unc logo

Collection Number: 04795

Collection Title: Sam. Summerlin Papers, 1943-1980s

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the FAQ section for more information.


expand/collapse Expand/collapse Collection Overview

Size 3.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 400 items)
Abstract Journalist and writer Sam Summerlin, native of Chapel Hill, N.C., graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, former senior staff member for the Associated Press, and president of the New York Times Syndicate Sales Corporation. Papers consist largely of drafts for articles, short stories, novels, television and movie scripts, and documentaries. Included are materials pertaining to Summerlin's book on China's rise to nuclear power, "The China Cloud" (with William L. Ryan); "1:33: In Memoriam: John F. Kennedy" (with Bruce E. Henderson); and "The Super Sleuths" (with Bruce E. Henderson).
Creator Summerlin, Sam.
Language English
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Sam. Summerlin papers #4795, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Cynthia Summerlin, 4 March 1996 (Acc. 96022).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

A native of Chapel Hill, N.C., Sam Summerlin graduated from high school in Mexico City and speaks fluent Spanish. He earned Phi Beta Kappa honors at the University of North Carolina, then joined the Associated Press. When the Korean War broke out, he became the youngest foreign correspondent in that conflict and also covered other parts of Asia before moving to Latin America, where he reported on many countries from bases in Havana and Buenos Aires. He was named AP bureau chief in New Orleans in 1963 and directed coverage of the civil rights movement for two years. In 1965, he was promoted to New York, where he served as Deputy News Editor for AP World Services. Summerlin joined the New York Times Company in 1975, and, for 12 years, served as president and chair of the Times' News Service and Syndicate.

Summerlin took early retirement from the New York Times Company to pursue an entrepreneurial role in the emerging information/communications revolution. He created two companies: Hollywod Stars, Inc., which produces video programs, and SAGA Agency, Inc., which produces celebrity still photos, interviews and related news information, including news from SAGA’s White House correspondent. SAGA also serves as literary agent for a selected group of authors. Hollywood Stars, Inc. has completed more than 800 television shows and has a library of more than 6,000 exclusive interviews with the major movie stars. Its news segments have been broadcast in the United States on Rupert Murdoch's FOX News Service and abroad to more than 80 nations through Ted Turner's TNT network to Latin America and the Caribbean, via TV1000 to Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, on the Hallmark Channel to the Far East, on FOX News in Japan, in Spain, and on the Internet through Microsoft. The company has also produced television specials about movie stars, such as Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, and Jamie Lee Curtis for the Biography series on the A&E Network; Century of Cinema for the Disney Channel; and Hollywood's Magic Night, an annual preview of the Oscars, broadcast nationwide on PBS and syndicated worldwide.

Summerlin is the author or co-author of four books, including The China Cloud (1968), which served as the basis for a CBS 60 Minutes network program. He has produced more than 800 television programs, ranging from entertainment to histories of the Winter and Summer Olympics and a 26-part series for the Discovery Channel on Portraits of Power, profiling how New York Times correspondents remembered such world leaders as Roosevelt, Churchill, Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, and John F. Kennedy.

Summerlin is a recipient of Columbia University’s Maria Moors Cabot Journalism Award for outstanding coverage of Latin America and is in the University of North Carolina Journalism School’s Hall of Fame. He was the first correspondent to flash the news that the Korean War had ended, as noted in Breaking News: How the Associated Press Has Covered War, Peace, and Everything Else (2007, a book about the history of the Associated Press.

Sam Summerlin has two children, Claire Slattery of Encinitas, Calif., and Thomas A. Summerlin of Washington, D.C., and two granddaughters, Barrett and Berkley Summerlin.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Summerlin's papers consist largely of drafts of his books, short stories, and scripts. Some related correspondence and notes are present. Also included are book, television, and movie proposals. There is minimal documentation pertaining to his career with the Associated Press and as president of the New York Times Syndicate.

Back to Top

Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s.

About 350 items.
Folder 1

Biographical notes #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 1

Folder 2

Interview with Summerlin ( Business View, April 1980) #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 2

Folder 3-5

Folder 3

Folder 4

Folder 5

Correspondence #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 3-5

Folder 6

Notes for various projects #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 6

Folder 7

Miscellaneous early writings, including school projects #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 7

Folder 8-9

Folder 8

Folder 9

1:33 (Book on John F. Kennedy assassination) Corrected draft #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 8-9

Folder 10

1:33 (Book on John F. Kennedy assassination) Draft for television #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 10

Folder 11

1:33 (Book on John F. Kennedy assassination) Permissions and press releases #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 11

Folder 12

1:33 (Book on John F. Kennedy assassination) Notes #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 12

Folder 13

1:33 (Book on John F. Kennedy assassination) Proof copy #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 13

Folder 14

1:33 (Book on John F. Kennedy assassination) Synopsis #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 14

Folder 15

1:33 (Book on John F. Kennedy assassination) Excerpts released by the New Times syndicate service, 18 November 1973 #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 15

Folder 16

1:33 (Book on John F. Kennedy assassination) The Bigger the Briefcase the Smaller the Mind, or: How to Survive in the Executive Jungle While Still Doing Your Own Thing #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 16

Folder 17

1:33 (Book on John F. Kennedy assassination) The Black Brigade - multiple drafts #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 17

Folder 18

1:33 (Book on John F. Kennedy assassination) A Bluejay is Not Only Just a Bird - a short story #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 18

Folder 19

1:33 (Book on John F. Kennedy assassination) Brando: Portrait of the Artist as a Rebel - a television special #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 19

Folder 20

1:33 (Book on John F. Kennedy assassination) Civil War writings and notes #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 20

Folder 21

1:33 (Book on John F. Kennedy assassination) China..An Open Door?--AP documentary #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 21

Folder 22-25

Folder 22

Folder 23

Folder 24

Folder 25

1:33 (Book on John F. Kennedy assassination) The China Bomb- draft #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 22-25

Folder 26

1:33 (Book on John F. Kennedy assassination) The China Bomb - proof for Look #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 26

Folder 27-28

Folder 27

Folder 28

The China Cloud Draft #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 27-28

Folder 29-32

Folder 29

Folder 30

Folder 31

Folder 32

The China Cloud Correspondence and notes #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 29-32

Folder 33

The China Cloud Interviews and notes #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 33

Folder 34

The China Cloud Script for television production #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 34

Folder 35

The China Cloud Proof copy (Little, Brown and Co.) #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 35

Folder 36

The China Cloud The Company - a screenplay #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 36

Folder 37

The China Cloud The Day Kennedy Was Shot - documentary proposal #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 37

Folder 38

The China Cloud The Desert Noah #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 38

Folder 39

The Double Eagle Proposal and notes #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 39

Folder 40-41

Folder 40

Folder 41

The Double Eagle Draft #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 40-41

Folder 42

The Double Eagle Correspondence #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 42

Folder 43

The Double Eagle General Nam Il: Master Red Showman #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 43

Folder 44

The Double Eagle Great Moscow Tee Party - synopsis #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 44

Folder 45

The Double Eagle Great White Father #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 45

Folder 46

The Double Eagle The Guns of Port Hudson - a novel (incomplete) #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 46

Folder 47-49

Folder 47

Folder 48

Folder 49

The Double Eagle The Hunter and the Hunted - corrected draft #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 47-49

Folder 50

The Double Eagle I've Got My Sights on You, Fidel!--screenplay with notes #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 50

Folder 51

The Double Eagle The Mavericks - television series proposal #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 51

Folder 52

The Double Eagle The Man from U.N.C.L.E. - The Macy's Parade Affair - television script #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 52

Folder 53

The Double Eagle The Middle East - AP article #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 53

Folder 54

The Double Eagle Moments of Destiny - television series proposal #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 54

Folder 55

The Double Eagle The Mustangs - television project #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 55

Folder 56-60

Folder 56

Folder 57

Folder 58

Folder 59

Folder 60

The Double Eagle The Nature of the Beast - corrected drafts and notes #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 56-60

Folder 61

The Double Eagle Noah's Park - script for television special #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 61

Folder 62

The Double Eagle Oscar: The Comeback Year - AP article #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 62

Folder 63

The Double Eagle The Oscar Story - script for television special #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 63

Folder 64

The Double Eagle Our Country: The Celebration of America - script for television special #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 64

Folder 65

The Double Eagle Our Men in Red Hands #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 65

Folder 66

The Double Eagle Seoul #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 66

Folder 67

The Double Eagle The Silent War #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 67

Folder 68

The Double Eagle Skinny #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 68

Folder 69

The Double Eagle Soulmates - script for television special #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 69

Folder 70

The Double Eagle A Stroke for Gold - novel outline #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 70

Folder 71-73

Folder 71

Folder 72

Folder 73

The Super-Sleuths Corrected draft #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 71-73

Folder 74

The Super-Sleuths Synopsis #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 74

Folder 75

The Super-Sleuths Correspondence #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 75

Folder 76

The Super-Sleuths Tokyo Affair - short story #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 76

Folder 77

The Super-Sleuths The 13th Hole Revolt - motion picture proposal #04795, Series: "1. Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1980s." Folder 77

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Pictures.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

Back to Top

Processing Information

Processed by: Tim Pyatt, January 1997

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

Back to Top