1942
                        Hoover, J. Edgar, 1920-1972 (4 folders)
                                    SEE ALSO: Topical File

18                    Kent, Tyler Gatewood, 1944-1982 (4 folders).
                        Miscellaneous, 1942-44
                        News Articles in Chicago Tribune and Washington Times Herald 1941-42
                                    (2 folders)
                        Questions Asked By Frank C. Waldrop, 1937-1938 (3 folders)
                        Security Clearance, 1958

19                    Telephone Conversations, 1942
                        Times-Herald, 1942-1982 (2 folders)
                        Tolson, Clyde, Assistant Director, 1931-1978 (6 folders)

20                    Waldrop Informer, 1936-56
                        Waldrop and Sissy Patterson, 1945-1955 (2 folders)
                        White, Harry Dieter, 1949-50

21        Topical File, 1902-1981
                        Alien Registration Act, Violations, 1942
                        American Newspaper Publishers Association, Convention, 1936
                        Anti-Communism, 1949
                        Brodie, Fawn, M., “I Think Hiss Is Lying,” 1981
                        Correspondence Course, 1931
                        District of Columbia Vote for Suffrage, 1937-45
                        Friends of Democracy, Inc., 1946
                        Guyana Electric Company, 1981
                        Hiss, Alger
Court Opinion, 1950
U.S. District Court, New York, 1973
                                    Weinstein, Allen, 1977-1978 (2 folders)
                        Hoover, J. Edgar, 1942-1947 (2 folders)

22                    Hoover, J. Edgar, 1948-1954 (2 folders)
                                    Research for Book, 1913-1978 (7 folders)
                                    SEE ALSO: FBI Files

23                    McCormick Charitable Trust, 1960
                        McCormick, Robert L., Proposal for a New Newspaper, 1963
                        McSwain, . John J., 1936
                        Nadeau, Remi, History of Panama Canal Research, 1961-62
                        Notes, Undated
                        Panama Canal
                                    Court Case, Government v. Press Publishing Company, 1910
                                    Government Documents, 1902-1910 (4 folders)

24                    Libel Case v. “New York World” and “Indianapolis News,” 1910 Panama
                                    Book Research, 1966-1967 (2 folders)
                                    Unites States v. Press Publishing Company, 1909
                        Patterson, Eleanor (Cissy)
                                    Abstract of Title, State of Wyoming, 1924
                                    Biography of Sissy Patterson, Undated
                                    Correspondence, 1938, 1942
                                    Court Case, 1932-1948 (2 folders)
                                    Death, 1948-72

25                                House in Washington, DC, 1902-26
                                    Research for Biography
                                    Review of Biography, 1980
                                    Trust Fund, 1960-67
                                    Scrapbook Kept by Mother, 1874-1907
                                    Wendel, Rudolf, Lighting for Washington Residence, 1946-47
                                    Will, 1946
                                    Writings, 1942
                        Patton, George S., Jr. Speech, 1944
                        Pearl Harbor Cable, December 7, 1941
                        Personal, Family Papers, Undated
                        “Pioneers of Tennessee,” Speech by John W. Childriss, Jr., 1897
                        Preston, Georgianna, column, ”Having a Wonderful Time,” 1942

26                    Ranch Business
                                    1956-1958 (8 folders)

27                                1959-1962 (5 folders)

28                                1963
                                    Inventory, 1959-1962 (3 folders)
                                    Land Use Maps, undated (2 folders)
                                    Receipts and Payments, 1962-63

29                    Senate Subcommittee on Subversion and Terrorism, 1981
                        Times-Herald Lawyers, 1942
                                    Correspondence to Friends, 1947
                                    Denmark, 1947
                                    England, 1947
                                    Europe, 1945
                                    Finland, 1947
                                    Germany and Holland, 1947
                                    Letters to Family, June-August, 1952
                                    Sweden, 1947
                                    “SS Occidental Victory,” Germany, 1947
                                    Travel Plans, 1946
                        Waldrop, Eleanor, “A Trip to New York,” 1957
                        Wechsler, Herbert I., 1941-53
                        Winchell, Walter, 1942
                        Yearbook, 1947

30        Photographs, Identified
                        McCormick, Robert (4 folders)
                        Patterson, Eleanor ‘Cissy,’ (3 folders)

31        Photographs, unidentified