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   Ben Grauer Papers 1915-1977.

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Preferred Citation

Ben Grauer Papers. Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Columbia University.

COinS Metadata available (e.g., for Zotero).

Summary Information

At a Glance

Bib ID:4078832 View CLIO record
Creator(s):Grauer, Ben.
Title:Ben Grauer Papers 1915-1977.
Physical description:65,300 items (171 boxes, 1 audio tape)
Language(s):In English
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Scope and Content

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.

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.

Cataloged Correspondence

Arranged Correspondence


Scripts File

Activities File



Publicity Files

Financial Records


Books 1-4 Scrapbooks

Audio Tape Recording

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Using the Collection


Preferred Citation

Ben Grauer Papers. Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Columbia University.

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About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries. Rare Book and Manuscript Library; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

Cataloged 06/--/89 Christina Hilton Fenn

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion June 26, 2009 Finding aid written in English.
    2009-06-26 File created.

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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.

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HeadingCUL Archives:
CUL Collections:
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:


HeadingCUL Archives:
CUL Collections:
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
Abbott, George, 1887-1995.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Bernadotte, Folke, 1895-1948.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Book collecting.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Child actors.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
De Mille, Agnes.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Goldwyn, Samuel, 1882-1974.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Graphic arts.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Hersey, John, 1914-1993.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Hope, Bob, 1903-2003.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Kahane, Melanie.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Melchior, Lauritz.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Miller, Henry, 1891-1980.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Motion picture industry.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Motion picture plays.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Murrow, Edward R.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
National Broadcasting Company, inc.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
New York World's Fair (1939-1940)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Nin, Anaïs, 1903-1977.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Pan American Highway System.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Partridge, Eric, 1894-1979.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Radio broadcasting.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Radio journalists.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Radio programs.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Reynolds, Quentin James, 1902-1965.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Rogers, Bruce, 1870-1957.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Sarnoff, David, 1891-1971.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Silent films.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Television broadcasting.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Television journalists.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Television programs.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Theater--New York (State)--New York.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Wilder, Thornton, 1897-1975.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

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History / Biographical Note

Biographical Note

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."

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