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Fulton Lewis Jr. Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: --
Date: Oct 1967

Biographical History

Fulton Lewis, Jr. (1903-1966) was an American television and radio commentator and columnist. Born in Washington, D.C.. Apr 30, 1903 to Fulton and Elizabeth Lewis, he was educated at Western High School, Washington, D.C., and attended the University of Virginia. On Jun 28, 1930, he married Alice Huston.

Fulton Lewis began his career as a reporter for the Washington Herald in 1924, where he later became the city editor. He worked with the Washington Bureau, Universal Service, and International News Service from 1928-1937. He was the nightly news commentator on national affairs with the Mutual Broadcasting System since December of 1937; at his commercial peak, Lewis was heard on more than 500 radio stations and boasted a weekly audience of sixteen million listeners.

In 1945 Lewis was a war correspondent. He wrote a weekly column for the King Features Syndicate from 1944-1945, called "Fulton Lewis, Jr. Says". Mr. Lewis was active in securing radio galleries in the House and Senate, so that radio would have the same rights as the newspaper. In 1939 and 1940, Mr. Lewis was chosen as one of America's Ten Outstanding Young Men.

His many awards include: Alfred I. DuPont and Sigma Delta Chi Radio Commentator Award (1942) and the Fourth Estate Award American Legion (1962). Mr. Lewis was the founder and president of the Radio Correspondence Association. He was a member of Sigma Nu, Episcopalian Clubs, Cosmos, Chevy Chase, and National Press. Mr. Lewis had his office at the National Press Building, Suite 627, Washington, D.C.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Fulton Lewis, Jr. Papers consist of two parts which have not been integrated. There is substantial chronological overlap between parts I and II; please review both parts of the inventory to ensure finding all relevant material.

Fulton Lewis, Jr. Papers Part I

Part I contains correspondence, radio broadcasts, news publications, other productions, personal file, and audiovisual material (films, records, and tapes).

Correspondence consists of incoming, outgoing, and fan mail. Incoming correspondence and fan mail is arranged alphabetically by author, while outgoing correspondence is arranged in chronological order. Mr. Lewis' correspondence includes a great number of people including Bernard Baruch, Thomas E. Dewey, Herbert Hoover, J. Edgar Hoover, and Eddie Rickenbacker. The collection contains some correspondence of other persons, notable among which is a letter from F. Scott Fitzgerald. These are arranged at the end of the correspondence file in Box 15.

Representing the work Mr. Lewis did as a news commentator on national affairs, are the manuscripts and published copies of his early Radio broadcasts for the Mutual Broadcasting System, 1937-1959, and of his most recent broadcast, "Top of the News," 1959-1966. The manuscripts for these broadcasts are composed of original typescripts with many corrections, and carbon copies of the final drafts for the broadcast. Also available are the manuscripts for a broadcast, sponsored by "Chimney Sweep", 1945, October-1946, February, and a five minute news spot given by Mr. Lewis, 1961-1965. There are also published copies of Your Defense Reporter, 1941, May to 1942, Jun, and Your Right to Say It, Mar, 1948. With this material there are also some business records, primarily material for commercials.

Among the many News publications Mr. Lewis was associated with is the "Washington Report", a daily editorial column of his own. The manuscripts, 1944-1961, and the published copies of this column make up the bulk of this file. The manuscripts are original typescripts, with heavy corrections and the published copies are mimeographs of the final draft. There is one other manuscript, and that is for a guest column done for the Buffalo Courier Express. The rest of the file contains clippings of articles Mr. Lewis wrote for the Washington Herald, 1925-1944; and the Universal News Service, 1934-1954; and clippings of several columns he wrote, including "Washington Sideshow", 1931-1936; "Angler and Hunter", 1935-1937; "Fulton Lewis, Jr. Says", 1944; "Capitol Report", 1957-1958; and "Commentary", 1961. There are also published copies of Mr. Lewis' weekly newsletter Exclusive, 1955-1966.

Mr. Lewis was responsible for Other productions on national and international government and politics as well, including a television program, which he narrated. This file contains the scripts for this program, most of which are uncorrected typescripts, although there are some program notes and corrected first drafts of scripts. Also here are the manuscripts and some published copies of articles Mr. Lewis wrote for periodicals; of a book Mr. Lewis wrote on cooperatives; of a lengthy article on the Free Europe Committee; and of interview, plays, and poems by Mr. Lewis. This file also contains a few manuscripts and published copies of articles about Lewis (Box 74).

Mr. Lewis' Reference files are grouped by subject, with published material and correspondence relating to each subject. The general file, 1930-1966, contains material on many subjects, including communism, the John Birch Society, Bobby Baker, Dean Rusk, Vietnam, Pearl Harbor, Cuba and many others. It contains correspondence with such people as William Benton and Arthur Sylvester. Five other files were kept as separate units, and relate to subjects on which Mr. Lewis did much of his broadcasting and writing. Among these are the Fund for the Republic, 1952-1961; a Ford Foundation study of the principles of American freedom; General Agreements on Tariff and Trade Act, 1955-1959; Radio Free Europe, 1951-1958; Office of Price Administration, 1946-1948; and co-operatives, concerning a farmers movement to establish co-operatives among themselves, 1945-1948.

Personal files contains a number of items essentially personal to Mr. Lewis, including news clippings about Mr. Lewis, Mr. Lewis' business records (expense accounts, itineraries, lecture tour material), family items, scrapbooks, awards, photos, and drawings given to Mr. Lewis.

The last series consists of Audiovisual material: films, records, and tapes. Films are 16mm reel-to-reel recording, most of which were for his television series. Records are recordings of songs, speeches, and Mr. Lewis' Christmas radio broadcasts. Tapes are for the most part, professional recordings; some are Mr. Lewis' personal tapes. Titles shown in the inventory are given as written on the items.

Fulton Lewis, Jr. Papers Part II

Part II of the papers contains correspondence, subject files, manuscripts, press releases and newsletters, reference files, published material, some duplicates, and issues of the Congressional Record.

Correspondence is divided into incoming, outgoing, and fan mail. Incoming correspondents include former President Herbert Hoover, F.B.I. director J. Edgar Hoover, Senators Karl Mundt, George Murphy, and Harry Byrd, and Vice-President Herbert Humphrey. Outgoing mail consists of Mr. Lewis' replies to incoming mail. Fan mail consists of thousands of letters from Mr. Lewis' fans requesting copies of his commentaries, also letters from fans giving their own opinions on current issues; letters originate from North and South America as well as Europe.

Subject files consists of reproduced copies of broadcasts (two copies of each), editorials by others, essays by others, meeting announcements and invitations (from different groups and organizations), office memos (itineraries, speech outlines, appointments, and office memos), reports from various committees, organizations, and persons, reprints of articles, speeches by others, teletypes (mostly UPI), reproduced copies of Washington Report and related items.

Manuscripts are those of two of Mr. Lewis' features, Top of the News and Washington Report.

Press releases and newsletters are from business, civic, political, social, and religious organizations and groups.

Reference files are arranged alphabetically by subject. A particular folder may contain correspondence, articles, memoranda, and clippings.

Published material consists of newspaper articles, and magazine articles, brochures, clippings about, clippings by, and clippings about and by others, flyers, pamphlets, and Mr. Lewis' weekly newsletters, Exclusive and Top of the News.

Duplicates consists of extra reproduced copies of Mr. Lewis' broadcasts. A few are undated.

Congressional Record contains issues from 1963-1966.

Miscellaneous material contains books by others signed by their authors, two Soundscriber machines, unidentified transcripts, and miscellaneous Top of the News material, including indexes.

Arrangement of the Collection

Part I: Incoming correspondence and fan mail are arranged alphabetically, outgoing chronologically. Broadcasts are arranged chronologically. News publications are subdivided by title and within that chronologically. Other productions contains first television series (scripts and then by subject), followed by manuscripts and published material arranged alphabetically by type of material. Reference files are arranged alphabetically by subject, with material relating to Fund for the Republic, General Agreements on Tariff and Trade Act, Radio Free Europe, the Office of Price Administration, and Co-operatives grouped at the end. Personal files are divided into general material, arranged chronologically, and specific subjects, arranged alphabetically.

Part II: Incoming correspondence and fan mail are arranged alphabetically, outgoing chronologically. Subject files are arranged alphabetically. Manuscripts for Top of the News and Washington Report are arranged chronologically. Press releases and newsletters are arranged alphabetically by issuing organization or group. Reference files are arranged alphabetically by subject. Published material is subdivided by type and within that arranged either alphabetically by title (magazines, brochures, flyers, pamphlets), or chronologically (newspapers, congressional records, weekly newsletters). Broadcasts and Congressional records are arranged chronologically.


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.

Access to recordings requires advance notice to produce a listening copy.

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

See also the papers of Lewis' son, Fulton Lewis III.

Subject Headings


Baruch, Bernard M. (Bernard Mannes), 1870-1965.
Bricker, John W. (John William), 1893-1986.
Cain, Harry P. (Harry Pulliam), 1906-1979.
Dewey, Thomas E. (Thomas Edmund), 1902-1971.
Hoffman, Paul G. (Paul Gray), 1891-1974.
Hoover, J. Edgar (John Edgar), 1895-1972.
Hunt, H. L.
Keedick, Lee.
Lewis, Fulton, 1903-1966.
Menjou, Adolphe, 1890-1963.
Rickenbacker, Eddie, 1890-1973.
Sockman, Ralph W. (Ralph Washington), 1889-1970.
Steelman, John Roy, 1900-1999.
Strauss, Lewis L.
Swope, Herbert Bayard, 1882-1958.
Symington, Stuart, 1901-1988.
Tumulty, Joseph P. (Joseph Patrick), 1879-1954.
Vandenberg, Arthur H. (Arthur Hendrick), 1884-1951.
Wheeler, Burton K. (Burton Kendall), 1882-1975.


Broadcast journalism -- United States.
Journalists -- United States.
Radio broadcasting -- United States.
Radio journalists -- United States.
Television broadcasting -- United States.
Television journalists -- United States.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Manuscripts for publication.
Motion pictures (visual works)
Press releases.
Radio scripts.
Sound recordings.
Speeches (documents)
Television scripts.


Radio journalists.
Television journalists.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Fulton Lewis Jr. Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Fulton Lewis, 1964-1966.

Table of Contents

Part I. Correspondence

Part I. Broadcasts

Part I. News publications

Part I. Other productions

Part I. Reference files

Part I. Personal file

Part I. Audiovisual material

Part II. Correspondence

Part II. Subject files

Part II. Manuscripts

Part II. Press releases and newsletters

Part II. Reference files

Part II. Published material

Part II. Duplicates

Part II. Congressional Record

Part II. Miscellaneous