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Sherwood Ross papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Ross

Scope and Content of the Collection

Sherwood Ross’s works, including drafts and clippings of newspaper articles, syndicated columns, press releases, speeches, poems and plays from 1956 through 2014. Material related to Sherwood Ross Associates, a magazine publicity firm he founded in 1970, including press releases and clippings of newspapers that “picked up” or quoted from articles Ross promoted. Personal and biographical materials, including clippings of newspaper articles about Ross and Sherwood Ross Associates. Also includes some photographs and sound recordings, consisting of records and reel-to-reel tapes of radio programs Ross produced for the Chicago Urban League and National Urban League, along with a radio documentary about the March on Washington in 1963. Audiovisual materials have been digitized and are available online.

The small amount of correspondence has been arranged throughout the collection according to subject matter, so that e.g. letters from editors are housed with the articles under discussion.


  • Creation: 1956-2014



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Sherwood Ross papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 Box at a time (Priority III).

Audiovisual recordings in this collection have been digitized and are available online. Access to the original audiovisual items is restricted.

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Sherwood Ross 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 Sherwood Ross

Chicago-born journalist and social activist.

Sherwood Ross was born May 5, 1933 in Chicago and grew up in the Logan Square neighborhood. He attended Von Steuben Senior High School for two years and completed his education at Miami Beach Senior High School in Florida. He attended the University of Miami (A.B. ’55), where he majored in race relations and competed on the debate team, leaving school for six months in 1953 to serve in the U.S. Air Force. After graduating, he worked for the Chicago City News Bureau (1955); for the New York Enquirer newspaper and Ebony magazine (1956-1958); as a public relations assistant in the Office of the Mayor, City of Chicago (1958-1962); for the Chicago Daily News (1962); as public relations director for the Chicago Urban League (1963-1964) and, later, as news director for the National Urban League (1965-1966); as public affairs director for WOL in Washington, D.C. (1966-1967); as press coordinator for James Meredith’s March Against Fear (1966); as director of Magazine News Service (1968-1988); as public relations director for Inc. magazine (1989-90); as president of Sherwood Ross Associates; as “Workplace” column contributor to Reuters America (1992-2002); and as media consultant to a number of colleges and universities (1980-2011).


3 Linear Feet (6 boxes)

0.3 Linear Feet (9 phonographic records, 2 open reels)


Papers of Chicago journalist Sherwood Ross, including articles he wrote for the New York Enquirer (1956-1957) and the Chicago Daily News (1962), a syndicated column for Reuters (1992-2002), material from his public relations and social activism work for the National Urban League and records belonging to Sherwood Ross Associates, a media consulting firm Ross founded in 1970.


Papers are organized in the following series:

Series 1: Works, 1956-2014
Boxes 1-3
Series 2: Sherwood Ross Associates, 1970-1990
Boxes 4-5
Series 3: Personal & Biographical, 1959-1991
Box 5
Series 4: Photographs, 1956-1992
Box 5
Series 5: Sound Recordings, 1963-1965
Box 5, audiovisual boxes (restricted)

Collection Stack Location

1 31 5


Gift of Sherwood Ross, May 2011, with subsequent additions from July 2011 through January 2012.

Processed by

Harunobu Coryne, 2014.

Inventory of the Sherwood Ross papers, 1956-2014
Harunobu Coryne, July 2014
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2023-03-02: Audiovisual materials have been permanently removed from the collection for preservation. Access to the original audiovisual items is restricted.

Repository Details

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

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States