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 .
Access You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

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

You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

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.


Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact rbml@columbia.edu for more information.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source of acquisition--Grauer, Mrs. Ben. Method of acquisition--Gift; Accession number--M-59.

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:"
Photographic prints Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Screenplays 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 (1939-1940 : New York, N.Y.) 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.".

After clicking 'Submit Request', users will login with their UNI and password (Columbia affiliates) or their special collections account (external users). Appointments are required and will be arranged according to each individual repository's policy.

Cataloged Correspondence

Box 1 Abbott, George

Box 1 Adler, Elmer

Box 1 Allen, Fred

Box 1 Angelo, Valenti

Box 1 Austin, Warren R.

Box 1 Barnett, Paul A

Box 1 Beck, Julian

Box 1 Beebe, William

Box 1 Bernays, Edvard L.

Box 1 Burnett, Whit

Box 1 Cleland, Thomas Maitland

Box 1 Couve, de Murville, Maurice

Box 1 Crouse, Russel

Box 1 Davis, Elmer

Box 1 Davison, Fredrick Trubee

Box 1 de Mille, Agnes

Box 1 Dwiggins, William Addison

Box 1 Edward, Ralph

Box 1 Eisenhower, Dwight David

Box 1 Elmanmischa

Box 1 Farley, James A.

Box 1 Goldwyn, Samuel

Box 1 Goudy, Frederic W

Box 1 Gunther, John

Box 1 Helburn, Theresa

Box 1 Hersey, John

Box 1 Hersholt, Jean

Box 1 Hope, Bob

Box 1 Hurst, Fannie

Box 1 Javits, Jacob K.

Box 1 Kaufman, George S.

Box 1 Keynes, Geoffrey

Box 1 Kiipatrick, John Reed

Box 1 Lilenthal, David E.

Box 1 McBride, Mary Margaret

Box 1 Maeterlinck, Maurice

Box 1 Melchior, Louritz

Box 1 Michener, James Albert

Box 1 Miller, Henry

Box 1 Monaghan, Frank

Box 1 Morley, Christopher Darlington

Box 1 Morse, Wayne

Box 1 Murrow, Edward R.

Box 1 Nin, Amais

Box 1 Patridge, Eric

Box 1 Ransom, Will

Box 1 Reynold, Quentin

Box 1 Rickenbacker, Edward V.

Box 1 Robinson, Jackie

Box 1 Rogers, Bruce

Box 1 Romulo, Carlos P.

Box 1 Roosevelt, Eleanor (Mrs Franklin Delano)

Box 1 Sarnoff, David

Box 1 Skinner, Cornelia Otis

Box 1 Smith, H. Allen

Box 1 Spaeth, Sigmund

Box 1 Stassen, Harold Edward

Box 1 Stern, Julius David

Box 1 Sullivan Ed

Box 1 Swope, Herbert Baynard

Box 1 Thomas, Lowell

Box 1 Van Vechten, Carl

Box 1 Wilder, Thornton

Arranged Correspondence

Box 2 Miscellaneous General, 1935-1977

Box 3 Fan Mail n.d.-1941/1944

[Note: There is a wooden bullet in this folder. An envelope labeled "POISON" was removed on 7/16.2018]

Box 4 Fan Mail 1942-Current and Special Program

Box 5 NBC Business-Radio

Box 6 Contracts for Radio, T.V.. and Other Appearances, 1935-1951 with related correspondence, 1935-1951


Box 7 Alphabetical Annoucer's Craft-Feet

Box 8 Alphabetical Fielding Fiesta-Lorraine, Lois

Box 9 Alphabetical Josephson, Marvin-Wiggin, John

Box 10 Chronological, 1920-1940

Box 11 Chronological, 1945-1955

Box 12 Chronological 1945/1956-1949/1960

Box 13 Chronological 1949/1960 (2)-1970/1977

Box 14 Personal and Miscellaneous 1940-1944 A-Z, 1940-1944

Box 15 Family Grauer, Adolph

Box 16 Family Grauer, Alvin-Grauer, Zara

Scripts File

Box 17 A-Americano, 9

Box 18 Americano, 1949-Asrttar Speaks

Box 19 B-Betty Crocker Magazine ofthe Air

Box 20 Big Story Correspondence-Scripts, 1955

Box 21 Big Story Scripts, 1956 (January -May ), 1956

Box 22 Big Story Scripts, 1956 (June,)-1957(February), 1956

Box 23 Big Story Scripts, 1957 (March)-Boston Pops 1955, 1957, 1955

Box 24 Boston Pops, 1956-Business Trends, Interview, 1968/1970

Box 25 Business Trends, Interview 1968/1970-Business Trends, Scripts-1968(May )

Box 26 Business Trends, Scripts l968 (June ) -- 1969 (March), 1969

Box 27 Business Trends, Scripts 1969 (April -December ), 1969

Box 28 Business Trends, Scripts, 1970

Box 29 Camel TV News-Century Edition of News, 1952 (/010/), 1952

Box 30 Century Edition of News 1952 (November )-Citizen Union Search Light, 1952, 1952, 1952

Box 31 Citizen Union Searchlight, 1955-1962

Box 32 Citizen Union Searchlight, 1963-1966

Box 33 Citizen Union Searchlight, 1967-1969

Box 34 Citizen Union Searchlight, 1970

Box 35 Color Television

Box 36 Corporation of Queen Elizabeth 11-Democratic Covention

Box 37 Discussion-Drama is the News

Box 38 E-Empire Builder

Box 39 European Travel Cade Program-For Better Living

Box 40 For This We Fight-Grauer, Ben (Scripts, 1935-1936)

Box 41 Grauer, Ben (Scripts, 1937-1938)-Guatemala City Broadcast

Box 42 H-HIS Series

Box 43 Health Information Systems-High School Orchestra

Box 44 Home Edition of News-Home is What You Make It, 1947 (June ), 1947

Box 45 Home Is What You Make It, 1947 (July )-Ideas (NBC Magazine), 1947

Box 46 Ideas(Program)-Isreal Album

Box 47 It's a Problem

Box 48 It's News-It's Up To You

Box 49 Jergens Journal-Kay Kyser Show, 1949

Box 50 Kay Kyser Show, 1950 (January -March), 1950

Box 51 Kay Kyser Show, 1950 (April -June ), 1950

Box 52 L-Living, 1948 (May ), 1948

Box 53 Living, 1948 (July )-1949 (July ), 1948

Box 54 Living, 1949 (August )-195O (/010/), 1949

Box 55 Living, 1950 (November )-Lucky Strike Program, 1950

Box 56 MacArthur Conference-Marchof Medicine

Box 57 Medical Radio Network-Mr. Fix It

Box 58 Modern Voices-Monitor

Box 59 Movies/News Reels-Name The Place

Box 60 NBC Symphany(Toscanini Concerts)-NBC Universityof the Air

Box 61 New Year's Eve-"Out of the World" Series

Box 62 P-Public Affairs

Box 63 Q-Recital Hall

Box 64 Recital Hall 1962/1966-Republican Convention, 1952

Box 65 Republician Convention, 1956-Say it with Acting

Box 66 Seeing is Believing

Box 67 Senor Ben Pan Am Highway-Show Train News

Box 68 Silver Jungles on NBC-Tactics

Box 69 Tanglewood-Tex and Jinx Show 1955(July & August )

Box 70 Tex and Jinx Show.1955(August -September )-Toscanini(NBC News Releases)

Box 71 Toscanini (Revival Series)-20th Century Records Worksheets

Box 72 United Nations Conference-UN General

Box 73 UN Hungarian and Suez Crisis-VOA, Scripts, E

Box 74 VOA, Scripts,TH-W

Box 75 VOA, NY-NY Correspondence(1974-1976)-Promo Information and Publicity

Box 76 VOA, NY-NY(Schedules, 1972-1976)

Box 77 VOA, NY-NY(Schedules, 1975-Scripts 1972 June ), 1972

Box 78 VOA, NY-NY(Scripts, 1972 July -1975 March), 1972

Box 79 VOA, NY-NY(Scripts, 1975 April -1974 June ), 1975

Box 80 VOA, NY-NY (Scripts, 1974 July -1975 March), 1974

Box 81 War Workers Salute-Waverly Wavelengths, 1959 (/010/), 1959

Box 82 Waverly Wavelengths 1959 (/010/)-What Would you Have Done, Correspondence, 1959

Box 83 What Would You Have Done, Scripts-Where Have You Been

Box 84 You Asked For It-Yugoslavia (Earthquake)

Activities File

Box 85 A-AFRA (Election Results 1948-1950)

Box 86 AFRA (Independence)-American Lecture Bureau, 1947

Box 87 American Lecture Bureau 1948-ATAS (Chairman Local Awards-Station Committee)

Box 88 ATAS (TV Academy Library)-Barrigan, Darrell

Box 89 Bibliographical Notes on Naturalists Library-Book Collecting(Binding)

Box 90 Book Collecting (Bonus Book Club)-LaGuildela Levie

Box 91 Book Collecting (Laurence, H.-Wickill, Richard)

Box 92 Book Curios-Books to Get, 1966-1977

Box 93 Book Venture (Contract)-Causes

Box 94 Citations-Crusade for Freedom, 1953

Box 95 Crusade for Freedom (Campaign Endowment)

Box 96 Expedition Guatemala-Free Trips

Box 97 Gambling-Guatemala

Box 98 Havana-Ideas (Business)

Box 99 Ideas (Leads)-Journalism and Communication Arts Educational Advisory Committee

Box 100 Laboratory of Antropology-May a Corelation Prob. Material

Box 101 Memorabilia (Broadcasting)-Music

Box 102 Narration-National Music League

Box 103 NBC: News Picture Book of the Year, 1967 (l), 1967

Box 104 NBC: News Picture Book of the Year, 1967 (2), 1967

Box 105 NBC: News Picture Book of the Year, 1968 (l), 1968

Box 106 NBC: News Picture Book of the Year, 1968 (2), 1968

Box 107 NBC: News Picture Book of the Year, I969 (l)

Box 108 NBC: News Picture Book of the Year, 1969 (2), 1969

Box 109 National Music League-O'Donnell Anti-Semitism

Box 110 One Shot (Special Jobs)-OPC (Murrow Memorial Fund) (l)

Box 111 OPC (Murrow Memorial Fund)(2)-Pan Am Highway (Corresp.)

Box 112 Pan Am Highway (Correspondence and Contracts Highspot Speech)

Box 113 Pan Am Highway (International Road Federation-Speech)

Box 114 Pan Am Highway (Trans Darrier Expedition)

Box 115 Personal Appearances-Printing (Between Hours Press:Corresp.)

Box 116 Printing (Between Hour Pess: Bernal Diaz-Chris-taias Cards,l)

Box 117 Printing (Between Hour Press: Christmas Cards, 2, Printing (Surrey Fine Arts Press)

Box 118 Progressive Citizens of America-Radio TV Correspondence Associates

Box 119 Red Channels 1

Box 120 Red Channels 2

Box 121 Red Channels 3

Box 122 Spirit of 1967 Air Warden Auxiliary-Society of Printer's, 1967

Box 123 Speeches: Personal Appearance Mat.-Tape Recorders and Sound Studios

Box 124 Tau Delta Phi-Theatre Venture (Casting File)

Box 125 Theatre Venture (Figure of a Girl)-Twentieth Anniversery in Broadcasting


Box 126 Twentieth Anniversary in Broadcasting (Release and Luncheon Invitations)-

Trips (Europe):

Box 127 Trips (Paris, Rome)-Trips (Europe)

Box 128 Trips (Europe)-Wedding Congratulations'

Box 129 War Fund-Betty Newman Work


Box 130 1923 1930 1934 1937-1951, 1923, 1930, 1934, 1937-1951

Box 131 1949-1960

Box 132 1961-1971 Misc. Notes, 1961-1971

Biographical Material

Box 133 Biographical Material

Publicity Files

Box 134 General 1943-1944/1946

Box 135 General, 1945-1947

Box 136 General, 1947-1949

Box 137 General, 1950-1951

Box 138 General, 1952-1953

Box 139 General, 1953-1951

Box 140 General, 1955-1956

Box 141 General, 1957-1959

Box 142 General 1960-I963

Box 143 General I964-I968

Box 144 General, 1969-1972

Box 145 General, 1973-1976

Box 146 "One Shot's" 1949-1952 (I), 1949-1952

Box 147 "One Shot's 1949-1952 (2), 1949-1952

Box 148 "One Shot's" 1953-1954 (l), 1953-1954

Box 149 "One Shot's" 1953-1954 (2), 1953-1954

Box 150 "One Shot's" 1953-1957 1955-1957 (l), 1953-1957, 1955-1957

Box 151 "One Shot's" 1955-1957 1955-1961 (2), 1955-1957, 1955-1961

Box 152 "One Shot's" 1958-1961 (l), 1958-1961

Box 153 "One Shot's" 1958-1961 (2), 1958-1961

Box 151 "One Shot's", 1961-1965

Box 155 "One-Shot's", 1965-1967

Box 156 "One Shot's", 1965-1970

Box 157 "One Shot's", 1970-1977

Financial Records

Box 158 Ledgers, 1935-1948

Box 159 Ledgers, 1949-1953

Box 160 Ledgers, 1954-1958


Box 161 Childhood/Adolescence, Family

Box 162 Activities 1920-19U0

Box 163 Activities 1950-1970 American Merchant Marine to Armed Forces Involvement, 1950-1970

Box 164 British Refugee Children to Mitchell Field Air Shov; NBC: Photos, of Grauer at work

Box 165 NBC: Photos of Grauer; Show (Atlantic Spotlight-Victory Am and Breakfast); Misc. A Letterpress Forum)

Box 166 NBC: Misc. (Personal-Winchell, Walter); Personal-Publicity

Box 167 Overseas Press Club-United Nations

Box 168 Memorabilia

Box 169 Printed Materials

Books 1-4 Scrapbooks

1. Scrapbook, 1930-1942

2. Scrapbook, 1937-1938

3. Scrapbook, 1943-1946

4. Scrapbook I947

Audio Tape Recording

1. "Salute to Ben Grauer", 15 November 1950 1 reel, 15 November 1950