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M. W. Newman Papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Newman

Scope and Content of the Collection

This collection consists primarily of clippings of Newman's newspaper writing for the Chicago Daily News, Chicago Sun-Times, and the Chicago Tribune, several magazine articles and research files. Correspondence regarding Newman’s writing and personal letters from Daily News colleagues such as Raymond Coffey and Robert Gruenberg are also included. The collection contains personal materials such as biographical sketches of Newman, publicity articles, official documents, and portraits and snapshots of M.W. Newman and Chicago Daily News staff members.


  • Creation: 1917-2002



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

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

Conditions Governing Audiovisual Access

Audiovisual recordings in this collection have not been digitized and are unavailable for use at this time.

Ownership and Literary Rights

The M. W. Newman 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 M. W. Newman

Chicago newspaper editor, reporter, and critic.

Morton William "Bill" Newman was born in New York in 1917. He attended the journalism school at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and graduated in 1938.

He began his career at small newspapers in Indiana, North Carolina, and New Jersey, finally joining the Chicago Daily News staff in 1945. At the Daily News he proved to be a versatile newspaperman, serving at various times as rewrite man, architecture critic, copy editor, restaurant reviewer, crime and urban affairs reporter, and later, editor of the weekend arts and entertainment section, Panorama. He wrote several important exposes on Chicago urban affairs, covering such topics as the Chicago crime syndicate, the failure of public housing in the Robert Taylor Homes, and real estate agents who fostered racial segregation of neighborhoods for profit in an award winning series called the "Panic Peddlers."

Newman stayed at the Daily News until its demise in 1978, and wrote the newspaper’s front-page “obituary” on its final day. He spent the next 16 years at the Chicago Sun-Times where he concentrated on urban reporting. In addition to his newspaper work, he was editor of Inland Architect magazine from 1969 to 1980. After his retirement from the Sun-Times, he continued to contribute arts criticism to the Chicago Tribune and write for magazines such as Architectural Forum and Notre Dame Magazine. M. W. Newman also received numerous awards throughout his career including the Marshall Field Award for outstanding editorial contribution to the Daily News in 1964, and was the first to be awarded the Community Media Workshop Studs Terkel Award in 1994. His many colleagues and admirers included Terkel and Mike Royko.

Newman met his wife Nancy when she worked at the Chicago Sun-Times and they married in 1962. He died of lung cancer in 2001.


6 Linear Feet (7 boxes and 2 oversize boxes)


Works, correspondence, personal materials, and memorabilia of Chicago newspaper editor, reporter, and critic M. W. Newman.


Papers are organized in the following series

Series 1: Correspondence, 1952-1998
Box 1
Series 2: Works, approximately 1920-2001
Boxes 2-6
Series 3: Personal, 1917-2001
Box 7
Series 4: Photographs & Audiovisual, 1918-2002
Box 7

Collection Stack Location

1 26 5


Gift of Nancy Newman and David Lee, 2006.

Processed by

Lisa Janssen, 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 M. W. Newman Papers, 1917-2002
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