Joseph E. Persico papers, 1910-2003

Persico, Joseph E.


18.54 cu. ft.
Arranged into the following series: Series 1: New York State Government Career, 1910-1981 -- Series 2: Publications, circa 1930s-2001 -- Series 3: Speeches and Writings, 1958-2003 -- Series 4: Correspondence, 1960-2002 -- Series 5: Biographical, 1958-2001.
The collected papers of Joseph Persico focus on his careers as a political speechwriter and as a full-time author. His speeches from the 1960s include his work for both New York State Commissioner of Health, Hollis Ingraham, and New York State Governor, Nelson Rockefeller. Press releases and transcripts associated with the speeches are also present in the Persico files. Nelson Rockefeller's Messages to the Legislature and "Quotes on Issues" during the late 1960s and early 1970s have been filed in Series 1 with Persico's speeches. The author's publications files include manuscripts, correspondence, screenplays, interviews for The Imperial Rockefeller, and research notes. For Persico's Piercing the Reich, several folders hold parts of a single OSS (Office of Strategic Services) War Report from 1949, detailing OSS action in Europe, Africa, and Asia during World War II. For Nuremberg: Infamy on Trial, the author's files contain a draft of the work and research material including photos from the Holocaust and the Nuremberg Trials. The texts, drafts, news clippings, correspondence, and other supporting material is available for speeches and other non-book writings of Persico. Among the author's correspondence is an exchange with movie director John Huston who Persico interviewed for an article in American Heritage. Note that correspondence can be found throughout the collection. For example, references to Persico's publications will be found in both the general correspondence files and specific publications' series. An attempt was made to retain the original filing system of the creator with the most recent accessions, but previous arrangement divided some of the correspondence into professional and personal folders.
Author, researcher, and former speechwriter Joseph E. Persico of Guilderland, New York was born on July 19, 1930. In 1952, after receiving a BA in both English and Political Science from the New York State College for Teachers (as the University at Albany was then known), he entered the U.S. Navy. Returning to the U.S. in 1956, Persico matriculated at Columbia University in New York for his graduate work. In 1956, Joseph Persico began his political writing career, serving Governor W. Averell Harriman as a writer and researcher. After three years with Harriman, Persico then became a Foreign Service Officer for the United States Information Agency (USIA) working in Argentina, Brazil, and Washington. Between 1963 and 1966, Persico served as Executive Assistant to the New York State Health Commissioner, Hollis Ingraham. In 1966, Joseph Persico became the chief speechwriter for New York Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller. Continuing in this position for seven years, he remained Rockefeller's primary speechwriter as the Governor assumed the office of Vice President of the United States from 1974 to 1977. In 1977, Joseph Persico transitioned into a full-time author, focusing on historical subjects.
Access to the collection is unrestricted.
Cite as: Joseph E. Persico papers. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York.
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