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Roger Garis Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MFA
Date: Feb 1969

Biographical History

Roger Carroll Garis (1901-1967) was an American author and journalist. Over his career he wrote books for both children and adults as well as plays, short stories, and newspaper articles. His father, Howard R. Garis, was the author of the Uncle Wiggily stories and his mother, Lilian C. McNamara Garis, wrote books for girls.

Born September 10, 1901 in Newark, New Jersey, Roger Garis was educated at St. Benedict's Preparatory School in Newark, New Jersey, attended Princeton and Columbia Universities and graduated from New Jersey Law School with an LLB degree.

After serving a law clerkship, 1924-1925, Mr. Garis began his writing career by working for the Edward L. Stratemeyer syndicate specializing in books for boys, and soon began freelance writing of short stories for such magazines as Colliers, Redbook, Cosmopolitan, The American Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post and Liberty. He was a member of the staff of the Newark, New Jersey, Evening News from 1930-1935 and a special writer for the Waterbury, Connecticut, Republican. For the latter paper, he covered the Waterbury Conspiracy Trial which won the paper the Pulitzer Prize of 1939. He also served on the staff of the New York Times Magazine and was the author of plays and television dramas. During World War II, he was head head publications editor for the Office of War Information.

Mr. Garis was the author of Never Take Candy From a Stranger (1960) and My Father Was Uncle Wiggily (1966). His play The Pony Cart was produced in London and New York (1954-1960).

Mr. Garis's 1937 marriage to Adine Haviland was dissolved and in 1941, he married Mabel Robinson Burns. Of this marriage, there were three children: Leslie Ann, Roger Brooks, and Howard John. Mr. Garis and his family resided at Amherst, Massachusetts, at the time of his death on October 3, 1967.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Roger Garis Papers consists of correspondence, memorabilia, and writings.

Correspondence, 1932-1965, is with magazine editors, publishers, literary agents, motion picture producers, lawyers, friends and relatives. It is concerned with the writing and publishing of Mr. Garis's manuscripts, the production of his plays, and financial, legal and personal matters. Included are carbon copies of Office of War Information memoranda, 1942-1944. Literary agents with whom there is significant correspondence include Annie Laurie Williams, Inc. (1951-1957), Curtis Brown, Ltd. (1936-1959), Leland Hayward, Inc. (1936), MCA (Management Corporation of America) Artists, Ltd. (1956-1957), Peter Witt Associates (1957-1958), Rogers Terrill (1953-1963), and William Morris Agency (1948-1958). Significant individual correspondents include Brooks Atkinson (1954), Winthrop S. Dakin (1948-1964), Glen Farmer (1957-1960), Harold Freedman (1957-1960), Howard Garis (1949), Mabel Garis (1932-1951), Josephine Lawrence (1936-1937), Arthur M. Mizener (1951), Jose Quintero (1957), Christiane Renault (1932), and Edward Barry Roberts (1951-1957).

Memorabilia, 1920-1965, consists of biographical material, financial papers, material relating to family members and friends including genealogy, miscellaneous Office of War Information material, and photographs. Financial papers include bank books, promissory notes, contracts, leases, earnings reports, receipts, and wills and codicils.

Writings, 1934-1965, include articles, biography, fiction, letters to the editor, a magazine, The Pioneer (1949), published by Mr. Garis, notes, plays, poems, radio programs, a screen play, a television series, and writings for the Office of War Information. Also included here are a few manuscripts by other authors.

Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is arranged chronologically except for family (Howard J. Garis, Mabel Garis and Leslie Garis), which are filed at the end of correspondence. Memorabilia is arranged alphabetically by subject. Writings are subdivided into those by Garis and those by others. Writings by Garis are arranged alphabetically by type; within each group, works are arranged alphabetically by title. Writings by others are alphabetical by author's name.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has the papers of more than thirty children's literature authors; please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for complete listing. There is also related material in both the Rare Books and the general collections; please refer to the Classic Catalog for more information.

Subject Headings


Atkinson, Brooks, 1894-1984.
Garis family.
Garis, Roger, 1901-1967 -- Archives.
Lawrence, Josephine, 1897?-1978.
Mizener, Arthur.
Quintero, José.
Renauld, Christiane.
Roberts, Edward Barry.


Authors, American.
Dramatists, American.

Genres and Forms

Autobiographies (literary works)
Manuscripts for publication.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Roger Garis Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mrs. Roger Garis, November 1968.

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