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Ralph Orr Papers

 Collection
Identifier: LP002615
Series 1: Hoffa Research, 1968-1983 Orr's research materials on Hoffa and his disappearance include interview transcripts, notes, clippings, and correspondence. Of particular note are letters to Orr from Hoffa's "self styled adopted son" Charles "Chuckie" O'Brien and labor icon Myra Wolfgang. This series also contains some drafts of Orr's articles.

Series 2: Audiovisual, 1975-1981 The Audiovisual Series includes a photo of Hoffa's son by Free Press Photographer Tony Spina as well as five audio cassettes, three of which feature Orr on the radio program, "Spotlight on the News."

Dates

  • 1968 - 1983

Creator

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials.

Extent

2.25 Linear Feet (3 MB, 5 cassettes, 1 photograph)

Abstract

Ralph Orr was the labor writer for the Detroit Free Press, a position he held until his retirement in 1985. Two of his primary focuses over the years were the UAW and the Teamsters, particularly the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa, for which he became the journalistic voice of authority. The materials in Ralph Orr Papers are primarily Orr's research materials on Hoffa and his disappearance, including interview transcripts, notes, clippings, and correspondence as well as drafts of Orr's articles. The collection also contains 5 audio cassettes, three of which feature Orr on the radio program, "Spotlight on the News."

Historical Note

Born in Portland, Oregon in 1922, Ralph Orr's family moved to Michigan where he was raised in Three Rivers. He graduated from Northwestern University in 1942 with a journalism degree and enlisted in the Merchant Marine. After the War, he married Margaret Arnett, and they moved to New York, where Orr became part-owner and editor of the Dansville Breeze Newspaper. Then they moved to Detroit, where Orr established himself as the labor writer for the Detroit Free Press, a position he held until his retirement in 1985. Two of his primary focuses over the years were the UAW and the Teamsters, particularly the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa, for which he became the journalistic voice of authority. Orr passed away in 2011 at the age of 91.

Arrangement

Arranged in 3 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-3), Series 2 (transferred to Audiovisual Department) Folders are arranged chronologically.

Acquisition

The Ralph Orr Papers were donated by Steve Orr on February 12, 2015.

Related Materials

Jimmy Hoffa FBI Files, Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees Union Local 24 Records, Thomas Bernick Papers, and Tony Spina Oral History

Transfers

One photograph and five audio cassettes were transferred to the Reuther's Audiovisual Department.

Creator

Title
Ralph Orr Papers
Status
completed
Author
Finding aid written by Alexandra A. A. Orchard.
Date
2017-04-24
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA