Southern Methodist University

Richard West papers

A Guide


Creator: West Jr., Charles Richard
Title: Richard West papers
Dates: 1912-1989
Abstract: Dick West was the director of the Dallas Morning News editorial page for decades, and he also had a popular Sunday radio show. After he retired from the News in 1977, West continued to write for SR Dallas, a news publication for seniors. This collection includes his radio scripts, drafts, correspondence, speeches, photographs, and clippings.
Accession No: MSS 84
Extent: 6 boxes (6 linear feet)
Language: Material is in English
Repository DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

Biographical Note

Charles Richard West Jr. (1912-1989) was born in Cleburne, Texas, and he attended Cisco High School where he edited the school newspaper. After working as a reporter for the Cisco Daily News, Daily Texan, Dallas Journal, and Associated Press, West joined the editorial staff of The Dallas Morning News in 1944. He also lectured at Southern Methodist University from 1946-1947. Dick West was known as the politically conservative voice of the Dallas Morning News editorial page for decades, and for his popular political Sunday radio show on WFAA.

"Dick West was part of a great tradition of writers and commentators at The News -- Lynn Landrum, Stuart McGregor, some of the legendary names in Texas journalism,” said Robert Decherd, chairman and chief executive officer of A.H. Belo Corp., parent company of The News. "Dick's career paralleled some of the most trying times in the history of the newspaper, but he was strongly supportive of Dallas as a center of commerce and industry.”

After he retired from The Dallas Morning News in 1977, West continued to write for SR Dallas, a news publication for seniors, and Trend Lines, a financial publication. He also served as foreman for a grand jury in 1980.

Dick West married Betsy Page, and they had three sons: Charles Richard West III, George Page West, and William Elliott West.


Pusey, Allen. "Retired editorial page editor dies - Dick West was the voice of Morning News for nearly 3 decades," The Dallas Morning News, February 26, 1989: 33A, accessed March 17, 2015, (America’s News).

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The bulk of this collection contains Dick West’s radio scripts for his Sunday show on WFAA radio. Drafts and clippings for his editorials in The Dallas Morning News, Trend Lines, and SR Dallas are also included. There are some personal papers, correspondence, and photographs, but most of his papers relate to his career.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is organized into 4 series:
Series 1: Correspondence, 1912-1980s
Series 2: Personal papers, 1912-1989
Series 3: Radio scripts, 1949-1965
Series 4: Drafts, 1940s-1988


Access to Collection:

Collection is open for research use.

Publication Rights:

Permission to publish materials must be obtained from the Director of the DeGolyer Library.

Copyright Statement:

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain copyright authorization.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms in the Southern Methodist University Libraries' online catalog. Researchers desiring related materials may search the catalog using these terms.
West, Charles Richard, Jr.
Newspaper editors -- Texas -- Dallas.
Editorials -- Texas -- Dallas.
Retirement -- United States -- Periodicals.
Dallas Morning News.
Letters -- Texas -- Dallas.
Radio scripts.

Related Materials

Belo records, A2010.0001

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Richard West papers, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University.

Acquisition Information

Gift, George P. West, 2010.

Processing Information

Most of the collection was organized chronologically when received, and this order was maintained. Two large clipping books and one folder of clippings were retained, but one box of loose clippings was returned to the donor. The title of the collection was supplied by the donor.

Processed by

Cynthia Franco, 2015.

Finding aid written and encoded by

Cynthia Franco, 2015.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1:Correspondence, 1912-1980s
11 folders

West’s correspondence files were arranged chronologically and this order was maintained. Folders 1 and 5 contain personal letters. The bulk of the correspondence concerns Dick West’s professional life.
Box Folder
1 1 Family correspondence, 1938-1951
2 1930s
3 1940s
4 1950s
5 Condolence letters regarding Dick West’s father, 1952
6 1960s
7 Congratulatory editors on editorial editor promotion, July 1960
8 Congratulatory editors on editorial director promotion, 1968
9 1970s
10 1980s
11 Undated

Series 2: Personal papers, 1912-1989
2 boxes, 2 scrapbooks

This series includes Dick West’s speeches, his file while serving as foreman for a grand jury, and a few photographs. After he retired from The Dallas Morning News, West wrote for the retirement publication SR Dallas, and for the financial publication, Trend Lines.
Box Folder
1 12 Personal documents, including birth announcement card, Associated Press personnel announcement, and armed forces physical test documents
13 Cisco High School, 1930-1948
14 Speeches, 1947-1985
15 American Press Institute at Columbia University, 1951
16 Freedom Foundation, 1960s
17 “Our Barn is Full” editorial, 1962
18 “In All Candor” and other unsigned editorials
19 Retirement, 1977-1978
20 Foreman for grand jury, April 1980
21 State Department briefing session for editors, Washington D.C., 1961 steno notebook
22 Notes
23 Photographs
24 Publications
Box Folder
2 1 Report of the Governor’s Committee on Public School Education
Box Folder
6X Scrapbook
SR Dallas, October 1987-January 1989
2 oversize scrapbooks of Dallas Morning News clippings
Box Folder
5 13 Clippings

Series 3: Radio scripts, 1949-1965
4 boxes

Included are edited drafts and the finished typescripts from Dick West’s popular Dallas radio shows. West delivered his conservative views on local, state, national, and international politics in a direct style.
Box Folder
2 2 January 2-May 29, 1949
3 June 19-December 25, 1949
4 January 1-May 21, 1950
5 May 28-October 22, 1950
6 February 13-December 29, 1953
7 January 5-July 20, 1954
8 January 9-March 27, 1955
9 April 3-June 26, 1955
10 July 3-October 31, 1955
11 November 6-December 25, 1955
12 January 1-June 24, 1956
13 January 15-February 26, 1956
14 March 4-April 29, 1956
Box Folder
3 1 May 6-June 24, 1956
2 July 1-August 26, 1956
3 September 2-October 28, 1956
4 November 4-December 30, 1956
5 July 1- December 30, 1956
6 January 6-June 30, 1957
7 January 14-31, 1957
8 February 1-28, 1957
9 March 1-29, 1957
10 May 1957
11 June 3-28, 1957
12 July 22-31, 1957
13 August 1957
14 September 2-20, 1957
15-16 July-December, 1957
17-18 January 5-June 22, 1958
Box Folder
4 1 July 6-December 14, 1958
2 July 6-December 28, 1958
3-4 January 4-June 28, 1959
5-6 July 5-December 27, 1959
7 January 3-June 26, 1960
8 January 3-June 12, 1960
9 July 10-December 18, 1960
10 July 17-December 18, 1960
11-12 January 2-December 31, 1961
13-14 January 7-December 30, 1962
15 January 6-December 22, 1963
Box Folder
5 1 January 6-April 28, 1963
2 May 6- December 22, 1963
3-4 January 5-December 20, 1964
5-6 January 3-May 24, 1965

Series 4: Drafts, 1940s-1988
6 folders

This last series includes both miscellaneous writings, and his drafts for the financial publication Trend Lines.
Box Folder
5 7 1940s-1960s
8 1981
9 1982
10 Trend Lines, 1983
11 Trend Lines, 1984
12 1984-1988