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Jack Mabley Papers

 Collection
Identifier: Midwest-MS-Mabley

Scope and Content of the Collection

Correspondence with colleagues, congratulatory letters, inter-office memos; works including newspaper clippings, subject files dealing with important stories including the 1968 Democratic Convention, the Richard Cain case, racketeering, police corruption, and vice in Chicago, miscellaneous articles and columns; biographical clippings, publicity, and interviews, and photographs of Mabley himself and with public figures such as Hugh Hefner and Richard Nixon.

Dates

  • 1937-2003

Creator

Language

Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

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

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Jack Mabley 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 Jack Mabley

Chicago reporter and columnist.

Jack Mabley was born in Binghamton, New York, but grew up in Chicago. He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where his first foray into investigative reporting took place at the Daily Illini. In 1937 he began an anti-prostitution crusade at the paper which resulted in the closings of several brothels. After graduation Mabley worked at the City News Bureau, and briefly at the Associated Press before becoming a general assignment reporter for the Chicago Daily News.

Mabley spent four years in the Navy as a lieutenant during World War II. Following the war he returned to the Daily News as a reporter and rewrite man, later a sports reporter, and in 1957 began writing a general interest column. In 1961 he left the News for Chicago's American (later Chicago Today) taking an estimated 29,000 of his loyal readers with him. During the 1950s and 1960s he wrote exposés on police corruption, racketeering, and vice on the streets of Chicago, complete with undercover reporters and surveillance teams. In 1968 he assigned a young reporter to infiltrate both the SDS and the National Mobilization Committee in the months leading up to the Democratic convention. He defended convicted police and mob figure Richard Cain, and caused the now notorious shut-down of the Winter '58 issue of the Chicago Review which contained excerpts of William Burroughs Naked Lunch. When Chicago Today ceased, he continued as a columnist at the Chicago Tribune until his retirement in 1982. Contract stipulations with the Tribune prevented him from writing in the Chicago area for five years, after which he joined the Arlington Heights Daily Herald where he continued to write a column until 2003.

Mabley lived in Glenview where he was village president from 1957 to 1961. He also created the Forgotten Children's Fund, which raised money for the Dixon State School for mentally disabled children. He met wife Frances Habeck on a blind date and married her in 1937. They had four children, daughters Pat, Jill, and Anne, and a son Bob. Mabley died of complications from a hip fracture on January 7, 2006.

Extent

7.5 Linear Feet (17 boxes and 1 oversize box)

Abstract

Correspondence with colleagues, congratulatory letters, inter-office memos; works including newspaper clippings, subject files dealing with important stories including the 1968 Democratic Convention, the Richard Cain case, racketeering, police corruption, and vice in Chicago, miscellaneous articles and columns; biographical clippings, publicity, and interviews, and photographs of Mabley himself and with public figures such as Hugh Hefner and Richard Nixon. Mabley was a reporter and columnist for the Chicago Daily News.

Organization

Papers are organized in the following series
Series 1: Correspondence, 1938-2002
Box 1
Series 2: Works, 1941-2003
Boxes 2-16
Series 3: Personal and Photographs, 1937-2000
Box 17

Collection Stack Location

1 24 4

Provenance

Gift of Frances and Patricia Mabley, 2007.

Processed by

Lisa Janssen, Kelly Kress, & Shannon Yule, 2007.

Acknowledgements

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.

Creator

Title
Inventory of the Jack Mabley Papers, 1937-2003
Status
Completed
Author
Lisa Janssen
Date
©2007.
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