University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Jay McMullen Papers, 1942-2006

Descriptive Summary

Creator: McMullen, Jay L., 1921-2012
Title: McMullen, Jay, Papers
Dates: 1942-2006
Abstract: The Jay McMullen Papers, 1942-2006, and undated, are comprised of production files, research files, audio and visual materials, teaching materials, and research material for a Columbia University oral history project on CBS and investigative journalism. The collection documents McMullen’s career as a U. S. Army correspondent, CBS Radio reporter, and CBS News producer. The bulk of the collection documents McMullen’s twenty-nine year career with CBS News.
Accession No.: 2010-017; 2010-091; 2010-160
Extent: 17 ft.; 6 CDs
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Jay Latimer McMullen (1921-2012) attended Dartmouth College before serving as an army serviceman and correspondent during World War II. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 1945. The Bronze Star McMullen earned for his Sunday night “Army Hour” broadcasts identifies his reports as “the most vivid and best received from any theatre of war.”

Upon returning from the war, McMullen earned a B.S. Degree from Columbia University (1948), where he also completed graduate course work in political science (1949-1950). He briefly worked for WINS AM, New York, before joining the CBS Radio team in 1954. At CBS Radio, McMullen produced award-winning reports, including “Chronicle of Terror: The Galindez-Murphy Case,” about a Columbia University Spanish professor who was kidnapped and murdered in New York by the administration of Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Trujillo.

McMullen then joined CBS News’ “CBS Reports” team, where he produced numerous documentaries. These included: "Biography of a Bookie Joint" (1961), about the Back Bay key shop and police corruption in Boston; "The Tenement" (1967), profiling dire living conditions in Chicago in the 1960s; "The Mexican Connection" (1972), for which McMullen traveled to Mexico for eight months to investigate the Mexican Drug Trade; and "The Toyota Invasion" (1981), profiling the arrival of Toyota in the United States.

McMullen taught journalism courses at Columbia University from 1970 to 1971; he also taught a summer journalism course at San Diego State University in 1983. In 1985, McMullen and student assistants at Columbia undertook an oral history project on the history of CBS, inc. McMullen retired later that year.


Alexander, Geoff. "Jay McMullen." Academic Film Archive of North America. Accessed September 1, 2011.

Scope and Contents

The Jay McMullen Papers, 1942-2006, and undated, are comprised of production files, research files, audio and visual materials, teaching materials, and research material for a Columbia University oral history project on CBS and investigative journalism. The collection documents McMullen’s career as a U. S. Army correspondent, CBS Radio reporter, and CBS News producer. The bulk of the collection documents McMullen’s twenty-nine year career with CBS News.

The Production Files series is organized chronologically by project and begins with McMullen’s tenure at WINS and his three CBS Radio Reports. Document formats in the Production Files series include correspondence with fellow journalists, clippings related to production research and review, and transcripts of interviews and aired reports. Research Files are alphabetized by subject and include news articles and printed material related to McMullen’s documentaries and his manuscript and typed notes. Audio and Visual Materials are comprised of cassette tapes, CDs, VHS, videocassette, and film recordings of news reports and interviews by McMullen and others. One film recording is labeled simply “Vietnam” and appears to be compiled footage; the other films are all documentaries by McMullen. Teaching Materials contain lecture notes and documents from the journalism courses McMullen taught at Columbia University and San Diego State University; they also include materials from a continuing education course entitled “Political Violence” that McMullen took at the State University of New York at Purchase. World War II Service Materials are comprised primarily of correspondence and diaries kept by McMullen while serving in Europe. The Honors and Recognition series contains newspaper clippings, event invitations, and McMullen career retrospectives. Research material for the Columbia University oral history project primarily consists of files of background information for major figures at CBS, especially investigative journalists. Photographs are primarily composed of prints and negatives from documentaries, especially “The Business of Heroin.” Finally, the Scrapbook primarily contains newspaper clippings of reviews and reception for McMullen’s films; “Biography of a Bookie Joint” is especially documented.



The papers are arranged into eleven series
  • I. Production Files
  • II. Research Files
  • III. Proposals
  • IV. Works of Colleagues
  • V. Video and Audio
  • VI. Columbia Oral History Project
  • VII. Teaching and Educational Materials
  • VIII. World War II Service
  • IX. Honors and Recognition
  • X. Photographs
  • XI. Scrapbook (oversized)


Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

These papers are stored remotely. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval.

The donor retains copyright on all materials by the creator. Written permission must be obtained from copyright holder in order to photocopy or publish from the collection.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
McMullen, Jay L.
Subjects (Organizations)
CBS News
CBS Radio Network
CBS reports (Television program)
Columbia Broadcasting System, inc.
Broadcast journalism -- United States
Documentary films
Investigative reporting
Television producers and directors
World War, 1939-1945 -- Journalists

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Jay McMullen Papers, 1942-2006, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Alison Clemens, December 2011

Detailed Description of the Papers


Production Files

2010-017/1 WINS AM:
"Inside New York," undated
US Army:
Reports, 1952-1958, undated
CBS Radio:
"The Gamblers," 1954
"Babies COD," 1954
"The Warning Bell," 1955
"So They Say," 1956
"The Galindez-Murphy Case: A Chronicle of Terror," 1957-1958
"Who Killed Michael Farmer?," 1958
"Radio Beat: Special Edition on Latin America," 1958
CBS Reports:
"Hoffa and the Teamsters":
Production, 1959, 1997
"Real Case of Murder":
Production, 1961
"Biography of a Bookie Joint":
Editorials and Cartoons, 1961-1962
Hearings, 1962
Notebooks, 1962
Research, 1961-1963
Transcripts, 1961
"Silent Spring of Rachel Carson":
Production, 1963, 1981, 1993-1997
2010-017/2 "The Business of Heroin":
Notebooks, 1962, undated
Production, 1962-1965
"The Tenement":
Manuscript logs, undated
Production, 1966-1968, 1981
Transcripts, 1962, undated
2010-017/3 Transcripts, 1962, undated
"Campaign American Style":
Notebooks, undated
Transcripts, 1960, undated
Production, 1967-1969
"Portrait in Black and White":
Production, 1968
"The Haiti Invasion":
Correspondence, 1967-1970
Expense Reports, 1966
Legal, 1969-1970, 1982
Notebooks, 1969-1970, undated
Research, 1966-1967, undated
2010-017/4 Transcripts, 1966-1967
"The Mexican Connection":
Notebooks, 1971-1972
Production, 1971-1972
Transcripts, undated
"The Corporation":
Notebooks, undated
Production, 1973
Research, 1950, undated
Transcripts, 1973, undated
"District Attorney":
Notebooks, undated
2010-017/5 Production, 1975, 1989
Transcript, undated
"The Selling of the F-14":
Production, 1975, 1989
Research, 1975-1976
Transcripts, 1975-1976, undated
"Anatomy of a Scandal":
Notes, undated
Research, 1977-1978
2010-017/6 Transcripts, 1978
"The Baby Makers":
Production, 1977-1981
Transcripts, 1979
"The Toyota Invasion":
Notebooks, undated
Production, 1980-1981
Research, 1980
Transcripts, 1980
"Parole Game":
Production, 1981-1984
Transcripts, 1981
"After All Those Years":
Production, 1981-1984
Assorted, 1959-1967, 1976-1988


Research Files:

2010-017/6 Atlantic City vs. Las Vegas, 1982-1984
Banks, 1982
Black Athletes, 1983
Black Power, 1983
Cartels, 1979
Construction, 1979
Diamonds, 1979-1981
Drugs, 1984
2010-017/7 Environmental Protection Agency, 1983
Espionage, 1983-1984
Food (Green Revolution), 1981-1983
General Interest, 1965-1985
Hospitals, 1983-1984
Industrial Espionage, 1973-1982
KGB (Russia - Committee for State Security), 1979-1981
Mexico, 1984
Mobil, 1982-1983
Nuclear Power, Nuclear Waste, 1983-1984, 1995
Oil, 1979
Public Health Care, 1984
Public Housing, 1982-1983
Russian and U.S. Military - M.X. Missile, 1982-1984
Spies and Silicon City, 1983-1984
Synfuels Corporation, 1984
Vesco, Robert:
Clippings, 1974
FBI Investigation, 1983
Hearings, 1974-1975
2010-017/8 Research, 1973-1986
Women, 1983
Unlabeled, 1971, 1981-1986



2010-017/8 Contractor, 1973-1975
"Open Your Mind" [psychology research], undated
"The Making of a Bestseller," 1976-1978
Notebooks, undated
Production, 1968-1969
2010-017/5 Research, 1967-1968
2010-017/9 Research, 1967-1968
2010-017/9 "The Absconders," undated
"The Deadliners," undated
"Jackson," undated
Research, undated


Works of Colleagues:

2010-017/9 "The American Parade," 1984
"...but what if the dream comes true," 1971
"The CIA's Secret Army," 1977
"The Defense of the United States," 1981
"Hunger in America," 1968
"If Japan Can...Why Can't We?," 1980
"Incident at Brown's Ferry" (WGBH-TV), 1984
"The New Left," 1967
"Return of the CIA," 1980
"The Selling of the Pentagon," 1971
"Trujillo: Portrait of a Dictator," 1960
"Webster Groves Revisited," 1958-1969
"White Collar," 1983
"Who's Got a Right to Rhodesia," 1977


Audio and Video:

CBS Radio:
2010-017/10 "Babies C.O.D.," undated
"Who Killed Michael Farmer?," April 21, 1958
"Babies C.O.D.," 1977
McMullen Interview, undated
McMullen Report, undated
Works by Others:
2010-017/10 "Great Radio Reporting," undated
4J321 Interviews, 1981, undated
2/Film D52-68 "Hoffa and the Teamsters" [16 mm], undated
"A Real Case of Murder: The People vs. Peter Manceri" [For the American Bar Association Gavel Awards; 16 mm], March 2, 1961
"Biography of a Bookie Joint" [16 mm; 2 copies], undated
"The Silent Spring of Rachel Carson" [16 mm], undated
"The Business of Heroin" [16 mm], undated
"The Tenement" [16 mm], undated
"Campaign American Style" [16 mm], undated
"The Mexican Connection" [16 mm color], undated
"The Corporation" [16 mm; 2 copies], undated
"The District Attorney" [16 mm], undated
"The Selling of the F-14" [16 mm; 2 copies], undated
"Babymakers" [16 mm color], undated
"The Toyota Invasion" [16 mm color], undated
"Parole Game" [16 mm], undated
"After All Those Years" [16 mm color], undated
"Vietnam" [2 reels; unidentified footage], undated
CBS Reports:
2010-017/10 "A Real Case of Murder: The People vs. Peter Manceri," March 2, 1961
"Biography of a Bookie Joint" (Updated repeat; 2 copies), March 20, 1963
"The Silent Spring of Rachel Carson," April 3, 1963
2010-017/11 "The Business of Heroin" [Videocassette and VHS], January 22, 1964
"The Tenement," undated
"The Tenement" (Update), September 9, 1973
"The Tenement" Original Broadcast and Update, Febrary 28, 1967; June 30, 1981
"Campaign American Style" [2 copies], undated
"The Mexican Connection," June 25, 1972
"The Corporation," December 6, 1973
2010-017/12 "The District Attorney," May 26, 1975
"The Selling of the F-14," August 27, 1976
"Anatomy of a Scandal" [VHS and videocassette; 5 copies], April 3, 1978
Works by Others:
2010-017/12 "Global Report: The Nuclear Lagoon," London Films, undated
"Sixteen in Webster Grove," undated
"Selling of the Pentagon," undated


Columbia Oral History Project:

2010-017/13 CBS Ethics, 1970-1990
CBS History, 1969-1989
CBS Legal, 1969-1989
Fund for Investigative Journalism, 1975-1976
Interview Material, : 1985
2010-017/13 Benjamin, Burton
Burdett, Winston
Calmer, Ned
Chester, Edmund
Church, Wells "Ted"
Clark, Blair
Collingwood, Charles
Corwin, Norman
Daly, John Charles
Drinkwater, Terry
Dunn, Bill
Gordon, Matthew
Herman, George
Hottelet, Richard C.
Ilott, Pamela
Kalisher, Peter
Kendrick, Alexander
Kobin, William
Koop, Ted
Leonard, Bill
LeSueur, Larry
Lower, Elmer
Mickelson, Sig
Midgley, Les
Novins, Stewart
Pierpoint, Bob
Seward, James
Shaw, Charles
Shirer, William
Sioussat, Helen J.
Smith, Howard K.
2010-017/14 Stout, Bill
Townsend, Dallas
Trout, Bob


Teaching and Educational Materials:

2010-017/14 Lecture Notes, undated
San Diego State University, 1970
Columbia University, 1971, 1983, undated
Continuing Education, State University of New York at Purchase:
"Literature of Political Violence," 1988


World War II Service:

2010-017/14 Correspondence and Clippings, 1942-1944, 2008
Identification, Diary, and Letters, 1944-1945
Journals, 1944
Photographs, undated
Remembrances, 1996-1997


Honors and Recognition:

2010-017/14 General, 1958-1988
Biography and Work, undated
Conferences, Talks, and Papers, 1965-1971
Fan Letters, 1968, 1982-1992
Retirement [Contains photographs], 1984-1997
Reviews, 1962-1970


Photographs, : 1958, 1964, undated

2010-017/14 Negatives


Scrapbook (Oversized):

2010-017/15 Advertisements, undated
Family material, 1954, undated
Large Clippings:
2010-017/15 "Biography of a Bookie Joint," 1961, 1964, undated
Small Clippings:
2010-017/15 "Biography of a Bookie Joint," 1961, 1964, undated
"Silent Spring," 1963, 1965, undated
"The Business of Heroin," 1964, undated
"The Tenement," 1967
"Campaign American Style," 1968, undated
"The Haiti Invastion," 1966-1967, undated
"The Corporation," 1973, undated
"Selling the F-14," 1976, undated
"The Baby Makers," 1979, undated
Large Newspapers:
2010-017/15 "Biography of a Bookie Joint," 1961-1964