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Correspondence

Dalton Trumbo at the typewriter Dalton Trumbo at the typewriter

Dalton Trumbo at the typewriter

The correspondence in the Trumbo papers chronicles every facet of his life, including his family, finances, writing career, and political beliefs. In an age before email, Dalton Trumbo was a prolific letter writer. He probably did not keep all of his correspondence but he did keep much of it—much more than many others would. His letters provide insight into who he was; he could be prickly, demanding, humorous, apologetic, grateful, and loving.

The letters made available here document his life on the blacklist. Having lost his ability to work publicly in Hollywood and facing a year in prison, finances were a big concern for Trumbo since he supported not only his wife and three children, but also his mother, sisters and mother-in-law. A number of letters show this financial burden and the things he did to help alleviate it. Trumbo's letters from prison give a glimpse into what his life was like while incarcerated and the ongoing legal efforts on his behalf. Letters dating from after Trumbo's release show how the blacklist continued to affect Trumbo’s family, finances, career, and his efforts to help break the blacklist.

Correspondence, December 1947 - April 1950:

To Martin Gang - December 27, 1947 (Box 2 Folder 3)

To Harry Tugend - February 2, 1948 (Box 2 Folder 3)

To Sam Zimbalist - February 5, 1948 (Box 2 Folder 3)

To Bert Allenberg - February 12, 1948 (Box 2 Folder 3)

To Yip Harburg - July 9, 1948 (Box 2 Folder 7)

To Elsie McKeogh - September 20, 1948 - (Box 2 Folder 5)

To George Willner - October 2 1948 - (Box 2 Folder 6) 

To Albert Maltz - August 6, 1949 (Box 3 Folder 2)

To Sam Spiegel - September 17, 1949 (Box 3 Folder 2)

To Mrs. Trumbo (his mother) - November 11, 1949 - (Box 3 Folder 1)

To Charlie Katz - April 17, 1950 (Box 3 Folder 4)

Prison

To Lee Sabinson - April 16 1950 (Box 3 Folder 4)

To Bill Pomerance - April 24, 1950 (Box 3 Folder 4)

To Cleo Trumbo - June 11, 1950 (Box 3 Folder 3)

To Cleo Trumbo - June 21, 1950 (Box 3 Folder 4)

To Cleo Trumbo - June 22, 1950 (Box 3 Folder 4)

Magazine Subscriptions (Box 4 Folder 1)

To Elsie McKeogh from Cleo Trumbo August 17, 1950 (Box 4 Folder 1)

From/to Ben Margolis - November 1950 (Box 4 Folder 2)

To Ben Margolis - November 26, 1950 (Box 4 Folder 2)

To Cleo Trumbo - February 29, 1951 (Box 4 Folder 3)

April 1951 - February 1956

To Herbert Biberman - June 1951 (Box 4 Folder 3)

To Nelson Algren - June 15, 1951 (Box 4 Folder 3)

To Hugo Butler - June 25, 1951 (Box 4 Folder 4)

To Frank and Maury King - April 10, 1953 (Box 10 Folder 1)

To Irving Paul Lazar - February 1954 (Box 5 Folder 2)

To Albert Maltz - March 10 1954 (Box 5 Folder 1)

To Frank and Morrie King - December 29, 1955 (Box 10 Folder 1) 

To the Campfire Girls - February 23, 1956 (Box 5 Folder 4): letter likely written by Dalton Trumbo for Cleo

To Dorothy and Seniel Ostrow - September 9, 1956 (Box 5 Folder 6)

January 1957 - May 1959 

To Mr. Bogeus - ca. 1957 (Box 5 Folder 8)

To Mr. President - January 24, 1957 (Box 5 Folder 7)

To Mr. Morgan - February 12, 1957 (Box 5 Folder 7)

To Miss Inglis - February 12, 1957 (Box 5 Folder 7)

To Frank/Maury/Hymie King - April 19, 1957 (Box 5 Folder 7)

To Albert Maltz - January 9, 1959 (Box 6 Folder 4)

To Albert Maltz and Mike Wilson - January 10, 1959 (Box 6 Folder 4)

To Mike Wilson and Albert Maltz - January 12, 1959 (Box 6 Folder 4)

To Mike Wilson - February 24, 1959 (Box 6 Folder 4) - Part 1

To Mike Wilson - February 24, 1959: Part 2

To Sam Lundberg - April 9, 1959 (Box 6 Folder 4)

Spartacus Contract - May 20, 1959 (Box 6 Folder 4)

Letter to John Wexley (dictated) - August 1961: explains continuing consequences of blacklist on screenwriters 

Terms of Use for the Collection
The WCFTR provides the information contained in this collection for non-commercial, personal, or research use only. Any other use, including but not limited to commercial or scholarly reproductions, redistribution, publication or transmission, whether by electronic means or otherwise, without prior written permission of the copyright holder is strictly prohibited.