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THE FULTON OURSLER, JR. PAPERS

The Fulton Oursler, Jr. Papers consist of correspondence, manuscripts, and printed materials relating to projects worked on by Oursler while an editor for Reader's Digest. The collection is arranged in 222 folders in five boxes.

Fulton Oursler, Jr. was born June 27, 1932 in West Falmouth, Massachusetts. His father was Fulton Oursler, Sr., well-known author of "The Greatest Story Ever Told". Fulton, Jr. attended Georgetown University, from which he received an A.B. in 1954, and he later married Anne Noel Nevill, who also attended Georgetown where she received a B.S.N. in 1954. Oursler began working at Reader's Digest in 1956. He served as staff editor and assistant managing editor, and in 1974 he was appointed managing editor of the publication. In 1964, he edited his father's autobiography, "Behold this Dreamer" (Little, Brown). Fulton Oursler, Jr. retired from Reader's Digest in 1990 and now lives in Nyack, New York.

The Fulton Oursler, Jr. Papers contain correspondence, manuscripts, and printed materials collected by Ourlser during his career at Reader's Digest, mostly related to the work he did with well known writers and personalities who wrote for the magazine. The collection is divided up into five series: The Individuals Series, the James A. Michener Series, the Duke of Windsor Series, the John F. Kennedy & Espionage Series, and the Reader's Digest Series.

The Individuals Series contains correspondence and manuscripts from noted writers whose work Oursler edited for Reader's Digest, especially for a collection of essays by notable Americans on "What America Means to Me?" Among these "America" essayists are Arthur Ashe, Theodore H. White, Warren E. Burger, Neil A. Armstrong, Clare Booth Luce, and Eric Hoffer. A large amount of material from Alex Haley is also in this series, including early outlines and versions of "Roots", correspondence about the work's creation, and manuscripts and correspondence regarding other writing projects. Also included are correspondence and manuscripts from such notable people as Lady Bird Johnson, Joe Alsop, Barry Goldwater, Jack Kemp, Hubert H. Humphrey, William F. Buckley, Jr., Lowell Thomas, Catherine Marshall, Meyer Levin, and Theodore H. White.

The James A. Michener Series contains memos, letters, telegrams, article drafts, as well as the edited manuscript of "China Diary", Michener's personal account of President Richard Nixon's historic visit to Peking with Henry Kissinger, which ran in Reader's Digest in May, 1972. Also included is correspondence relating to Michener's "Kent State" and "The Covenant".

The Duke of Windsor Series contains correspondence, notes, clippings and other materials relating to Fulton Oursler, Jr.'s article about meetings between Fulton Oursler, Sr. and the Duke of Windsor in the Bahamas in 1940 during which time Windsor asked for the United States cooperating in ensuring Nazi victory and the placement of the Duke on the British throne again. Oursler based this article, which appeared in American Heritage Magazine, on diaries kept by his father which are now held in the Fulton Oursler (Sr.) Papers here at Georgetown University Special Collections.

The John F. Kennedy Assassination & Espionage Series contins memos, reports, correspondence and printed materials relating to the publication of articles and books by Henry Hurt, Edward J. Epstein, and others on the assassination of John F. Kennedy and Cold War spies. Oursler was the editor of two works by Henry Hurt: "Shadrin, The Spy Who Never Came Back" and "Reasonable Doubt", the latter being an inquiry into the John F. Kennedy assassination. Edward J. Epstein's book, "Legend: The Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald", was one of the first in-depth inquiries into the assassination of John F. Kennedy, breaking the story of the Soviet defector, Yuri Nosenko.

The Reader's Digest Series contains memos, reports, correspondence, and printed materials on generaly corporate and editorial policies at the magazine from the mid-1960's to the mid-1980's. Topics include how to edit down incoming artilces, how to solicit articles, readership demographics, international editions, budgeting, and hiring practices.

ACCESSION DATA: Gift of Fulton Oursler, Jr., 1994.

BULK DATES: 1970 - 1985
SPAN DATES: 1950 - 1990

EXTENT: 5 boxes

SERIES


SERIES: 1. Individuals Series


SERIES DESCRIPTION: Correspondence and manuscripts collected by Fulton Oursler during his tenure as an editor for Reader's Digest.

SERIES: 2. James Michener Series


SERIES DESCRIPTION: Correspondence and manuscripts between James A. Michener and Fulton Oursler, Jr. at Reader's Digest.

SERIES: 3. Duke of Windsor Series


SERIES DESCRIPTION: Materials relating to the research, writing and publication of an article in American Heritage Magazine by Fulton Oursler, Jr. regarding an interview between Fulton Oursler, Sr. and the Duke of Windsor in 1940 regarding Adolf Hitler and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

SERIES: 4. John F. Kennedy & Espionage Series


SERIES DESCRIPTION: Files relating to Reader's Digest publication of articles and books about the John F. Kennedy assassination and the American intelligence community.

SERIES: 5. Reader's Digest Series


SERIES DESCRIPTION: Correspondence from the offices of Reader's Digest regarding various policies.

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