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Elmer Holmes Davis

Elmer Davis (1890-1958) was a journalist and broadcaster. He worked for the New York Times from 1914 to 1924. As nightly news analyst for CBS (1939-1941)  he had an audience of 12.5 million viewers. Roosevelt appointed him head of the newly created Office of War Information (OWI) in 1941. He returned to broadcasting, this time for ABC, from 1945 to 1953.

His ABC radio broadcasts were Edward Murrow's counterparts during the McCarthy era, when the New York Times called his patriotism "unassailable". Among his honors are honorary degrees from Franklin College, Franklin and Marshall College, Swarthmore, Wabash College, and St. Lawrence University. A George Foster Peabody Radio Award recipient (1951), he also was awarded the US Medal of Merit. The Indiana Society of Professional Journalists made Elmer Davis a member of their Hall of Fame on June 25, 1974.

His book But We Were Born Free (1954) was a surprise best-seller. E.B. White's review of the book for the New Yorker read: "[Davis] is over 60 and his doctor wants him to taper off. Even a tapered off Davis is worth ten of most men. He has spent his life tending the twin fires of liberty and justice in the drafty rooms of politics."

Elmer Holmes Davis appears in the following:

Gilbert Highet, Arthur C. Clarke, and Elmer Davis

Tuesday, March 16, 1954

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

5th of the season. WNYC announcer introduces program.


Van Doren introduces Highet, who talks about his book, "Man's Unconquerable Mind," and other broad aspects of history and American culture.


Van ...

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Elmer Holmes Davis

Thursday, January 12, 1950

In his famous Hoosier accent. the former Office of War Information Chief boldly speaks about "Freedom of the mind".

[Communist International, Office of War Mobilization, Ration Books]

Friday, May 21, 1943

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Number 11.

Report by Elmer Davis, Chief of Office of War Information, provides weekly update on the war.

-Dissolution of the Communist International
-Creation ...

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[Axis Surrender, Massacre at Rotterdam, General Franco]

Friday, May 14, 1943

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Number 10.

Report by Elmer Davis, Chief of Office of War Information, provides weekly update on the war.

-Axis surrender in Tunisia
-Third anniversary ...

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[Tunisia, Poland]

Friday, April 30, 1943

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Episode #8.

Report by Elmer Davis, Chief of Office of War Information, provides weekly update on the war.

Hard fighting, heavy casualties in Tunisia. Germans ...

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[Tunisia, France, Japan]

Friday, April 23, 1943

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Seventh in series.

Report by Elmer Davis, Chief of Office of War Information, provides weekly update on the war.

Fighting continues in Tunisia, advance of ...

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[Tunisia, Hitler and Mussolini, European Charter]

Friday, April 16, 1943

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Episode #6.

Report by Elmer Davis, Chief of Office of War Information, provides weekly update on the war.

Discussion of the Allies' gains against Rommel's ...

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[More Clashes With Rommel]

Friday, April 09, 1943

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Episode #5.

Report by Elmer Davis, Chief of Office of War Information, provides weekly update on the war. Discussion of Rommel's forces, clashes with Allied forces.


Audio courtesy ...

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[Comparison of Allied and German Armies]

Monday, April 05, 1943

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Episode #4.

Report by Elmer Davis, Chief of Office of War Information, describing the week's war news.

Discussion of success in Tunisia; it's too early ...

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[Fighting in Tunisia]

Friday, March 26, 1943

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Episode #3.

Report by Elmer Davis, Chief of Office of War Information, describing the week's war news. Chief news this week is the Allied push to throw Rommel's ...

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[Updates on Tunisia]

Friday, March 12, 1943

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Episode #1.

The first report by Elmer Davis, Chief of Office of War Information.

German counter-attack in the Southern Ukraine. Russians in the North; costly ...

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