Baylor University, the Texas Collection

Audie Leon Murphy papers, Inclusive: 1920-1980, undated, Bulk: 1945-1973, undated

Collection Summary

Creator McClure, David "Spec" C., Murphy, Audie Leon, Universal Pictures
Title Audie Leon Murphy papers
Dates: Inclusive: 1920-1980, undated, Bulk: 1945-1973, undated
Abstract The Audie Leon Murphy papers contain materials related to the personal life, military experiences, and Hollywood career of Texas native, and the most decorated veteran of World War II, Audie Murphy.
Accession Number 363
Quantity: 4 document boxes and 1 oversized flat storage drawer
Language of the Material English
Repository Baylor University, The Texas Collection


Audie Leon Murphy was born near Kingston, Texas, on 1924 June 20 to Emmett Berry and Josie Bell Killian Murphy. As one of twelve children in a poor sharecropper’s family, the U.S. Army during World War II offered Audie a chance to distinguish himself and help his family, so he falsified his birth date and enlisted in 1942 June at the age of 17. During the course of the war, Audie served in Sicily, Italy, France, and Germany, and was wounded three times. While in Holtzwhir, France, he was credited with defending against an attack by enemy tanks and single-handedly killing or wounding about fifty Germans. A war hero, he received thirty-three awards, citations, and decorations, including the Congressional Medal of Honor on 1945 January 26.

After being discharged from the Army on 1945 August 17, Audie pursued a career in Hollywood where he wrote country music, published his memoir To Hell and Back, and became a successful actor. He appeared in forty-five films, starring in thirty-nine of them, including "The Red Badge of Courage" (1951), "Night Passage with James Stewart" (1957), and the movie version of his book, "To Hell and Back" (1955). A large portion of this collection focuses on this film career, and includes original posters and other advertising materials for many of his films.

Audie Murphy’s personal history is less well-known. He married Wanda Hendrix, an actress, in 1949 but they divorced two years later. Then in 1951 he was married again to Pamela Archer; together they had two sons. Tragically, Audie was killed in a plane crash on 1971 May 28. His funeral was national news. By the time of his death, Audie Murphy was the most decorated combat soldier of World War II and a famous movie star. He has a memorial dedicated to him in Farmersville, Texas, and the Veteran’s Affairs Hospital in San Antonio bears his name. His collection of papers at The Texas Collection will be an excellent resource to anyone interested in World War II or Hollywood in the Postwar Era.

Scope and Content

The Audie Leon Murphy papers consist of materials related to the personal life, military experiences, and Hollywood career of Audie Murphy. These materials are comprised of correspondence, movie posters, continuity and dialogues, military records, and photographs. Much of this material was given by Murphy's close friend David "Spec" C. McClure. Many of the unpublished manuscripts written by McClure in the collection also contain notes by McClure giving additional details on Murphy's life and involvement with various projects. Also of note are the advertising materials from Universal Pictures which document Audie’s long career as a movie star.


Prior to this finding aid the Audie Leon Murphy papers were roughly organized into folders by material type but without regard to chronology. The collection is in good condition.
Currently, the collection is organized into three series: I. Personal, II. Film Career, and III. Universal Pictures Materials.


Access Restrictions

Published titles and unpublished manuscripts in this collection are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from The Texas Collection, Baylor University and the copyright holders.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Physical Description

General condition: Good.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Murphy, Audie, 1924-1971.
Motion picture actors and actresses -- United States -- Biography.
Soldiers -- Texas -- Biography.
Soldiers -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives, American.
World War, 1939-1945.
Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)

Related Resources

Related references

"Audie L. Murphy Memorial Web Site." Biography. Accessed 2014 August 15.
Graham, Don. No Name on the Bullet: A Biography of Audie Murphy. New York, N.Y., U.S.A: Viking, 1989.
Simpson, Harold B. "Murphy, Audie Leon." Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed 2014 August 15.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Audie Leon Murphy papers, Accession #363, Box #, Folder #, The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

Acquisition Information

Accession No. 363. Acquired 1973-01-29

Processing Information

Described by Adina Johnson. Released on 2014-10-06.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Personal 1920-1980, undated

Administrative Information
Physical Description
General condition: Good.
This series contains materials related to Audie Murphy's decorated military career and his personal life.
Index Terms
16 mm motion picture film
Reel to reel tapes
box folder
1 1 Biographical Materials and Tributes 1953-1973, undated
2 Military Award Citations 1944-1945
3 Military Career 1950-1971
4 Plane Crash and Funeral 1971
5 Newspaper Clippings 1945-1973
6 Memorial Programs 1971-1973
7 Periodical: "Watch the Rhine" 1971
8 Periodical: "Soldiers" 1971-1980
9 Photographs (1 of 4) 1920s-1971
10 Photographs (2 of 4) 1920s-1971
11 Photographs (3 of 4) 1920s-1971
12 Photographs (4 of 4) 1920s-1971
box folder
OVZ 1 Reel tape: "This is Your Life", NBC 1949 March 8
2 Reel tape: "Hail and Farewell" (part 1), NBC 1948 January 14
3 Reel tape: "USO Tribute" narrated by Douglas Fairbanks undated
4 Reel film: Audie Murphy Funeral Coverage, NBC 1971 June 4

Film Career 1955-1969, undated

Administrative Information
Physical Description
General condition: Good.
This series contains screenplays and manuscripts of many books published by and about Audie Murphy.
box folder
1 13 Letter to Audie Murphy from Spec McClure undated
14 Screenplay: Apache Agent/Walk the Proud Land 1955 November 3
15 Manuscript: The Way Back (page 1-60) undated
box folder
2 1 Manuscript: The Way Back (page 61-130) undated
2 Manuscript: The Way Back (page 131-200) undated
3 Manuscript: To Hell and Back, Chapter 1, 21 undated
4 Manuscript: Helmuts in the Dust undated
5 Manuscript: How Audie Murphy Won His Metals 1969 October 10
6 Manuscript: Audie Murphy: The Man, The Actor, Man of Humor undated
7 Manuscript: Untitled, with letter 1964 March 27

Universal Pictures 1949-1966, undated

Administrative Information
Physical Description
General condition: Good.
This series contains advertising material for the various Universal Pictures movies that Audie Murphy starred in. Materials include posters, photographs, and continuities and dialogues. The donor has stipulated that no copies may be produced from materials in this series.
Index Terms
Photographic print
box folder
2 8 "The Kid from Texas" 1949 September 2
9 "Sierra" 1950 January 16
10 "Kansas Raiders" 1950 October 30
11 "The Cimarron Kid" 1951 September 7
12 "The Duel at Silver Creek" 1952 April 4
13 "Gunsmoke" 1952 November 18
14 "Column South" 1953 February 25
15 "Tumbleweed" 1953 August 20
16 "Ride Clear of Diablo" 1953 November 11
17 "Drums Across the River" 1954 April 5
18 "Destry" 1954 September 15
19 "To Hell and Back" 1955 June 8
20 "World in my Corner" 1956 January 5
21 "Walk the Proud Land" 1956 May 23
22 "Joe Butterfly" 1957 February 6
23 "Night Passage" 1957 May 28
24 "Ride a Crooked Trail" 1958 January 24
25 "No Name on the Bullet" 1958 December 3
26 "The Wild and the Innocent" 1959 February 20
27 "Hell Bent for Leather" 1959 December 1
28 "Seven Ways from Sundown" 1960 August 4
box folder
3 1 "Posse from Hell" 1961 February 20
2 "Six Black Horses" 1961 November 29
3 "Showdown" 1962 December 7
4 "Bullet for a Madman" 1964 March 9
5 "Gunpoint" 1965 November 15
box folder
OVZ 5 Showman's Manual: "World in my Corner" 1955
6 Showman's Manual: "Joe Butterfly" circa 1957
7 Showman's Manual: "No Name on the Bullet" 1958
8 Showman's Manual: "Ride a Crooked Trail" 1958
9 Showman's Manual: "Seven Ways From Sundown" circa 1960
10 Showman's Manual: "Hell Bent for Leather" 1960
11 Showman's Manual: "To Hell and Back" 1961
12 Showman's Manual: "Posse from Hell" 1961
13 Showman's Manual: "6 Black Horses" 1962
14 Showman's Manual: "Showdown" 1963
15 Showman's Manual: "Bullet for a Badman" 1964
16 Showman's Manual: "Tumbleweed", "Gunpoint" 1965, undated
17 Poster: "The Cimarron Kid" 1952
18 Poster: "The Duel at Silver Creek" 1952
19 Poster: "Gunsmoke" 1953
20 Poster: "Column South" 1953
21 Poster: "Tumbleweed" 1953
22 Poster: "Drums Across the River" 1954
23 Poster: "Ride Clear of Diablo!" 1954
24 Poster: "To Hell and Back" 1955
25 Poster: "World in My Corner" 1955
26 Poster: "Kansas Raiders" 1956
27 Poster: "Joe Butterfly" 1957
28 Poster: "Ride a Crooked Trail" 1958
29 Poster: "No Name on the Bullet" 1959
30 Poster: "the Wild and the Innocent" 1959
31 Poster: "Seven Ways from Sundown" 1960
32 Poster: "Hell Bent for Leather" 1960
33 Poster: "Posse from Hell" 1961
34 Poster: "6 Black Horses" 1962
35 Poster: "Showdown" 1963
36 Poster: "Night Passage" 1964
37 Poster: "Bullet for a Badman" 1964
38 Poster: "Gunpoint" 1966
39 Poster: "Destry" undated
40 Poster: "Walk the Proud Land" undated