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John D. Fitzgerald papers

 Collection 0561-MMC

The John Fitzgerald collection consists of seven scrapbooks documenting his time at CBS and date between 1935 and 1940. The scrapbooks contain clippings, brochures, and photographs.


  • 1935-1940

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 special collections reading room staff.


7.00 Linear Feet

Biographical / Historical

John Drake Fitzgerald (1902-1969) was born on May 10, 1902, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He earned his bachelor's degree in business from the University of Wisconsin in 1924; married Ruth E. Riegel (1913-1989) in 1938. After graduation, Fitzgerald worked in sales promotion for the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company in Milwaukee, then joined the Columbia Broadcasting System in Chicago in 1935 as publicity director for Chicago's WBBM-AM and CBS western special events chief.

He moved to CBS headquarters in New York in November 1936. As assistant to vice president and news director Paul White, Fitzgerald was in charge of special events and sports. During his time there, he assembled eight large scrapbooks documenting the development of CBS news from 1935 to 1940.

Fitzgerald then joined the National Association of Manufacturers as radio director. Fitzgerald oversaw the "Defense for America" radio series on the NBC Red Network and "Your Defense Reporter" series on the Mutual Network.

In 1944, he was hired by Compton Advertising in New York. Fitzgerald briefly returned to CBS in 1949 as an account executive, then joined the Alley and Richards advertising agency in a similar capacity. In 1954, Fitzgerald moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana, to become public relations director first for the Willis S. Martin Company, then moving to the Joslyn Stainless Steel Company in 1959.

Fitzgerald died February 27, 1969, in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

The scrapbooks are very fragile and should be handled with care.

Custodial History

The John Fitzgerald papers were originally donated to the Broadcast Pioneer's Library by Mr. Fitzgerald's wife, Ruth, in the early 1970s. The papers became part of the University of Maryland Libraries collection when the BPL was transferred to the University in September 1994.

Related Materials

The Hagley Museum in Delaware holds a scrapbook created by Fitzgerald which documents some of the work the Radio Division of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) did in 1941. More information is available in the finding aid.

Processing Information

The scrapbooks were removed from their original binders and placed in archival binders. Acid free paper was interleaved between each page. Scrapbooks are arranged in chronological order.

Guide to the John Fitzgerald papers
Tracee Haupt and Joanne Archer
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

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