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Fred Bohen papers

 Collection 0113-MMC

Frederick Martin Bohen (1938-2015) was the Director of News and Public Affairs at WNET television in New York and Executive Editor of the Public Broadcast Library (PBL). He also served as editor of the experimental public affairs series, Public Broadcast Laboratory (1968-1969). The collection consists of Bohen's correspondence, speeches, memoranda relating to the programming and administration of WNET and PBL.


  • 1968-1974

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to the public and must be used in the Special Collections reading room. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.


1 Linear Feet (2 Hollinger boxes)

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the professional activities of Frederick Martin Bohen (1938-2015), specifically his roles at WNET and the Public Broadcast Laboratory (PBL).Bohen served as editor of the experimental public affairs series, Public Broadcast Laboratory, 1968-1969, which was underwritten by the Ford Foundation. As Editor, Bohen led numerous programs studying the nuances of American culture. Bohen served as Director of News and Public Affairs for WNET/13 beginning in 1973. The collection provides an overview of his tenure at WNET and in-depth analysis of his programs at PBL.

Biographical / Historical

Fred Bohen was born in Ridgewood, New Jersey in 1938 and was recognized as a civic leader with a distinguished career in education and public affairs. He was assistant dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs from 1964 to 1966. From October 1966 to May 1968 he served as a White House staff assistant in the Lyndon Johnson administration. From September 1969 to April 1972, Bohen was assistant to the president of the Ford Foundation. He was executive editor of the Public Broadcast Library from May 1968 through August 1969 and was directly responsible for its wide variety of programming about American culture. He ran unsuccessfully for Congress in November 1972 in New Jersey's 5th Congressional District. He was appointed Director of News and Public Affairs at WNET/Channel 13 (Educational Broadcasting Corporation) on April 9, 1973. He also served at the Rockefeller University as executive vice president and chief operating officer until his retirement in 2005. He died in 2015 and is survived by three daughters.


This collection is organized at the file level in two boxes. Box 1 (1968-1974) consists of Bohen's personal papers, professional correspondence, and work with both WNET and PBL. Box 2 (1968-1973) consists of Bohen's correspondence and work with PBL.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was donated to the University of Maryland Libraries by Halcyone H. Bohen on June 7, 2016.

Guide to the Fred Bohen papers
Processed by Jen Wachtel.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • 2017-10-18: Finding aid reviewed and minor updates made by Joanne Archer
  • 2021-08-13: Jim Baxter re-wrote the collection abstract.

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742