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Lily Pagratis Venson Papers

 Collection
Identifier: Midwest-MS-Venson

Scope and Content of the Collection

Journalism, research materials, and personal papers of Chicago journalist Lily Pagratis Venson, who wrote for Lerner Newspapers, a chain of community, weekly newspapers from 1963 to 1973. Includes feature stories and editorials written by Venson as well as feature stories and editorials about her and her journalism. The papers also contain her research materials for ongoing stories she covered during her time at Lerner Newspapers: the Edgewater Golf Club land crusade and the demolition of the Edgewater Beach Hotel. She received a Pulitzer Prize nomination for more than 100 articles she wrote over an eight-year period on a successful community crusade to preserve the private Edgewater Golf Club land and establish Laurence C. Warren Park.

Venson's research materials on the Edgewater Golf Land crusade and the demolition of the Edgewater Beach Hotel include clippings, court reports, correspondence, feature stories written not only by her but other journalists in the area, meeting minutes, ordinances, petition signatures, photographs, publicity materials, resolutions, schematic plans, songs, and statements.

Venson's personal papers contain correspondence, newsletters, photographs, and publications.

Throughout her time at Lerner Newspapers, Venson covered a variety of topics that addressed local and global issues. She wrote about: abortion and teenage pregnancy, civil rights issues (she went to Selma, Alabama and reported from there), the rise of drug use, education, the environment, health care, American Indian and indigenous populations in Chicago, labor issues, issues facing seniors and the elderly, people with disabilities, pornographic films and censorship, poverty, public transit, urban planning, and women's rights.

Dates

  • 1962-2011
  • Majority of material found within 1963 - 1973

Creator

Language

Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Lily Pagratis Venson Papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Lily Pagratis Venson 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.

Biography of Lily Pagratis Venson

Award-winning journalist for Lerner Newspapers in Chicago.

Lily Pagratis was born on October 24, 1924 in Chicago, Illinois to Petros “Peter” Pagratis and Rozinia “Rose” Desila. She graduated from Nicholas Senn High School, in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood, in 1941 and Wilbur Wright College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago. While at Wilbur Wright College, she worked as a copy-editor, reporter, and feature writer for the Wright College News. She worked as a feature writer for Lerner Newspapers, a chain of community, weekly newspapers from 1963-1973. She was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for more than 100 articles she wrote over eight years on a successful community crusade to preserve the private Edgewater Golf Club land and establish Laurence C. Warren Park in West Ridge/West Rogers Park. She was awarded a plaque for excellence in reporting on this crusade by Illinois Governor Richard Ogilvie. After her time at Lerner Newspapers, served as Public Information Officer for Cook County Hospital and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, during which time she received awards for journalism from the Illinois Press Women’s Association and the National Federation of Press Women.

She met her husband George Venson while in the choir at St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church, and they married in 1944. Together they had two children: Virginia and Perry.

Lily died on June 27, 2011.

Extent

6.5 Linear Feet (16 boxes)

Abstract

Journalism, research materials, and personal papers of Chicago journalist Lily Pagratis Venson, who wrote for Lerner Newspapers from 1963 to 1973. The papers include feature stories and editorials written by Venson as well as feature stories and editorials about her and her journalism. The papers also contain her research materials for ongoing stories she covered during her time at Lerner Newspapers: the Edgewater Golf Club land crusade and the demolition of the Edgewater Beach Hotel. She received a Pulitzer Prize nomination for more than 100 articles she wrote over an eight-year period on a successful community crusade to preserve the private Edgewater Golf Club land and establish Laurence C. Warren Park.

Organization

Papers are organized in the following series
Series 1: Journalism, 1963-1973
Boxes 1-12
Series 2: Edgewater Beach Hotel Demolition Research, 1968-1971
Box 13
Series 3: Edgewater Golf Club Land Crusade Research, 1965-1989
Boxes 14-16
Series 4: Personal, 1962-2011
Box 16

Collection Stack Location

1 41 5

Provenance

Gift of the family of Lily Pagratis Venson, 2017.

Processed by

Samantha Smith, 2018.
Title
Inventory of the Lily Pagratis Venson Papers, 1962-2011, Bulk 1963-1973Midwest.MS.Venson
Status
Completed
Author
Finding aid prepared by Samantha Smith
Date
©2018.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts Repository

Contact:
60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States
312-255-3512