Lot 102: Uncommon Letter by Edward R. Murrow, Famous CBS News Radio and TV Personality
Presidential Letters, Free Franks & Speeches: Washington to Bush + Important Autographs in History, Science & the Arts
26 October 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: MURROW, EDWARD R. (1908-1965). Pioneering American broadcast journalist and WWII correspondent. TLS. (“ER Murrow”). 1p. 4to. Washington, D.C., March 29, 1962. On letterhead of the United States Information Agency to notable Civil War scholar and autograph collector ARNOLD F. GATES (1914-1993). ********** “I very much appreciate your comments on my talk to the Lincoln Group of February 10. I wish I could accept the invitation for the dinner meetings of your group on May 18 and 19 but I must decline with sincere regret. I expect to be absent from the country at that time…”********** Murrow began his career at CBS Radio in 1935 and made a name for himself three years later during his first on-air appearance, reporting live from Vienna on the Nazi annexation of Austria. His ongoing, innovative coverage of World War II, including dramatic dispatches during the London Blitz, made him an international celebrity and set the standard for foreign news broadcasting. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor and America’s entry into the war, he flew on 25 Allied combat missions, which he vividly described for his listeners. In 1943, Winston Churchill offered to put him in charge of the BBC, but Murrow declined and, instead, returned to the U.S. a hero where he continued his radio broadcasts from his new position as vice president of CBS. During the early days of television he hosted such programs as See It Now and Person to Person. ********** In 1961, Murrow left CBS to head the United States Information Agency, formed eight years earlier by President Eisenhower to promote American interests abroad, most notably via its broadcast arm the Voice of America. During his tenure, Murrow’s leadership raised the agency’s profile and credibility; he resigned shortly before his untimely death from lung cancer. ********** Gates, a well-respected amateur historian of the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln, devoted 50 years to researching those subjects, reviewing books for the Lincoln Herald and contributing to such works as the anthology Lincoln for the Ages. He was an avid letter writer and “friend and unofficial agent of many a noted author,” (“Autographica Curiosa: How Not to Impress Emily Post,” Autograph Magazine, Butts). ********** Our boldly signed letter is folded with some slight creasing and in very good condition.