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Harry W. Flannery Papers

Identifier: LP001557

Scope and Content

The Harry W. Flannery Collection consists primarily of research files—clippings, correspondence, press releases and speeches—covering a wide variety of topics, but focusing on labor union issues. Well covered is the split of the UAW from the AFL-CIO in 1968. Apart from the research files, the collection contains correspondence with his family, his publishers and his alma mater, Notre Dame University. The papers in this collection date primarily from the later years of Mr. Flannery’s career; those covering his earlier career reside at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin.

Important subjects covered in the collection are: AFL-CIO—UAW split American Institute of Free Labor Development (AIFLD) Brandt, Willy Meany, George National socialism Newspaper Guild Notre Dame University Trade unions--Germany Trade unions--Journalists--United States Trade unions--Latin America

Among the important correspondents are: Klausner, Bertha Rustin, Bayard


  • 1968 - 1972


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.


Harry William Flannery was born in Greensburg, Pennsylvania on March 13, 1900, the son of John V. and Catherine (Flynn) Flannery. He went to St.Paul’s High School in Scranton, Pennsylvania (1914) and Washington County High School in Hagerstown, Maryland (1915-18). Mr. Flannery then attended Notre Dame University for four years and graduated with a Ph.B. in journalism in 1923. Mr. Flannery held numerous positions as a reporter. He worked for the Hagerstown Herald in 1916 and later, also for the Hagerstown Mail, the Baltimore Sun, the Chicago City News Service and the Albany Evening News (until 1925). He was editor of the Hoosier Observer (Fort Wayne, Indiana) from 1931-32, before changing to radio broadcasting, serving as radio news editor for station WOWO (Fort Wayne, Indiana) from 1932-33, news editor and analyst for KMOX (St. Louis, Missouri) from 1935-40, Berlin correspondent for the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) from 1940-41 and news analyst for CBS, West Coast from 1942-48.

In 1948 Mr. Flannery became makeup editor for the Los Angeles Examiner. He quit this position in January of 1950 to run for Congress as Democrat for the 15th District in California, a campaign he lost. In 1951he became labor and foreign affairs editor for The Catholic Digest (St. Paul, Minnesota), before switching to an editorial position for the AFL News-Reporter from 1952-55. In 1955 Mr. Flannery again became a radio journalist as AFL-CIO radio coordinator, a position he held until his retirement in 1967. For a couple of years after his retirement, he taught classes on labor issues at the UCLA Institute of Industrial Relations. In addition, Mr. Flannery helped organize the Catholic Labor Institute in Los Angeles and was a member of the Radio Writers Guild Council, the American Newspaper Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. He was also a member of Broadcast Pioneers.

Mr. Flannery wrote several books and numerous articles on foreign policy (especially Germany) and labor issues in North America, Latin America, and Europe. He is the author of the bestseller Assignment to Berlin (1942), co-author of Off Mike (1944), editor of Pattern for Peace (1962), co-author of The Church and the Working Men (1965), and Which Way Germany? (1968). Mr. Flannery married Ruth Carmody in 1937. After his first wife’s death in 1968, he married Mary Heinemann in 1969. Harry W. Flannery died in 1975 in Los Angeles, California.


10 Linear Feet (10 SB)


A print and radio journalist, Harry Flannery was active in the labor movement and a member of the Radio Writers Guild Council, the American Newspaper Guild, and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Mr. Flannery’s papers reflect his interests in foreign policy and labor issues.


Folders are arranged alphabetically by title.


The papers of Harry W. Flannery were deposited in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs in September of 1993 by his daughter, Patricia A. Yoder.


One manuscript box of photographic prints and negatives received with the Flannery papers has been placed in the Archives Audiovisual Collection.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Guide to the Harry W. Flannery Papers
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA