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Herman Wolf Papers

Identifier: LP000167

Scope and Content

Part I: Among the Correspondents are: Charles A. Beard William Benton Chester Bowles James B. Carey Harry Emerson Fosdick Leon Henderson Sidney Hillman Harry W. Laidler John W. Livingston Edward Ievinson Clare Boothe Luce Henry R. Luce Brien McMahon George Meaney Henry Morgenthau Elizabeth Morrow (Mrs. Dwight Morrow) Donald M. Nelson Reinhold Niebuhr A. Philip Randolph Victor G. Reuther A. A. Ribicorff Norman Thomas

Description of Series: Series 1: General Correspondence, 1921-1958 Series 2: Drafts, Notes, and Correspondence of Articles, 1930-1952 Series 3: Research Material for ARticles Series 4: Publishes Articles by Herman Wolf and Newspaper Clippings for Research Subseries A: Published Articles Subseries B: Newspaper Clippings Series 5: Socialist Party, 1932-1936 Series 6: International Ladies Garment Union, 1936-1941 Series 7: Treasure Department - War Bond Campaigns, 1941-1943 Subseries A: Business Correspondence Subseries B: Official Correspondence Subseries C: War Bond Quota Drive Subseries D: Press Releases Subseries E: Minutes Subseries F: Reports Subseries G: Office File Series 8: War Production Board Subseries A: Business Correspondence Subseries B: Official Correspondence Subseries C: Official Memos from Nelson Subseries D: Press Release Subseries E: Labor Press Digest Subseries F: Office File Series 9: Fuller Homes, 1944-1946 Series 10: Connecticut Politics, 1949-1953 Subseries A: A.D.A. Subseries B: William Benton, Political Campaign, 1952 Subseries C: Chester Bowles, Political Campaign, 1949-1950 Subseries D: Miscellaneous Lists and Research Material Subseries E: Lawrence O'Toole, Political Campaign, 1949 Subseries F: Herman Wolf, Political Campagins, 1948-1952 Series 11: Office File
Part II: The second installment of the Herman Wolf Papers consists of materials relating to Herman Wolf’s activities at the U.S. Treasury Department working on publicity for war bond drives and at the War Production Board working on publicity for Labor-Management Committees and war production. It also contains miscellaneous publications of interest to Wolf in his government and professional activities, personal correspondence and papers, personal and professional photographs, and posters used in publicity for war bonds and war production.

Important Subjects: Labor-Management Committees Labor Movement Socialism United States – War Production Board United States – War Savings Staff

Important Names: De Witt, Samuel A.

Series Description: Series XII: Documents, 1929-1982 Series XIII: Oversized Materials, Posters, and Photographs, 1937-1956 Posters include some duplicates. All poster sizes are approximations.


  • 1924 - 1982
  • Majority of material found within 1933 - 1958


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.


Part I: Herman Wolf was born in Far Rockaway, Long Island, New York on January 22, 1912. From his youth, he was interested in reform movements, and during his years at the University of Pennsylvania, he became an active member of the Socialist Party. In 1934, he began a career as a labor newspaper editor and publicity agent.

OUTLINE OF CAREER OF HERMAN WOLF Education, 1929-1933: Graduated from Woodmere Academy in 1929. Spent two and one half years at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and one year at the University of Chicago, receiving B.A. in Economics, 1933.

Labor Editor and Publicity Agent, 1934-194l: 1934-1935 edited a weekly newspaper in Bedford, Massachusetts and another in Paterson, New Jersey. Wrote publicity articles, press releases, radio broadcasts and pamphlets for the Textile Workers Union. 1935-1936 worked for the Dressmakers Joint Board, International Ladies Garment Workers' Union, assisting on publicity for dress strike, including staging of mass meeting at Madison Square Garden. 1936-37 employed by Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, writing speakers' notes, speeches and general publicity articles in conjunction with the American labor Party for the 1936 campaign. For a few months, worked as a financial reporter for the Journal of Commerce. 1938, Editorial Assistant, Division of Placement and Unemployment Insurance, New York State Department of Labor. This was a general public relations job. 1939, Radio Director of Greater New York Fund. Directed radio publicity for twenty-two English speaking and foreign language radio stations with every type of program from spot announcement to two hour shows. 1939-1940, operated own public relations firm in New York City. Most important assignment was for International Ladies Garment Union, in directing the campaign that led to the organization of the New York Dress Institute.

Employee of U.S. Government, 1941-1944: 1941, British Management-Labor Commission. Directed labor-public relations at request of U.S. Government for eight-man team sent by Prime Minister Churchill to inspedt one hundred defense plants. 194l, Labor Defends America, wrote this war handbook, discussing labor's role in production, morale, war controls, and training. This book was used as a basis for a confidential survey on labor morale in Connecticut for the War Department. 1941-1943, War Finance U.S. Treasury. Helped to direct promotion of U.S. War Bonds by writing articles in the labor press, by planning feature events and by initiating payroll saving plans. 1943-1944, War Production Board Promotion director with staff of fifteen employees servicing 5,OOO war plant Labor-Management Production Committees with ideas and materials for production efficiency.

President of Fuller Houses Inc., Wichita, Kansas, 1944-1946: Directed staff of seventy employees who pioneered in the mass production of housing. Mainly concerned with the publicity works.

Editor for Bridgeport Herald, 1947-1950: Edited four large supplements for Sunday newspaper and Labor-Management relations on U.S. Progress. The paper had a state-wide circulation of 100,000.

Connecticut Politics, 1947-1953: 1947-1950, Secretary of Connecticut Chapter of Americans for Democratic Action. Helped in genaral publicity and in making arrangements for ceremonial dinners. Helped with publicity for campaigns of A.D.A. sponsored candidates - Laurence 0'Toole, William Benton, and Chester Bowles. 1949-1952, was Democratic candidate from Stratford for State House of Representatives, 1949, and in 1950 was elected Chairman of the Stratford Democratic Town Committee.
Part II: Herman Wolf was married to Emily Elsas Wolf in 1936 and they had three children, David, Louise, and William. Emily Wolf died in 1954. Wolf was later married to Helen Neilson Wolf and then to Monica Estes, with whom he had one daughter, Fay. Herman Wolf died in Bridgeport, Connecticut on October 6, 2005.


20 Linear Feet ((34 MB, 3 SB), 1 OS, 18 posters)


Herman Wolf became an active member of the Socialist Party while in college and subsequently embarked on a career as a labor newspaper editor and publicity agent with several labor unions and city newspapers. He applied his background in working for the U.S. government during WWII, a mass housing production organization, and local political groups. His papers cover these facets of his professional career. Part II specifically addresses Wolf’s activities at the U.S. Treasury Department working on publicity for war bond drives and at the War Production Board working on publicity for Labor-Management Committees and war production.


Part I: Arranged in 1 series – Series 11 (Boxes 1-4), Series 2 (Boxes 5-7), Series 3 (Boxes 8-10), Series 4 (Boxes 11-13), Series 5 (Boxes 14-15), Series 6 (Boxes 16-17), Series 7 (Boxes 18-20), Series 8 (Boxes 21-25), Series 9 (Box 26), Series 10 (Boxes 27-28), and Series 11 (Boxes 29-32). Folders are arranged alphabetically or chronologically depending on the series.

Series 4, 7, 8, and 10 are further divided into subseries.
Part II: Arranged in 2 series - Series 12 (Boxes 33-36), and Series 13 (Boxes 37-38). Series are arranged alphabetically.


Part II: The Herman Wolf Papers, Part II were placed in the Walter P. Reuther Library in January 1991 and May 1994 and opened for research in November 2011.


Part II: Oversize posters were transferred to the Reuther Library’s Audiovisual Department. See the listing at the end of this guide.

Processing History

Part I: Processed and finding aid written by L.H.H. in September 1966.
Part II: Processed and finding aid written by Byron S. Collier on October 12, 2011.


Guide to the Herman Wolf Papers
Processed by L.H.H.
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