Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Ben Grauer papers, 1915-1977

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#0506
Bib ID 4078832 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Grauer, Ben
Title Ben Grauer papers, 1915-1977
Physical Description 80 linear feet (171 boxes 1 audio tape)
Language(s) English .

The following boxes are located off-site: 2-171. You will need to request this material from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.



Catalogued, Listed, Arranged.



Correspondence, manuscripts, diaries, radio, television, and film scripts, notes, subject files, documents, financial records, photographs, memorabilia, clippings, and printed materials. Grauer's voluminous professional, personal, and family correspondence reflect his many and varied interests in radio, television, motion pictures, sound recordings, journalism, book collecting, printing, the graphic arts, and travel. Among the significant correspondents there are 43 letters from Henry Miller, 26 letters from Eric Partridge, and ten letters from Bruce Rogers. There are numerous single letters from public figures and celebrities, many written to the author, Quentin Reynolds, who organized Grauer's 25th Anniversary in Broadcasting in 1950. Among these are George Abbott, Agnes de Mille, Samuel Goldwyn, John Hersey, Bob Hope, Lauritz Melchior, Edward R. Murrow, Anaïs Nin, David Sarnoff, and Thornton Wilder. There are thousands of letters from fans, friends, and family, including Grauer's wife Melanie Kahane, the interior decorator. b The manuscripts consist of early writings; radio, television, film, and sound recording scripts with related notes and correspondence; speeches; periodical articles; and several book manuscripts. The majority of the Scripts File are for NBC productions, but also included are scripts for the Voice of America, commercials, films, and records. Among Grauer's many "firsts" in broadcasting are the first live report of Count Folke Bernadotte's assasination, the first radio show to present cash prizes ("Pot 'o Gold"), and NBC television's first live news event, the opening of the 1939 New York World's Fair. The Activities File documents Grauer's presence in broadcasting, book collecting, printing and the graphic arts, travel, including the promotion of the Pan American Highway, and his membership in countless organizations. There are more than 3,000 photographs documenting his career from his years as a child actor through the more than 40 years he was associated with NBC. He was photographed with the famous men and women of his generation whose activities he covered on the air. The Publicity File contains newspaper and periodical clippings on his career. Also included is one audio tape recording of "Salute to Ben Grauer" Nov. 15, 1950, an off the air recording

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

The following boxes are located off-site: 2-171. You will need to request this material from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Ben Grauer papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Cataloged Christina Hilton Fenn 06/--/89.

Revision Description

2009-06-26 File created.

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Motion picture plays Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Photographic prints Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Scripts (documents) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Abbott, George, 1887-1995 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Bernadotte, Folke, 1895-1948 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Book collecting Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Child actors Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
De Mille, Agnes Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Goldwyn, Samuel, 1879-1974 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Graphic arts Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Hersey, John, 1914-1993 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Hope, Bob, 1903-2003 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Kahane, Melanie Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Melchior, Lauritz Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Miller, Henry, 1891-1980 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Motion picture industry Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Murrow, Edward R Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
National Broadcasting Company Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
New York World's Fair (Location of meeting: New York, N.Y.). Date of meeting or treaty signing: (1939-1940 :.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Nin, Anaïs, 1903-1977 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Pan American Highway System Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Partridge, Eric, 1894-1979 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Printing Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Radio broadcasting Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Radio journalists Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Radio programs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Reynolds, Quentin James, 1902-1965 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Rogers, Bruce, 1870-1957 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Sarnoff, David, 1891-1971 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Silent films Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Television broadcasting Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Television journalists Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Television programs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Theater -- New York (State) -- New York Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Wilder, Thornton, 1897-1975 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Radio and television announcer, reporter, commentator, and host. Grauer, born Benjamin Franklin Grauer, began his show business career in 1915 as a child actor on the Broadway stage and in silent movies. After graduating from the City College of New York in 1930, he was hired by the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) and became one of its most famous "voices.".