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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Theodore F. Koop Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1940-1976
Creator: Koop, Theodore F. (1907-1988)
Extent: 1.50 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0642
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Journalist with the Associated Press before WWII, with the National Geographic Society and CBS after 1948. He conceived Face the Nation. Correspondence, subject files, speeches, and preliminary drafts of his works.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in Box 1.

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: The Koop papers were given to the University of Iowa Libraries in 1989, by his sister, Laura K. Merikle.

Preferred Citation: Theodore F. Koop Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman
Email: lib-spec@uiowa.edu
Website: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/sc

Theodore Frederick Koop was born in Monticello, Iowa, in 1907. He graduated from the University of Iowa in 1928, majoring in journalism. While at Iowa he was editor of the school's paper, The Daily Iowan and was active in inter-collegiate debates. From 1928 to 1941, Koop was with the Associated Press, first serving in Des Moines and finally as a news editor in the Washington Bureau. He helped plan news coverage and wrote many major stories. He covered Franklin Roosevelt's third inauguration and directed the AP coverage of Wendell Wilkie's presidential campaign in 1940.

Koop joined the National Geographic Society staff in 1941, before entering the service in World War II. While in the navy, he worked in the federal government's office of censorship. After the war, he returned to the National Geographic Society, staying there until 1948, when he accepted a position with CBS Radio, as director of news and public affairs in Washington,D.C. He was named vice president of the CBS Television network in 1961. It was Theodore Koop, who conceived the public affairs program Face the Nation and was actively involved in The Selling of the Pentagon, a CBS special report in 1971. Koop died in 1988.

The papers of Theodore F. Koop consist of 1.5 linear feet of manuscripts dating from 1940 to 1976, and are arranged alphabetically. His career as a journalist is documented with subject files ranging from his coverage of the Wendell Willkie campaign in 1940, to the Khrushchev interview on Face the Nation in 1957, and the airing of the controversial program The Selling of the Pentagon in 1971. There are also early drafts, correspondence, and reviews of his book about censorship during WWII, Weapon of Silence.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL
Series 2: THE SELLING OF THE PENTAGON
Series 3: SPEECHES
Series 4: WEAPON OF SILENCE
Series 5: ASSOCIATED PRESS STORIES

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • K-H Associates - 1974-1979
    Circus of Saints and Sinners, including letters from: Helen Hayes, Frank Church, Joseph L. Powell, Jim Wright, Elizabeth Taylor, Robert Dole, and Robert Byrd.
  • Khruschev Interview, Face the Nation - 1957
  • Khruschev Visit - 1955-1960
    Correspondence, schedules, etc.
  • Newspaper clippings - 1947-1988
  • Photograph: Theodore Koop with unidentified man, Journalism and Graduate College Lecture - 1954
  • Photograph: Theodore Koop, Journalism and Graduate College Lecture - 1954
  • Photograph: Theodore Koop, Journalism and Graduate College Lecture - 1954
  • Photograph: Theodore Koop
  • Photograph: Theodore Koop, negatives (4)
  • Polk, George - 1948-1951
    Correspondence, clippings, etc. regarding the Polk murder.
  • Postage Stamps - 1945-1946
    Envelopes collected during WWII while serving as a censor; some contain brief correspondence.
  • Series 2: THE SELLING OF THE PENTAGON
  • Box 1:
  • CBS statements regarding Vice President Agnew's criticism - 1971
  • Legal materials regarding the subpoena and contempt of Congress charge - 1971
  • Newspaper clippings - 1971
  • Remarks of Frank Stanton before the National Association of Broadcasters, April 11 - 1972
  • Box 2:
  • Transcript of CBS News Special Report: "The Court and a Free Press," July 2 - 1971
  • Transcript of CBS News Special Report: "The Pentagon Papers: A Conversation with Daniel Ellsberg," June 23 - 1971
  • Transcript of CBS News Special Report: Transcript of CBS News Special Report: "The Pentagon Papers: What They Mean," July 13 - 1971
  • Transcript of CBS News Special Report: "Perspective: The Selling of the Pentagon," April 18 - 1971
  • Transcript of CBS News Special Report: "The Selling of the Pentagon and a Postscript," March 23 - 1971
    Rebroadcast
  • Transcript of CBS News Special Report: "The Supreme Court and the Pentagon Papers," July 26 - 1971
  • Transcripts of Face the Nation, July 11 - 1971
  • UPI News Reports, July - 1971
  • Series 3: SPEECHES
  • Box 2:
  • Speeches - 1945-1957
  • Speeches - 1958-1968
  • Speeches - 1970-1976
  • Speeches, undated
  • Series 4: WEAPON OF SILENCE
  • Box 3:
  • Correspondence - 1946-1947
  • Typescript, with corrections and revisions
    2 folders
  • Printer's typescript, with revisions
    3 folders
  • Reviews - 1946-1947, 1963
  • Series 5: ASSOCIATED PRESS STORIES
  • Box 3:
  • Willkie, Wendall. Associated Press stories written by Koop - 1940