Ben Grauer papers, 1915-1977.
Radio and television announcer, reporter, commentator, and host. Grauer, born Benjamin Franklin Grauer, began his show business
career in 1915 as a child actor on the Broadway stage and in silent movies. After graduating from the City College of New
York in 1930, he was hired by the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) and became one of its most famous "voices."
Scope and Contents
Correspondence, manuscripts, diaries, radio, television, and film scripts, notes, subject files, documents, financial records,
photographs, memorabilia, clippings, and printed materials. Grauer's voluminous professional, personal, and family correspondence
reflect his many and varied interests in radio, television, motion pictures, sound recordings, journalism, book collecting,
printing, the graphic arts, and travel. Among the significant correspondents there are 43 letters from Henry Miller, 26 letters
from Eric Partridge, and ten letters from Bruce Rogers. There are numerous single letters from public figures and celebrities,
many written to the author, Quentin Reynolds, who organized Grauer's 25th Anniversary in Broadcasting in 1950. Among these
are George Abbott, Agnes de Mille, Samuel Goldwyn, John Hersey, Bob Hope, Lauritz Melchior, Edward R. Murrow, Anaïs Nin,
David Sarnoff, and Thornton Wilder. There are thousands of letters from fans, friends, and family, including Grauer's wife
Melanie Kahane, the interior decorator. b The manuscripts consist of early writings; radio, television, film, and sound recording
scripts with related notes and correspondence; speeches; periodical articles; and several book manuscripts. The majority of
the Scripts File are for NBC productions, but also included are scripts for the Voice of America, commercials, films, and
records. Among Grauer's many "firsts" in broadcasting are the first live report of Count Folke Bernadotte's assasination,
the first radio show to present cash prizes ("Pot 'o Gold"), and NBC television's first live news event, the opening of the
1939 New York World's Fair. The Activities File documents Grauer's presence in broadcasting, book collecting, printing and
the graphic arts, travel, including the promotion of the Pan American Highway, and his membership in countless organizations.
There are more than 3,000 photographs documenting his career from his years as a child actor through the more than 40 years
he was associated with NBC. He was photographed with the famous men and women of his generation whose activities he covered
on the air. The Publicity File contains newspaper and periodical clippings on his career. Also included is one audio tape
recording of "Salute to Ben Grauer," Nov. 15, 1950, an off the air recording.