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Theodore F. Koop Papers

Identifier: MsC0642

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Scope and Contents

The papers of Theodore F. Koop consist of 1.5 linear feet of manuscripts dating from 1940 to 1976, and are arranged alphabetically. His career as a journalist is documented with subject files ranging from his coverage of the Wendell Willkie campaign in 1940, to the Khrushchev interview on Face the Nation in 1957, and the airing of the controversial program The Selling of the Pentagon in 1971. There are also early drafts, correspondence, and reviews of his book about censorship during WWII, Weapon of Silence.


  • Creation: 1940-1976


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Biographical / Historical

heodore Frederick Koop was born in Monticello, Iowa, in 1907. He graduated from the University of Iowa in 1928, majoring in journalism. While at Iowa he was editor of the school’s paper, The Daily Iowan and was active in inter-collegiate debates. From 1928 to 1941, Koop was with the Associated Press, first serving in Des Moines and finally as a news editor in the Washington Bureau. He helped plan news coverage and wrote many major stories. He covered Franklin Roosevelt’s third inauguration and directed the AP coverage of Wendell Wilkie’s presidential campaign in 1940.

Koop joined the National Geographic Society staff in 1941, before entering the service in World War II. While in the navy, he worked in the federal government’s office of censorship. After the war, he returned to the National Geographic Society, staying there until 1948, when he accepted a position with CBS Radio, as director of news and public affairs in Washington,D.C. He was named vice president of the CBS Television network in 1961. It was Theodore Koop, who conceived the public affairs program Face the Nationand was actively involved in The Selling of the Pentagona CBS special report in 1971. Koop died in 1988.


1.50 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Journalist with the Associated Press before WWII, with the National Geographic Society and CBS after 1948. He conceived Face the Nation. Correspondence, subject files, speeches, and preliminary drafts of his works.

Method of Acquisition

The Koop papers were given to the University of Iowa Libraries in 1989, by his sister, Laura K. Merikle.

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Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)