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Series I: Personal Files, 1940-2008
At a Glance
This collection is arranged in three series.
Scope and Content
The Max Frankel Papers consist mostly of research materials collected for Frankel's memoirs, and they pertain especially to his career in journalism. It begins with material relating to Frankel's immigration and childhood, continues with his time as a foreign and later diplomatic correspondent, and focuses especially on his eight years as executive editor of The New York Times. The collection includes clippings of Frankel's articles for the Columbia Daily Spectator and The New York Times (including articles published without a byline), draft articles, speeches about journalism and foreign policy, diaries, legal briefs and transcripts, scrapbooks, videotapes, and photographs. The collection also includes correspondence with Justice Harry A. Blackmun, Zbigniew Brzezinski, McGeorge Bundy, Barbara Bush, President Jimmy Carter, President Bill Clinton, Andrew Cuomo, Mario Cuomo, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Holbrooke, Hubert Humphrey, President Lyndon B. Johnson, Henry Kissinger, Edward Koch, George McGovern, Walter Mondale, Bill Moyers, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Rupert Murdoch, Benjamin Netanyahu, President Richard M. Nixon, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, President Ronald Reagan, John D. Rockefeller, Eugene Rostow, Dean Rusk, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr., and Cyrus Vance.
Of particular interest are notes taken of off-the-record discussions with President Lyndon B. Johnson, Dean Rusk, and Robert F. Kennedy, particularly concerning the Vietnam War. The collection also contains drafts of legal briefs concerning the publication of the Pentagon Papers, and notes concerning Frankel's questions as a presidential debate moderator in 1976.
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.
This collection has no restrictions. This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.
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.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Max Frankel Papers; Box and Folder (if known); Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
2011.2012.M053: Source of acquisition--Max Frankel. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--11/22/2011.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Papers processed David Allen, GSAS 2019 06/--/2013.
Finding aid written David Allen, GSAS 2019 06/--/2013.
2013-07-12 xml document instance created by Carrie Hintz
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
History / Biographical Note
Max Frankel (born 3 April 1930 in Gera, Germany) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. Frankel emigrated as a child from Germany on 22 February 1940. He was educated at Columbia University, where he wrote for and edited the Columbia Daily Spectator. Frankel joined The New York Times in 1952, where he remained for fifty years except for a period in the United States Army. Frankel was a foreign correspondent in Vienna, Moscow, and Havana, and later The Times's diplomatic, White House, and Washington correspondent. He was instrumental in the release of the Pentagon Papers in 1971. He edited The Times's editorial page for nearly a decade, and was executive editor between 1986 and 1994. Frankel won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973 for his coverage of President Richard Nixon's visit to China. Frankel is also remembered as the journalist who asked President Gerald Ford a question about Soviet domination of Eastern Europe during a presidential debate in 1976, which Ford answered poorly. Frankel has written two books, The Times of My Life and My Life at The Times (Random House, 1999), and High Noon in the Cold War: Kennedy, Khrushchev and the Cuban Missile Crisis (Ballantine, 2004).