Halberstam, David (1934-2007)

The David Halberstam collection consists of manuscripts, correspondence, research material, professional material, correspondence, printed material, photographs, audio, video, awards, and other material.

Manuscripts by Halberstam in the collection primarily consist of journalism and non-fiction book-length works. Longer works include The Making of a Quagmire (1965); The Unfinished Odyssey of Robert F. Kennedy (1969); Ho (1971); The Best and the Brightest (1972); The Powers that Be (1979); The Breaks of the Game (1981); One Very Hot Day (1984); The Amateurs: The Story of Four Young Men and Their Quest for an Olympic Gold Medal (1985); The Reckoning (1986); Summer of ‘49 (1989); The Next Century (1991); The Fifties (1993); October 1964 (1994); The Children (1998); Playing for Keeps: Michael Jordan and the World He Made (1999); War in a Time of Peace: Bush, Clinton and the Generals (2001); Firehouse (2002); Teammates (2003); and The Education of a Coach (2005); The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War (2007).

Shorter pieces include numerous articles, reviews, and essays for various newspapers and magazines, dating from 1958 to 2005. Halberstam’s Vietnam journalism includes his cables from Saigon to the New York Times, including several items on the coup deposing Diem. Also present are his early reports from the Congo (1961-1962) and stories regarding Martin Luther King, Jr. (1967).

Other manuscripts by Halberstam include his fiction novel, The Noblest Roman (1961); an unpublished book, The File on Carthage; The Cousins, a film treatment and screenplay based on a story by Sabi Shabtai (ca. 1973); a transcript of a recorded interview of Halberstam by Ward Just (the edited version was published in Playboy, 1973); The Best American Sports Writing of the Century (1998), a collection edited by Halberstam;  transcripts and drafts of other interviews, talks, lectures, and various speeches; several commencement addresses (1969-2000); a eulogy for J. Anthony Lukas; his acceptance speech for the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award; a stage play titled Let Us Now Praise Regis Philbin (2000); a foreword to an unidentified book by Hunter S. Thompson (2000); a speech for the memorial service of Dick Schaap; several undated book fragments; and numerous essays on journalism, music, sports, history, and other topics.


Manuscripts by others in the collection include the novels One More Victim by Gleb and Rosenthal (1967); Blood on the Horns: The Long Strange Ride of Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls by Roland Lazenby (1998); International Power in the 21st Century by Leslie Gleb (1999); The Ways of War by Greta Klingon (1999); and Henry R. Luce, Time, and the American Crusade in Asia by Robert Herzstein (2005). Also included are book fragments, proposals, screenplays, speeches, essays, and short stories by others.

Correspondence in the collection primarily dates from 1961 to 2005, and includes numerous personal and professional letters to and from Halberstam, postcards, invitations, emails, and faxes. Included are professional letters regarding topics such as Congo (1961-1962); Vietnam (1963-1964); Saigon (1962-1964); The New York Times (1963); Korea (2002-2003); fan mail and thank you letters (2003-2006); book offers; and correspondence with several diplomats, foreign government officials, US politicians, writers, public figures, and news professionals (1956-2007). Significant personal letters include several letters to and from his family, including letters from Halberstam’s father, Charles Halberstam (1914-1919; some copies).


Notable correspondents from the fields of journalism and publishing include Max Ascoli, Russell Baker, Homer Bigart, Ben Bradlee, Clifton Daniel, Orvil Dryfoos, John Gregory Dunne, Gloria Emerson, James Fallows, Fred Friendly, Katherine Graham, Molly Ivins, Ward Just, Alfred A. Knopf, Arthur Krock, Robert Manning, Joe McGinnis, Willie Morris, Bill Moyers, Edward R. Murrow, William S. Paley,  James Reston, Abe Rosenthal, John Sack, Daniel Schorr, Neil Sheehan, William L. Shirer, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Gay Talese, Hunter S. Thompson, Mike Wallace, Jann Wenner, and Tom Wicker.


Notable political figures represented include McGeorge Bundy, Barbara Bush, George H. W. Bush, Laura Bush, Frank Church, Clark Clifford, Bill Clinton, Bob Dole, J. W. Fulbright, John Kenneth Galbraith, Barry Goldwater, Hubert H. Humphrey, Estes Kefauver, Edward M. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Richard G. Lugar, Walter Mondale, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Ralph Nader, Jack Valenti, and John Paul Vann (whose letters regarding Vietnam are especially notable).

Other notable correspondents include Chet Atkins, John Cheever, Graham Greene, John Grisham, David McCullough, Arthur Miller, Harold Pinter, and Pat Sajak.

Halberstam’s research material is extensive. It includes notes, notebooks, printed items, correspondence, interviews (written and audio), government documents, and other items. All of Halberstam’s non-fiction books and several articles have significant amounts of material present in the papers. Many of the interviews are conducted with significant cultural and historical figures from various fields, backgrounds, and professions, especially the U.S. government and the sports world. Notable interviews include Julian Bond; Warren Buffet; Richard Cohen; Daniel Ellsberg; Abe Fortas, former Supreme Court Justice;  Al Gore; John Kerr; Bobby Knight; Bill Moyers; Diane Nash; Colin Powell; and Lennie Wilkins.

Also included are Halberstam’s interviews with politicians, academics, and church leaders for his Atlantic Monthly article “The Fire to Come in South Africa” (1980); and notes on Hurricane Katrina for his Vanity Fair article “Hell and High Water" (2005).

Professional material in the collection includes subject files; book proposals; various press credentials and press passes; ID cards; calling cards; stationary; itineraries; and other items. Also included are various itineraries and calendars dating from 1995-2007.

Printed material in the collection includes articles, magazines, booklets, page proofs, galley proofs, posters and programs. Articles include the published versions of many articles by Halberstam, from various periodicals (1955-2005), reviews of Halberstam’s books, published interviews of him, articles about him, and profiles of him. Magazines include several sports and news magazines. Booklets include informational booklets regarding the military, war operations, and sports, among others. Page proofs include those for the majority of Halberstam’s non-fiction novels. Galley proofs include those for the novels The Best and the Brightest, The Breaks of the Game, Firehouse, The Powers That Be, The Reckoning, Summer of ’49, and The Unfinished Odyssey of Robert F. Kennedy. Posters include promotional posters for Halberstam’s books. Also included are several programs to events Halberstam attended, as well as a program from Halberstam’s memorial service (2007).


Financial material includes tax documents, royalty statements, and receipts dating from 1990 to 2006.


Photographs in the collection include numerous images (some portraits) of Halberstam, both alone and with friends and family. Notable people with images present include Edward Albee, Muhammad Ali, Rusell Baker, Derek Bok, Barbara Bush, George H. W. Bush, Ada Louise Huxtable, James Conant, Maureen Dowd, Tom Friedman, Michael Jordan, Ward Just, Tommy Lasorda, Henry Cabot Lodge, Clare Boothe Luce, Bess Meyerson, Willie Morris, Harold Raines, William Safire, Dan Shaughnessy, Joe Torre, and Mo Udall. Photographs taken by Halberstam include photos taken while reporting as the New York Times correspondent in the Congo (1961-1962) and Vietnam (1962-1963). Other photographs include various photos of Vietnam, the Congo, and Europe (1960-1966) and photos used as research for The Children.

Audio material in the collection includes reel-to-reel and cassette recordings of various lectures, interviews, talks, and other occasions featuring Halberstam. Also present are numerous interviews with various figures, used as research for his books. Other recordings include a conversation with David McCullough and Halberstam, and an audio version of The Children. Items date from the 1960s to 2005.


Video recordings in the collection include various VHS cassettes on several different topics, dating from 1960-2000. Several interviews with and lectures by Halberstam are included, as well as videos of various baseball and basketball games (for research).

Awards for Halberstam in the collection include the Louis M. Lyons Award (1963-1964), the American Book Award (1988), the Annual Playboy Editorial Award, the Student Leadership Conference Citation for Efforts in Equality and Civil Rights, the George Polk Memorial Award from Long Island University, the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for The Children (1999), the Bob Considine Award from St. Bonaventure Academy (1999), the Frederic G. Melcher Book Award (1999), the Medal of Excellence from Trinity College (2001), the Norman Mailer Prize for Distinguished Journalism (2009), and honorary degrees from Columbia College (1969), Knox College (1974), Ithaca College, the University of New Haven, the University of South Carolina, the University of Wisconsin, Colby College (1997), Niagara University (1998), Tufts University (1999), the University of Michigan (2000), Nazareth College (2001), the City College of New York, Meridian University, Tulane University (2003), Skidmore College (2004), Williams College (2004), and Bentley College (2006).

Other items in the collection include Halberstam’s invitations to the inaugurations of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson; financial material; legal material; and Halberstam’s Olympia-model manual typewriter.

Notable Figures
1. Halberstam, David
Associated Subjects
1. Journalism Subject Guide
2. Military History Subject Guide
3. The Vietnam War Subject Guide
4. Civil Rights Subject Guide