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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Nick Thimmesch Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1956-1985
Creator: Thimmesch, Nick (1927-1985)
Extent: 39.50 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0709
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Journalist with Time and Newsday, where he began a column nationally syndicated in 1969. Author of several books. Correspondence, research, interviews, audio tapes, photographs, speeches, reporter's notebooks, and preliminary drafts of his works.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in Boxes 19, 28; Audio material in Boxes 1-3, 8, 16, 17, 24.

Access: This collection is open for research.

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


The papers of Nick Thimmesch were donated to the University of Iowa Libraries in 1986 by his son, Nicholas Thimmesch, II.

Preferred Citation: Nick Thimmesch 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

Nicholas Thimmesch was born on November 13, 1927, in Dubuque, Iowa. He attended public and parochial schools before graduating from Dubuque Senior High School in 1944. Thimmesch served with the Merchant Marines from 1945 -- 1947 before returning to Iowa to attend Loras College and the University of Iowa. He received his B.A. in journalism from the University of Iowa in 1950. He married Wynora Susan Plum on April 17, 1953. They had three sons and two daughters. Nick Thimmesch died on July 11, 1985, in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Thimmesch began his career as a reporter for the Davenport Times, leaving there to join the Des Moines Register in 1952. In 1955, he became a member of the staff of Time magazine, later becoming chief of its New York bureau. He became associated with Newsday as its Washington bureau chief where he began to write a column. In 1969, his column became nationally syndicated through the Los Angeles Times Syndicate. From 1976 to1978, he was a contributing editor for New York magazine. In 1981, Thimmesch became resident journalist at the American Enterprise Institute of Public Policy Research. While continuing to write his column, he worked on Communication for a Free Society, an Institute project, through which he moderated more than twenty public seminars on news media issues. Thimmesch was also the author of several books including The Condition of Republicanism and Robert Kennedy at 40.

These records cover the years 1956-1985 and are arranged alphabetically. The collection contains materials on many subjects that Thimmesch researched during his career as a political reporter, columnist, and writer of personality profiles. Special features of interest include manuscripts of The Condition of Republicanism and Robert F. Kennedy at 40, and typescripts of articles that appeared in Argosy, McCalls, Time, New York, Saturday Evening Post, and Sports Illustrated. A collection of columns written for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate is also included.

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