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Judy Klemesrud papers

Identifier: IWA0094

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Scope and Contents

The Judy Klemesrud papers date from 1939 to 1995 and measure 12 linear inches. The papers are arranged in three series: Personal, Professional, and Photographs.

The Personal series (1939, 1952-1985, and undated) contains awards won by Klemesrud, her passport and her eighth grade report card, her obituaries, and a program from her memorial service. Correspondence between Klemesrud and her family and Klemesrud's diaries from 1978 to 1985 are also included here. In the diaries she writes about her personal activities and thoughts as well as her professional life. She updates the journal about political events, her social calendar, and her opinions about the many interviews she did for her articles. A set of family videos is also part of the personal series. One of the videos is a compilation of family clips from various years put to music and another is a 41 minute video of the 1981 Klemesrud family Christmas.

The Professional series (1963-1985 and undated) contains many of the newspaper and magazine articles written by Klemesrud. Also included is correspondence from people she interviewed, including Jimmy Stewart, Barbara Walters, and an autographed photograph from Larry Hagman.

The Photographs series (1949-1980 and undated) contains photographs taken at special events and those taken in conjunction with her New York Times articles. Included are photographs of Klemesrud with Indira Gandhi, Nancy Reagan, and Muhammad Ali. Photographs of Klemesrud and her family are also included.


  • Creation: 1939-1995


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been retained by the donor and his heirs.

However, copyright status for some collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge the Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, as the source of the material. For further information, visit

Biographical / Historical

Judy Klemesrud, a journalist, was born in Iowa in 1939. She graduated from high school in Thompson, Iowa, and attended the State University of Iowa (now the University of Iowa) School of Journalism, graduating in 1961. She later completed graduate work at Columbia University's School of Journalism. Klemesrud's reporting career began at an early age. Before attending the State University of Iowa she wrote for two of her father's papers, the Thompson Courier and the Rake Register. While attending the university, she held editorial positions at The Daily Iowan.

After graduation and before her work at the New York Times, Klemesrud spent four years as a general assignment reporter for the Chicago Daily News. Her career at the New York Times spanned nineteen years, starting in 1966. She mainly wrote for the Style Department, reporting on the women's movement and social changes of the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s. Several topics included the increasing participation of women in the labor force, divorce and the family, and pornography and society. About one-fifth of her articles from 1970 to 1985 were about the women's movement and its issues. She also wrote celebrity profiles of actors and actresses both from Hollywood and Broadway and contributed to various magazines and journals such as Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Ladies Home Journal, Redbook, and the New York Times Magazine. She won various awards for her work at The New York Times. These included two Page One Awards from the Newspaper Guild of New York for a 1973 story entitled "In a Small Town U.S.A., Women's Lib is Either a Joke or a Rarity," and a 1983 profile on tennis celebrity Ivan Lendl. In 1969 she also won a Front Page Award from the Newspaper Women's Club of New York for a story about adoptions by single women. Judy Klemesrud died of cancer in 1985 at the age of forty-six.


12.00 linear inches

2 videocassettes [V283- V284]; Photographs in boxes 1-2 boxes

Language of Materials



Nationally recognized journalist whose reporting included coverage of the women's movement.

Method of Acquisition

The papers were donated by the University of Iowa School of Journalism (donor no. 154-3) and Tom Klemesrud (donor no. 350).

Related Materials

Suzanne Miller, "Judy Klemesrud's Coverage of the Women's Movement" (1991) master's thesis, University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication is shelved in the printed works collection of the Iowa Women's Archives.

Kirsten Clark, 1994, Kristen Rassbach, 1996, and Nickol Himschoot, 2004.
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Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)