Skip to main content

Lloyd Lewis papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Lewis

Scope and Content of the Collection

Small amount of incoming and outgoing correspondence, including letters from Sinclair Lewis, Carl Sandburg, and Frank Lloyd Wright. Typed manuscripts and printed newspaper and magazine articles, several drafts of the play Jayhawker co-authored by Sinclair Lewis, photographs, scrapbooks, and publicity for Lewis' many historical books. The collection also contains personal materials, including childhood schoolwork and drawings, memorials, and incoming correspondence written to wife Kathryn after Lewis' death.


  • Creation: 1886-1985
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1905-1949



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Lloyd Lewis papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Lloyd Lewis papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections at

Biography of Lloyd Lewis

Newspaper journalist, editor, and historian.

Lloyd Downs Lewis was born May 2, 1891 in Pendleton, Indiana to J.J. Lewis and Josephine Downs, and was raised in the Quaker tradition. Lewis attended Swarthmore College where he was editor of the Swarthmore Phoenix, and graduated in 1913.

After graduation, Lewis became a reporter for the North American in Philadelphia where he remained until 1915 when he left to work for the Chicago Herald. During WWI, Lewis enlisted in the Navy and served for one year. Upon his discharge, Lloyd worked as a publicist and advertising director for the Chicago movie chain Balaban and Katz. In 1930, Lewis returned to journalism, taking a position with the Chicago Daily News as a drama critic. He eventually became the amusement editor, and in 1936 became the sports editor where he produced innovative sports writing by reporting on personalities and dramatic elements. In 1943, he was promoted to managing editor of the Chicago Daily News, a position he held until he retired in 1945 to focus on his historical writing. He wrote several highly regarded historical books including Myths After Lincoln, Sherman: Fighting Prophet, and Captain Sam Grant, the latter completed by Bruce Catton after Lewis' death.

Lewis married Kathryn Dougherty, a well-known journalist in her own right, on Dec. 30, 1925. They had no children, but raised Nancy Anderson, the daughter of a friend of Kathryn's who had passed away. Lewis and his wife co-owned two sheep ranches with friend Jay Monaghan in Utah and Colorado. They also commissioned friend Frank Lloyd Wright to design their home in Libertyville, Illinois near the Des Plaines River. Lloyd Lewis died unexpectedly of a heart attack on April 21, 1949.


7.7 Linear Feet (12 boxes and 2 oversize boxes)


Correspondence, manuscripts, clippings, personal materials, and photographs of Chicago journalist and historian Lloyd Lewis.


Papers are organized in the following series:

Series 1: Incoming Correspondence, 1886-1962
Box 1
Series 2: Outgoing Correspondence, 1895-1949
Boxes 2-3
Series 3: Works, 1907-1949
Boxes 4-7
Series 4: Personal, 1896-1983
Boxes 8-9a
Series 5: Photographs, 1891-1985
Boxes 10-11

Collection Stack Location

1 24 2-3

Other Finding Aids

The Newberry Library Bulletin, 2nd Ser. No. 4 (July 1950), p. 111-113 and p. 114-120.


Gift of Kathryn Lewis, 1968.

Processed by

Lisa Janssen and Shannon Yule, 2007.


This inventory was created with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this inventory do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Inventory of the Lloyd Lewis papers, 1886-1985, bulk 1905-1949
Lisa Janssen and Shannon Yule
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States