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Red Smith Papers

Identifier: MSSP 10061

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of the professional and personal papers of Pulitzer Prize-winning sports columnist Walter Wellesley “Red” Smith. It includes: Smith's clipped copies of his printed columns, mostly 1954-1982; newspapers and magazines with pieces by or about Smith; clipped columns of Stanley Woodward and Joe H. Palmer; manuscripts and/or proofs of several of Smith's books; an accumulation of around 125 manuscript letters preserved by Smith, including examples signed by Melvin Belli, Bing Crosby, Connie Mack, Marvin Miller, Grantland Rice, Branch Rickey, John L. Sullivan, and Gene Tunney; a group of around 180 photographic prints, many of Smith; and framed items, awards, memorabilia and other realia from Smith's home office in New Canaan, Connecticut. The collection also contains materials relating to a lecture series named for Smith at the University of Notre Dame and microfilmed portions of the collection. Also included are materials donated by William N. Wallace about Red Smith, including sports publications, correspondence, and a manuscript draft. Finally, a 2022 accession donated by University of Notre Dame Professor Robert Schmuhl provides additional material about the Red Smith Lecture series at Notre Dame and more clippings of columns written by Smith from The Sign.

Major topics represented in this collection are sportswriting, baseball, football, horse racing, and boxing. . Materials include clippings, newspapers, magazines, research files, reports, legal documents, letters, postcards, pamphlets, ephemera, photographs, negatives, lectures, electronic records, awards, plaques, realia, paperweights, microfilm, and a typewriter. The Red Smith Papers were donated to the Hesburgh Libraries in 1987, by Phyllis Smith.


  • Creation: 1888 - 2010
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1945-1982


Conditions Governing Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is 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 owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Biographical / Historical

Walter Wellesley “Red” Smith was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin in 1905. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 1927, Smith worked as a sports reporter for newspapers in Milwaukee, St. Louis, and Philadelphia before settling at the New York Herald Tribune, where his column “Views of Sport” was widely syndicated in the decades after World War II. In 1971 he joined the staff at The New York Times, where he remained until his death in 1982. Smith primarily wrote about familiar American spectator sports like baseball, football, and boxing, but he also dedicated many columns to two of his favorite activities: going to the horse track and fly fishing. Smith’s columns provided material for five books, published between 1950 and 1974: The Red Smith Reader, Out of the Red, Views of Sport, Strawberries in the Wintertime, and To Absent Friends. Over the course of his career Smith earned many awards, including the Grantland Rice Memorial Award for outstanding sportswriting in 1956; the J.G. Taylor Spink Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1976; and the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1976.


25.5 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged into eleven series: I. Clippings and Writings; II. Professional Papers and Research Files; III. Correspondence; IV. Other Sportswriters; V. Publications and Ephemera; VI. Photographs; VII. Notre Dame Lecture Series; VIII. Miscellaneous; IX. William N. Wallace Gift; X. Awards and Realia; and XI. Microfilm.

Red Smith Papers
Hannah E. Sabal
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of Notre Dame Rare Books & Special Collections Repository

102 Hesburgh Library
Notre Dame IN 46556