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Mort Weisinger Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: -
Date: circa 1966

Biographical History

Mort Weisinger (1915-1978) was an American Jewish author, editor of DC Comics' Superman and contributing editor for This Week Magazine.

Born in New York and raised in the Bronx, Weisinger was active in early science fiction fan clubs and fanzines; while still in high school he and several friends, including science fiction guru Forrest Ackerman, co-founded The Time Traveler, the first 'zine to focus entirely on science fiction. Weisinger attended, but did not graduate from, New York University, leaving in 1934 to start Solar Sales Service, an agency for science fiction writers and artists.

In March 1941 Weisinger took a job with National Periodicals which later became DC Comics. Apart from a brief absence to serve in the Special Services during World War II, Weisinger remained at DC for more than thirty years. Among his achievements with DC were the creation of Aquaman, Green Arrow and Johnny Quick, and of the Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen spin-off series. He served as editor for Superman (creating such key elements as the effect of the yellow sun on Kryptonians and the Phantom Zone), Batman, and other important comics, and as editor for the Superman television series starring George Reeves. Near the end of his tenure he was named vice president of public relations for the company.

Weisinger also wrote on a wide range of topics, from beauty pageants to the Comics Code to a best-selling novel entitled The Contest (1970) and a book on Atomic Survival (1951). His articles appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, Reader's Digest and other national publications.

"It may seem corny to you, but one of the ways I was able to plot Superman was to pretend that I was Superman. What would my problems be, and how would I react if I were this magnificent character? It was like a schizoid personality. Instead of counting sheep when I had insomnia, I often fantasized what I would do as the Man of Steel."
[interview with Weisinger by Guy Lillian, July 1975]

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Mort Weisinger Papers consist of correspondence and writings.

Correspondence consists of incoming letters from magazine editors and relate to the publication of Weisinger's work. Letters relating to particular articles in the Writings group of this collection are filed with the appropriate article, and the folders are labeled accordingly. Notable correspondents include Erle Stanley Gardner (1957) and Senator Margaret Chase Smith (1957); both are filed with the article "The day I cried."

Writings include manuscript and published copies of articles, a printed copy of one short story, and a printed copy of one comic book story. Topics covered in the articles run the gamut, from diet tips and traffic tickets to Superman and television quiz shows. Following the articles are copies of the magazines The Beam, The Beaver, and Time Traveler; Weisinger has several articles in each of these magazines, having served on the staff of The Beam and as associate editor of the others.

Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is arranged chronologically. Writings are arranged alphabetically by type and within that by title.


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 more than one hundred collections relating to comic books, comic strips, and cartoonists. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

Subject Headings


Weisinger, Mort, 1915- -- Archives.


Comic books, strips, etc.
Authors, American.
Jews, American.
Periodical editors.
Science fiction, American.
Superman (Fictitious character)

Genres and Forms

Drafts (documents)
Manuscripts for publication.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Mort Weisinger Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mort Weisinger, 1968.

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