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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 3244

Craig R. Whitney papers


Papers and documents of New York Times correspondent, Craig R. Whitney.


  • circa 1965-2016


Language of Materials

English, German

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.


2 linear feet (3 boxes)

Includes material relating to Whitney's book on Wolfgang Vogel, Spy Trader; material created during the period he was a New York Times correspondent; documents related to his service in the Navy, including service in Saigon; notebooks from his Saigon service; files on the Whitney-Piper case; and New York Times publications as well as copies of two of Whitney's books.

Biographical / Historical

Craig R. Whitney was a reporter, foreign correspondent, and editor at The New York Times until his retirement in 2009 as assistant managing editor in charge of standards and ethics. He began his career in journalism during two years at the Worcester Telegram in Worcester (Mass.). Following completion of his degree from Harvard College in 1965, he became assistant to James Reston in the Washington Bureau at the New York Times. He enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve in 1966, serving as an ensign in the Office of the Secretary of the Navy under Paul H. Nitze and Paul Ignatius and as a lieutenant (junior grade) with the Seventh Fleet detachment in Saigon, Vietnam, from 1968 to 1969. Returning to The Times in 1969 as a reporter in New York City, he went back to Saigon in 1971 as a war correspondent, serving as bureau chief from 1972 to 1973. Later he reported from Bonn, Moscow, London, Berlin and Paris during the Cold War and the collapse of Communism in East Germany, Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. He returned to the United States in 2000. He returned to the United States in 2000.

As New York Times bureau chief in Moscow from 1977 to 1980, Whitney was tried in a Soviet court on charges of slandering the Soviet State Radio and Television Committee in a news report about the televised confession of dissident Zviad Gamsakhurdia; after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Gamsakhurdia became president of Georgia before being killed during the first of its civil wars. Whitney and his colleague, Harold D. Piper of the Baltimore Sun, were convicted in absentia of slander and fined but allowed to remain in Moscow until the end of their assignments.


Arranged in order as received.

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Craig R. Whitney, 2018.

Processing Information

Processed by Melanie Wisner, 2018.

Whitney, Craig R., 1943-. Craig R. Whitney papers, circa 1965-2016 (MS Am 3244): Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard University.
2018 October 25
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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