Guide to the Papers of Ira Berkow, undated, 1960-2011
 
*P-900

Processed by Michael D. Montalbano and Marvin Rusinek

American Jewish Historical Society

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 294-6160

Fax: (212) 294-6161

Email: reference@ajhs.org

URL: http://www.ajhs.org

© 2014, American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA and New York, NY. All Rights Reserved.
Electronic finding aid was encoded in EAD 2002 by Michael D. Montalbano in August 14, 2010. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Berkow, Ira
Title: Ira Berkow, papers
Dates:undated, 1960-2011
Abstract: This collection documents the work of Ira Berkow, an American sportswriter. Berkow was born in Chicago, Illinois on January 7, 1940 and attended Roger C. Sullivan High School in the Rogers Park section of Chicago, where he graduated from in 1957. His college career began at Miami University (BA, 1963) and ended at Northwestern University (MSJ, 1965). His first post as a sportswriter was with the Minneapolis Tribune (1965-1967). He then moved on to the syndicated news service Newspaper Enterprise Association where he worked as a columnist and writer from 1967-1976. In 1981, he started as a sports feature writer and columnist for the New York Times. He remained at the NY Times until his retirement in 2007. This collection contains correspondence and photographs of Ira Berkow and documents his relationship with leaders in sports, politics, religion, and the arts. The collection also contains selected articles and appearances on television and radio made during his career.
Languages: The collection is in English.
Quantity: 1.7 linear feet (2 manuscript boxes and 1 SB1 box)
Identification: P-900
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
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Biographical Note

Ira Berkow, an American sportswriter. Berkow was born in Chicago, Illinois on January 7, 1940 and attended Roger C. Sullivan High School in the Rogers Park section of Chicago, where he graduated from in 1957. His college career began at Miami University (BA, 1963) and ended at Northwestern University (MSJ, 1965). His first post as a sportswriter was with the Minneapolis Tribune (1965-1967). He then moved on to the syndicated news service Newspaper Enterprise Association where he worked as a columnist and writer from 1967-1976. In 1981, he started as a sports feature writer and columnist for the New York Times. He remained at the New York Times until his retirement in 2007. Since retiring, he has continued writing books and documentary films about sports.

The book Rockin' Steady: A Guide to Basketball and Cool, which he wrote with Wilt Frazier, was named by the American Library Association as one of the Best Books for Young Adults in the last 75 years. His 1987 book, The Man Who Robbed the Pierre: The Story of Bobby Comfort, was awarded the Edgar Award for Best True Crime Book of the Year. In 2001 he won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for his article, "The Minority Quarterback" in a New York Times series titled, "How Race Is Lived in America." Other accomplishments include being the only sportswriter featured for five decades (since 1969) in the highly regarded publication, Best American Sports Writing; and was featured in David Halberstam's 1999 edition of The Best American Sports Writing of the Century. Additionally many of his other works have been distinguished with awards. In 2005, Berkow was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. In 2009, the Roosevelt University in Chicago honored him with an Honorary Doctorate.

Although primarily a columnist, Berkow authored and coauthored numerous books. Here is a list of his works:

Sources:

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Scope and Content Note

This collection documents the work of Ira Berkow. This collection contains correspondence and photographs of Ira Berkow documenting his relationship with leaders in sports, politics, religion, and the arts. The collection also contains selected articles and appearances on television and radio made during his career.

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Arrangement

This collection is divided into four series determined by document type. Series I: Correspondence, is arranged in alphabetical order by the last name of the correspondent. Content in Series II: Writings has been arranged in alphabetical order by folder title. Series III: Photographs, consists of a single folder. The items in the folder have been arranged by size. Series IV: Audio-Visual Material, has been arranged according to media type.

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers by permission of the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society, except items that are restricted due to their fragility.

Use Restrictions

Information concerning the literary rights may be obtained from the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society. Users must apply in writing for permission to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection. For more information contact:
American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011
email: reference@ajhs.org

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Related Material

Several of the works of Ira Berkow can be found in the holdings of the American Jewish Historical Society at the Center for Jewish History.

The Special Collections Department of the Library of the University of Illinois at Chicago maintains an Ira Berkow Collection pertaining to his research on the Maxwell Street Market in Chicago.

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Ira Berkow, papers; P-900; box number; folder number; American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA and New York, NY.

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Access Points

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page

Container List

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

 

Series I: Correspondence, undated, 1960-2008

The series is in English.
0.875 linear feet (1.75 manuscript boxes). Box 1, Folder 1 to Box 2, Folder 28.
Arrangement:

This series has been arranged in alphabetical order by the last name of the correspondent.

Scope and Content:

This series documents the correspondence between Ira Berkow and various leaders in sports, politics, religion, and the arts made during his time as sports writer for the NY Times. Below is a complete listing of the correspondents:

A
Marv Albert, Albert II, Woody Allen, Neil Amdur, Roger Angell, Walter Annenberg, Ray Arcel, Ted Atkinson, David Axelrod, Emanuel Azenberg

B
Russell Baker, Red Barber, Jacques Barzun, Saul Bellow, Gretel Bergmann, Yogi Berra, Jim Bouton, Bill Bradley, Edgar Branch, Stephen Breyer, William F. Buckley, Jr., Gene Budig, Mike Burke, Angela Buxton

C
Sammy Cahn, Rod Carew, Bennett Cerf, Susan Cheever, Pat Conroy, Davd W. Cowens, Robert W. Creamer, Mario Coumo

D
Joe DiMaggio, Norm Drucker, Angelo Dundee, John Gregory Dunne, Don Dunphy

F
Jim Farrell, Mia Farrow, Jose´ Ferrer, Percy Foreman, Max Frankel, Michael Robert Fratello

G
John Gagliardi, A. Bartlett Giamatti, Ira Glasser, Arthur J. Goldberg, Gerald Green, Hank Greenberg

H
David Halberstam, Pete Hamill, Ernie Harwell, W.C. Heinz, Hendrik Hertzberg, Red Holzman, Margo Howard

I
Walter Iooss

K
Roger Kahn, Sandy Koufax, Jerry Krause, Mike Kryzyzewski, Bowie Kuhn

L
Julius La Rosa, Ann Landers, Spike Lee, Joseph Lelyveld, Marv Levy, Anthony Lewis, Robert Lipsyte, John Lithgow

M
David Mamet, Mike Mansfield, Marcel Marceau, Walther Matthau, Gisela Mauermayer, Gilbert Mc Dougald, John McCain, Joan Mellen, James A. Michener, Charles R. Middleton, Marvin Miller, Archie Moore, Marianne Moore, Henry Morgan, Willie Morris, Bill Moyers

N
Samuel Nalo, Gladys Nederlander, Paul Newman, Mike Nichols, Richard Nixon

O
Joyce Carol Oates, Al Oerter, Ehud Olmert

P
Andrew Pafko, Henry Mark Petrakis, Richard Petty, George Plimpton, Richard Powers

R
Lawrence W. Raphael, Dan Rather, Elwood Reid, Jerry M. Reinsdorf, David Remnick, Frank Rich, H.G. Rickover, Andy Rooney, Pete Rose, Mike Royko, Tim Russert

S
Morley Safer, Tom Sanders, Francois Jacques Saucier, Jan Schakowsky, Sydney H. Schanberg, Dolph Schayes, John Schulian, Celita Schutz, Tom Seaver, Gene Shalit, Ron Shelton, David Shields, Don Shula, Matthew Simon, Paul Simon, Red Smith, Norm Sonju, George Steinbrenner, Casey Stengel, Richard Stern

T
Gay Talese, Fran Tarkenton, Rick Telander, Studs Terkel, Scott Turow

U
Peter Ueberroth

V
Fay Vincent, Kurt Vonnegut

W
John Weigel, E.B. White, Elie Wiesel, George Will, P.G. Wodehouse

Z
Ronald L. Ziegler

BoxFolderTitleDate
1 1 Correspondence - A 1974-2008, 2011
1 2 Coorespondence - Annenberg, Walter 1983-1999
1 3 Correspondence - B 1960-2002, 2010
1 4 Correspondence - C 1969-2005
1 5 Correspondence - D 1984-2001
1 6 Correspondence - F 1969-1997
1 7 Correspondence - G 1975-2005
1 8 Correspondence - H 1981-2002
1 9 Correspondence - I undated, 1975-1976
1 10 Correspondence - K undated, 1986-2005, 2009
1 11 Correspondence - L 1986-2002
1 12 Correspondence - Landers, Ann 1982-2002
1 13 Correspondence - Lipsyte, Bob 1975-1987
1 14 Correspondence - M 1968-1995, 2007, 2009
1 15 Correspondence - Matthau, Walter 1986-2001
BoxFolderTitleDate
2 1 Correspondence - N 1971-1992
2 2 Correspondence - Nixon, Richard 1974-1993
2 3 Correspondence - O 1977-2000, 2010
2 4 Correspondence - P 1966-1989
2 5 Correspondence - Plimpton, George A. 1974-1988
2 6 Correspondence - R undated, 1977-2000, 2010
2 7 Correspondence - Rather, Dan February 5, 1992
2 8 Correspondence - Reinsdorf, Jerry M. 1992-2000
2 9 Correspondence - Remnick, David 1998-2003
2 10 Correspondence - Rooney, Andrew A. 1995-2000
2 11 Correspondence - Royko, Mike 1991-1993
2 12 Correspondence - Russert, Tim 2008
2 13 Correspondence - S undated, 1973-2004, 2009-2010
2 14 Correspondence - Seaver, Tom 1970-1995
2 15 Correspondence - Shalit, Gene 1983-2004
2 16 Correspondence - Simon, Matthew 1991-1999
2 17 Correspondence - Smith, Red 1961-1975
2 18 Correspondence - Steinbrenner, George 1992-1995
2 19 Correspondence - Tarkenton, Francis February 1, 2006
2 20 Correspondence - Talese, Gay 1995-2008
BoxFolderTitleDate
221Correspondence - Telander, Rick2009
BoxFolderTitleDate
2 22 Correspondence - Terkel, Louis 1989-2005
BoxFolderTitleDate
223Correspondence - Turow, Scott2011
BoxFolderTitleDate
2 24 Correspondence - Ueberroth, Peter March 5, 1986
BoxFolderTitleDate
225Correspondence - Vincent, Fay2009
BoxFolderTitleDate
2 26 Correspondence - Vonnegut, Kurt January 8, 1975
2 27 Correspondence - Weigel, John 1974-1992
2 28 Correspondence - White, E.B. 1966-1974
2 29 Correspondence - Wiesel, Elie 1992-2001
2 30 Correspondence - Will, George October 1989
2 31 Correspondence - Wodehouse, P.G. 1969-1974
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Series II: Writings, undated, 1972-2007

0.08 linear feet (2 folders). Box 2, Folder 32 to Box 2, Folder 33.
Arrangement:

This series is arranged alphabetically by folder title.

Scope and Content:

This series contains selected articles of Jewish interest written by Ira Berkow. Of particular interest to the researcher are his articles on Jenny Misuchin a Lithuanian Jew who resisted the Nazis during World War II that appeared in the New York Sunday News.

BoxFolderTitleDate
2 32 Articles 1972-2007
2 33 Early Autobiography undated
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Series III: Photographs, 1970-2007

0.04 linear feet (1 folder). Box 2, Folder 34.
Arrangement:

This series consists of a single folder and has been arranged at the item level in that folder by document size.

Scope and Content:

This collection documents the various photogrpahic images taken of various leaders in sports, politics, religion, and the arts dealt with in the work of Ira Berkow. Many of the images also include Ira Berkow as a subject in the composition. A list is provided below of the images.

BoxFolderTitleDate
2 34 Photographs 1970-2007
  
  • Jeff Garlin, Aviva Kempner, and Ira Berkow
  • Oscar Robertson and Ira Berkow
  • Martina Navratilova and Ira Berkow
  • Katarina Witt and Ira Berkow
  • Rachel Robinson and Ira Berkow
  • Spike Lee and Ira Berkow
  • Joe Namath and Ira Berkow
  • Shirley Povich and Ira Berkow
  • Wilt Chamberlain and Ira Berkow
  • Tom Seaver and Ira Berkow
  • Michael Jordan and Ira Berkow
  • Joe DiMaggio
  • Magic Johnson and Ira Berkow
  • Eleanor Holm, Bill Clinton, Donna DeVerona
  • Bruno and Margaret Lambert and Ira Berkow
  • Jeff Van Gundy, Woody Allen, Barry Baum, and Ira Berkow
  • Bob Trainer, Yogi Berra, and Ira Berkow
  • Red Grange and Ira Berkow
  • Red Holtzman and Ira Berkow
  • Eli Wallach and Ira Berkow
  • LeRoy Neiman and Ira Berkow
 
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Series IV: Audio-Visual Material, undated, 1989-2004

0.7 linear feet (1 SB1). Box 3.
Arrangement:

This series is arranged by document media type.

Scope and Content:

This series documents a few of the radio and television appearances made by Ira Berkow during his career in the form of audio and video recordings. This series contains audiocassette and videocassette tapes.

BoxFolderTitleDate
3 Audiocassettes undated, 1989-1990
  
  • Recording of Ira Berkow on The Howard Cosell Show
  • Recording of Ira Berkow with Jackie Mason on 1989 November 30
  • Recording of Ira Berkow with Jackie Mason on 1990 January 20
  • Side A: Jimmy Hot Dog - 3 / Notes : Side B: Irving Jacobson (Typed)
 
3 Videocassettes undated, 1994-2004
  
  • The Dick Cavett Show with guests Ira Berkow and Jim Bouton
  • Various video clips of Ira Berkow appearing on a number of news shows regarding the Tonya Harding incident airing on 1994 February 6
  • Charlie Rose Show "A Rememberence Mickey Mantle" with Ira Berkow, Phil Linz, and Dick Schaap: aired on 1995 August 15
  • Conversations with Extraordinary People with Rick Kogan and Ira Berkow: recorded on 2004 October 13
 
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