EMERSON, WILLIAM A., 1923-2009
William A. Emerson papers, 1949-2011

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322

404-727-6887

rose.library@emory.edu

Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/8z8gz

Collection Stored Off-Site

All or portions of this collection are housed off-site. Materials can still be requested but researchers should expect a delay of up to two business days for retrieval.


Descriptive Summary

Creator: Emerson, William A., 1923-2009
Title: William A. Emerson papers, 1949-2011
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 1094
Extent: 8 linear ft. (16 boxes) and 5 oversized paper (OP)
Abstract:Papers of Atlanta journalist William A. Emerson, Jr., including correspondence, writings, newspaper clippings, printed material, and artwork.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Collection stored off-site. Researchers must contact the Rose Library in advance to access this collection.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Source

Gift, 2008.

Citation

[after identification of item(s)], William A. Emerson papers, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

Processing

Arranged and described at the folder level by Ingrid Meintjes, Sarah Quigley, Brittney Rankins, Anastasiia Strakhova, and Kassandra Ware.


Collection Description

Biographical Note

William Austin Emerson, Jr., journalist, editor, and author, was born in 1923 in North Carolina and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, where he died in 2009. He attended Davidson College in North Carolina for two years, then served in the United States Army in World War II in the China-Burma-India theater. After the war, he completed his bachelor's degree at Harvard University. Upon graduation in 1948 he worked for Collier's magazine. From 1953-1961, Emerson was the chief of Newsweek's Atlanta Bureau, where he was the first bureau chief to cover the southern United States. He is known for his journalism on the civil rights era. From 1965-1969, he was editor-in-chief at The Saturday Evening Post. He later joined the faculty of the University of South Carolina (Columbia, South Carolina), where he taught journalism. In addition to his journalistic writing, Emerson published The Jesus Story (1971), Sin and the New American Conscience (1974), contributed to To Rule the Night: The Discovery Voyage of Astronaut Jim Irwin (1974), and wrote papers, short stories, and speeches. Emerson often published under the byline Bill Emerson. He also worked for ABC News, was a popular speaker, and was married to Lucy Kiser for 56 years until her death in 2005.

William Austin Emerson, Jr., journalist, editor, and author, was born in 1923 in North Carolina and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, where he died in 2009. He attended Davidson College in North Carolina for two years, then served in the United States Army in World War II in the China-Burma-India theater. After the war, he completed his bachelor's degree at Harvard University. Upon graduation in 1948 he worked for Collier's magazine. From 1953-1961, Emerson was the chief of Newsweek's Atlanta Bureau, where he was the first bureau chief to cover the southern United States. He is known for his journalism on the civil rights era. From 1965-1969, he was editor-in-chief at The Saturday Evening Post. He later joined the faculty of the University of South Carolina (Columbia, South Carolina), where he taught journalism. In addition to his journalistic writing, Emerson published The Jesus Story (1971), Sin and the New American Conscience (1974), contributed to To Rule the Night: The Discovery Voyage of Astronaut Jim Irwin (1974), and wrote papers, short stories, and speeches. Emerson often published under the byline Bill Emerson. He also worked for ABC News, was a popular speaker, and was married to Lucy Kiser for 56 years until her death in 2005.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of the personal and professional papers of William A. Emerson, Jr., from 1949-2011. The papers include correspondence, writings, newspaper clippings and other printed material, and artwork. The correspondence concerns Emerson's work as a journalist for Collier's and Newsweek, in addition to his tenure as editor of The Saturday Evening Post. The collection also includes some of Emerson's personal correspondence, which documents his work with charity and church organizations, professional societies, and other authors. The majority of the newspaper clippings are of Emerson's columns and articles. Writings include drafts of essays, columns, and editorials that later appeared in print. A large portion of the collection consists of Emerson's speech cards, research, and notes relating to his numerous speaking engagements and teaching activities.

The collection also contains an original watercolor cartoon of William A. Emerson by political cartoonist Robert Ariail. Noteworthy in the collection are investigation reports and research relating to The Saturday Evening Post's investigation into University of Georgia's head football coach James Wallace "Wally" Butts Jr. for allegedly conspiring to fix games with Alabama head coach Bear Bryant. The Post's "Story of a College Football Fix” appeared on March 23, 1963 and three days later, Butts sued Curtis Publishing, The Post’s parent company, for libel in the amount of $10 million. Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts reached the Supreme Court and became a landmark case by upholding the Atlanta federal court's decision to award Butts damages for libel. Also noteworthy are interview transcripts and page proofs of Emerson's interview with Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Jr. (1968). Finally, the collection includes materials pertaining to The Jesus Story and The Importance of Idle Conversation (1973), an unpublished collection of Emerson's journalism.

Arrangement Note

Arranged by record type, then in alphabetical order.


Selected Search Terms

Uniform Title

Corporate Names

Personal Names

Topical Terms

Form/Genre Terms


Container List

Personal papers
Box Folder Content
1 1 Administrative files, The Saturday Evening Post and other unidentified employers, 1949-1976
OP1 - Artwork by Robert Ariail, original watercolor cartoon of William A. Emerson
1 2 Artwork by F.E. Becerra, undated [includes portraits of William A. Emerson]
1 3 Artwork, unidentified, undated
1 4 Atlanta's Hundred Leaders of Tomorrow, selection award, 1953 April 15 [folder only]
1 5 Business cards, undated
1 6 Correspondence, 1948-1951
1 7 Correspondence, 1952-1959
1 8 Correspondence, 1962-1963
1 9 Correspondence, 1964
1 10 Correspondence, 1965
1 11 Correspondence, 1966-1968
1 12 Correspondence, 1969-1970
2 1 Correspondence, 1971-1973
2 2 Correspondence, 1974-1975
2 3 Correspondence, 1976-1990
2 4 Correspondence, 1994-2001, 2009-2011
2 5 Correspondence, empty envelopes, 1952-1997
2 6 Correspondence, undated
2 7 Diet, undated
2 8 Financial records, 1964-1965
2 9 Financial records, 1966-1975
3 1 "The Griffinpoof Song," poem, undated
3 2 International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers, 1966-1968
3 3 Interview, 1965 February 1
3 4 Invitations, 1965-1999
OP2 - Irwin, James B. with William A. Emerson, To Rule the Night, poster, 1973
3 5 Ivey, Pete, "The Incredible Persimmon," 1970
3 6 List of addresses and phone numbers, undated
3 7 Megargee, Edwin T., "Portrait of a Peaceful Protest," typescript, circa 1968
3 8 Moore, Virlyn B., "Lend me your ears," 1987 [inscribed to William A. Emerson from the author]
3 9 Newsletters, 1966-1979
3 10 Newspaper clipping with inscription by Jim Head, 1974 [article by Emerson, sketch of Emerson by F.E. Becerra]
3 11 Newspaper clippings, 1943-1962
3 12 Newspaper clippings, 1963 [1 of 2]
3 13 Newspaper clippings, 1963 [2 of 2]
3 14 Newspaper clippings, 1964-1972
4 1 Newspaper clippings, 1973-1985
4 2 Newspaper clippings, 1993-2005
4 3 Newspaper clippings, undated
4 4 "Newsweek Chatter," employee newsletter, 1956
4 5 Newsweek magazine, 1954
4 6 North River Press, promotional material, 1970-1974
4 7 Oliver, Mary, "The Night Traveler," undated [photocopy]
4 8 Personal photographs, 1927-2007
4 9 Peterson, Theodore, "Communications in a Changing World," speech, 1967 August 8
OP3 - Postalgram, William Emerson, author of The Jesus Story, on "Today Show," 1971
4 10 Programs and brochures, 1958-1967, 1980
4 11 "The Quips and Cranks," graduation yearbook, Davidson College (Davidson, North Carolina), 1942
5 1 Sanders, Alex, "Miz Tuten's Cat" and "Miz Tuten's Cat: The Deconstruction," 1994 October 10
5 2 "A Short History of The Saturday Evening Post," 1959
5 3 Sigma Delta Chi, membership certificate, 1953
5 4 Sprunger, Meredith J., "The Evaluation of the Urantia Book," typescript, circa 1955
5 5 Trade journals, 1953, 1958, 2011
5 6 Truman, Harry S., draft of Saturday Evening Post article, circa 1964
5 7 The William Allen White Centennial Seminar: "The Role of the Mass Media in a Free Society" (The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas), 1968 April 28-30
Research and writing
5 8 Alderman, Annabel, circa 1996
5 9 Articles, typescripts, 1969
5 10 Articles, typescripts, undated
5 11 Ashmore, Harry S., circa 1956
5 12 Blurbs, typescripts, undated
OP4 - Bryant, Paul W., Chronological listing of telephone toll calls made and received, includes calls received from James Wallace Butts "Wally" Jr., 1962-1963
5 13 Butts, James Wallace "Wally" Jr., editorial page proof, 1963
5 14 Butts, James Wallace "Wally" Jr., investigation reports, 1960-1964
5 15 Butts, James Wallace "Wally" Jr., investigation reports, indexed, 1963 [1 of 2]
6 1 Butts, James Wallace "Wally" Jr., investigation reports, indexed, 1963 [2 of 2]
6 2 Butts, James Wallace "Wally" Jr., research notes, circa 1963
6 3 Butts, James Wallace "Wally" Jr., United Press International story leads, 1963
6 4 "Doug Prince Hamburger King," undated
6 5 "Ed's Night Out," undated
6 6 "The Football Fix," 1962
6 7 Harrelson, Leonard Humphrey, circa 1962
6 8 "The Healy Story," typescripts and notes, 1990-1996 [variant titles: "Passing in High Places," "The Irishman"]
6 9 Humphrey, Hubert Horatio Jr., interview transcript and notes, 1968
OP5 - Humphrey, Hubert Horatio Jr., interview, page proofs, 1968
6 10 The Importance of Idle Conversation, 1973
6 11 Irwin, James, with William A. Emerson, To Rule the Night, editorial correspondence and book reviews, 1973
6 12 The Jesus Story, reviews and promotional materials, 1971-1973 [1 of 3]
7 1 The Jesus Story, reviews and promotional materials, 1971-1973 [2 of 3]
7 2 The Jesus Story, reviews and promotional materials, 1971-1973 [3 of 3]
7 3 "The Nashville Story," 1957
7 4 Notebooks, undated [1 of 6]
7 5 Notebooks, undated [2 of 6]
7 6 Notebooks, undated [3 of 6]
7 7 Notebooks, undated [4 of 6]
7 8 Notebooks, undated [5 of 6]
8 1 Notebooks, undated [6 of 6]
8 2 Notes, 1952-1997
8 3 Pou, Charles, circa 2001
8 4 Reports, typescripts, undated
8 5 Short stories, 1949-1952
8 6 Sibley, Celestine, 1999
8 7 "Sin and the New American Conscience," reviews and promotional material, 1974-1975
8 8 "Sin and the New American Conscience," undated
8 9 Speech typescripts, 1988-1990
9 1 Thomas, Dave, 1962-1963
9 2 "Tomorrow will be better," undated
9 3 "The Witness," undated
Speech notes
9 4 "The Adventure of Writing The Jesus Story," 2000-2001
9 5 Advertising Age media workshop, 1968
9 6 Advertising Association of the Belk and Leggett Department Stores, 1978
9 7 American Association of Advertising Agencies, Southwest Council, Houston, undated
9 8 American Association of Conservation Information, undated
9 9 The American Association of University Women, 1975
9 10 American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry, 1980
9 11 American Society of Magazine Editors, undated
9 12 American Society of News Editors, 1992
9 13 Anderson, Terry, 1995
9 14 Association of Educators in Journalism, 1979
9 15 "Atlanta Newspapers: Before the Current Historians," 1988
9 16 "Atlanta Newspapers: An Outrageous Appraisal," 1990
9 17 The Atlanta Press Club, 1974
9 18 The Atlanta Rotary Club, undated
9 19 Atlanta S.D.X. (?), 1976
9 20 The Audit Bureau of Circulations, Toronto, Canada, undated
9 21 "Authors: How to get the best of them," undated
9 22 Berkley County Chamber of Commerce, South Carolina, undated
9 23 Bragg, Rick, 1998
9 24 Breakfast Club, 1990
9 25 "Breaking into Regional and National Markets," Atlanta Writers' Club, 1989
9 26 "California," undated
9 27 Campbell Soup, undated
9 28 Campbell, William, 1992
9 29 Carolina Scholars, University of South Carolina, 1977
10 1 The Carrollton Rotary Club, 1998
10 2 Chaplins, University of South Carolina, 1979
10 3 "Charlotte P.R.," 1977
10 4 The Charlotte Society of Communicating Arts and Charlotte Ad Club, 1978
10 5 "Charting Newspapers," Arkansas, 1992
10 6 Chrysler Corporation Management Club, undated
10 7 Circulation Managers Association, 1976
10 8 "Clues to making a marriage work," 1979
10 9 Cole, Laura, 2004
10 10 College News Association of the Carolinas, 1985, 1991
10 11 College of Pharmacy, unidentified institution, 1979
10 12 Collegiate Press Association, South Carolina, undated
10 13 Columbia Sales and Marketing Executives Club, 1978
10 14 Commerce Club, 1995
10 15 Communications Seminar 1, 1970
10 16 Communications Seminar 2, 1970
10 17 "Crack the Markets," Adjunct short course, University of South Carolina, 1987
10 18 "Cuba," undated
10 19 Cumming, Joe and Emily, 1992
10 20 Davidson College, circa 1970s
10 21 "A day at The Post," undated
10 22 DeVries at Cedar Rapids, 2001
10 23 Dr. William Henry Emerson portrait unveiling, 1992
10 24 Editing speech, Ohio State University, 1994
10 25 "Editing," undated
10 26 Editorial Writers, South Carolina, 1979
10 27 Emory University and Southern Newspapers Publishers Association Symposium on Southern Journalists, 1998
10 28 Emory University, 1983, 2001, 2007
10 29 Fine Arts Study Club, 1991
10 30 Finley, John, Harvard University, undated
10 31 First Amendment Conference, 1986
11 1 First Presbyterian Session, 1994
11 2 Frady, Marshall, undated
11 3 The Franklin Forum, 1984
11 4 Free Press, undated
11 5 Friedrich, Otto, 1995
11 6 Friends of Atlanta Public Library, 1982
11 7 Friends of Dunwoody Library, Brooke-Baker Award, 1995
11 8 Friends of the Richland County Public Library, undated
11 9 General Assembly of the United Presbyterian Church, undated
11 10 Georgetown Chamber of Commerce, 1985
11 11 Georgia Bar Association, 1985
11 12 Gilbert, Richard Reynolds, wedding rehearsal dinner speech, 1999
11 13 Grand Stands Press Club, 1983
11 14 The Greater Atlanta Arts Council, 1967
11 15 "Greenbrier," undated
11 16 Harry Ashmore memorial speeches, 1998
11 17 Hilton Head, 1977
11 18 Hitchcock Presbyterian Church, undated
11 19 Home Depot Annual Meeting, 1994
11 20 Hordern, William, undated
11 21 Houston, Charles G., 1996
11 22 "How I got here," undated
11 23 "Interviewing," Associated Press Broadcasters, Charleston, South Carolina, 1984
11 24 "Improving writing," with Roy Reed, Arkansas, undated
11 25 "Jesus," Fortnightly Book Club, 1976
11 26 "Jesus and his Culture," undated
11 27 "Jesus and his Times," undated
11 28 "Jesus" speech, Eastminster Church, 1980
11 29 "The Jesus Story: Why did I write The Jesus Story?" 1981 The Jesus Story?" 1981
11 30 John Popham Seminar, 1988
11 31 Junior League Book Club, undated
12 1 Junior League speeches, 1977, 1982, 1990
12 2 Junior League Sustainers, Columbia, South Carolina, 1977
12 3 Kiwanis Club of Columbia, South Carolina, 1981
12 4 The Lancaster Rotary Club, South Carolina, undated
12 5 Larchmont University Club, 1972
12 6 Launois, John, undated
12 7 Law enforcement speech, Columbia, South Carolina, undated
12 8 Lawyers Club of Atlanta, 1975, 1983
12 9 Lawyers Club of Atlanta, 1991
12 10 Log Cabin Community Sunday School, 1995
12 11 Lokey, Hamilton, 1992
12 12 London Magazine Editors' Club, undated
12 13 Louisville Sunday Magazines, 1984
12 14 Lyndon B. Johnson Center, Southwest Texas State University, 1981
12 15 McCarter, (?), undated
12 16 Metro, undated
12 17 Moore, Verlin, 1991
12 18 The Morse Telegraph Club of America, 1960
12 19 Mothers' Club Book Club, Atlanta, Georgia, 1960
12 20 "Mystery Man of Wall Street," 1979
12 21 National Conference of Editorial Writers, 1979, 1998
12 22 National Council of College Publications Advisers, 1976, 1979
12 23 National Employment and Training Administration Information Meeting, New Orleans, 1977
13 1 National Geographic Magazine, 1982
13 2 National League of American Pen Women, undated
13 3 National Society of the Colonial Dames, 100th Anniversary Celebration, Charleston, 1993
13 4 National Society of the Colonial Dames, Chattanooga, 1999
13 5 National Society of the Colonial Dames, Tennessee, undated
13 6 New York Times Regional Newspapers Editorial Clinic, Atlanta, 1988
13 7 News Reporting and Writing Class, Emory University, 1991
13 8 Nolan, Joe, undated
13 9 North Lake Regional Medical Center, Tucker, Georgia, 1995
13 10 Old War Horse Lawyers Club, Annual Banquet, 1993
13 11 Omicron Delta Kappa, 1978
13 12 Patterson, Gene, undated
13 13 Peel, Lucy, 1998
13 14 Pennington, Dudley, funeral service, 2004
13 15 "Person of Jesus," undated
13 16 Pickens County Library, 1997
13 17 "Poor Richard," undated
13 18 Popham Seminar, 1985-1992
13 19 Popham Seminar Memorial Speech, 2000
14 1 Protestant Church-owned Publishers' Association, 1972
14 2 "Problems of the South," undated
14 3 Public Relations Society of America, Columbia, South Carolina, undated
14 4 Readers Digest, Brigham Young University, 1980
14 5 Readers Digest, Florida, 1980
14 6 Readers Digest, University of South Carolina, 1984
14 7 "Revolution in the magazine business," undated
14 8 Richland and Lexington County Midlands Alumni, undated
14 9 Richland Memorial Hospital, 1981
14 10 "The rise and fall and rise? of general magazines," 1990
14 11 Robert Burns Society, 1982
14 12 Sams, Ferrol, 2000-2001
14 13 Sandhills Writers' Workshop and Writing Conference, 1978
14 14 The Saturday Evening Post, undated [1 of 2]
14 15 The Saturday Evening Post, undated [2 of 2]
14 16 The Saturday Evening Post Special Issue on 'Love in America,' undated
14 17 "Saturday night live," Eastminster Presbyterian Church, 1984
14 18 Scroggins, Albert T., retirement roast, University of South Carolina, 1986
14 19 S.E.P. (?), Puerto Rico, undated
14 20 "Separate Pasts: Diversity and Community in Southern Autobiography," University of Central Arkansas, 1996
14 21 Shadburn, Morris, 1988
15 1 Sibley, Celestine, 1990, 1997-2001
15 2 Siddons, Anne Rivers, 1994
15 3 Sigma Delta Chi, Columbia, South Carolina, 1976, 1978
15 4 "Sin and the new American conscience," 1974, 1975
15 5 Sitton, Claude, undated
15 6 "The Social Environment, 1968," United Presbyterian Men meeting, New York, 1968
15 7 Society of Magazine Writers, undated
15 8 Society of Publication Designers, undated
15 9 The South Carolina Club, 2003
15 10 South Carolina Press Association, 1981
15 11 South Carolina Textile Manufacturers Association, Kiawah Island, 1980
15 12 Southern District of Securities Industry Association, Ponte Vedra, Florida, 1991
15 13 The Southern Interscholastic Press Association, 1978-1985
15 14 Southern Newspaper Publishers Association, 1982
15 15 "St. John and Paul," Larchmont, New York, undated
15 16 Steed, Bob (?), undated
15 17 Style notes, undated
15 18 Tate, anniversary meeting, 1990, 1993
16 1 Taylor, Molly Atwood, baptismal toast, undated
16 2 Teepen, Tom, 1999
16 3 Torch Club, 1978
16 4 Unidentified fragments, undated [1 of 2]
16 5 Unidentified fragments, undated [2 of 2]
16 6 Unidentified fragments, 1975-1998
16 7 University of Missouri School of Journalism, undated
16 8 Village Writers, 1982
16 9 "Vitality: The Magic of Communication," Saturday Evening Post dinner, undated
16 10 "What is the purpose of the city?" undated
16 11 "What is truth?" undated
16 12 Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America, undated
16 13 Writing coach speech, 1985
16 14 Zenax Brothers, 1992, 2005
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