Reginald Earle Looker papers
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Reginald Earle Looker papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, GA 30305. 404.814.4040.
Creator: Looker, Antonina Hansell, 1898-1987
Creator: Looker, Reginald Earle, 1895-1976
Title: Reginald Earle Looker papers
Dates: 1928-1980
Quantity: 4.0 Folders
Identification: ahc.MSS691f

Biographical/Historical Note

Reginald Earle Looker (1895-1976) was born in Washington, D.C., to Henry Brigham Looker and Katherine Chamberlain (Earle) Looker on February 11, 1895. During World War I, Looker served in Europe as an ambulance driver for the American Ambulance Corps and a freelance war correspondent for The Evening Post. He also served in the United States Army overseas from 1918-1919. Looker married Edith Applegate in December 1917 and had two daughters, Edith Beaumont Looker and Katherine "Karen" Earle Looker. After World War I, he worked as an advertising executive, magazine editor, and public relations consultant. As a childhood playmate of President Theodore Roosevelt's children, Looker used his connections to launch a public relations campaign that would help get Franklin D. Roosevelt elected as President. He was President Franklin D. Roosevelt's speech writer until 1940. He wrote several biographies about Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Roosevelt family, including The White House Gang (1928), Colonel Roosevelt, Private Citizen (1932), This Man Roosevelt (1932), and The American Way (1933). He also collaborated with Roosevelt on his work about the Great Depression, Looking Forward (1933). Looker again served in the United States Army from 1940-1945 and retired as a colonel. He completed his service as Director of Morale Service of the Pacific Ocean Areas from 1944-1945. It was in the role that Looker met his second wife, Antonina Hansell, who worked as a Red Cross volunteer at a naval hospital in Hawaii. Looker divorced his first wife in 1946 and married Antonina in 1947. Looker and Antonina moved to Antonina's mother's home "Hillhouse", in Lakemont, Georgia, and spent the rest of their years collaborating as fiction writers. Their joint novel Revolt (1967), was a work of historical fiction about what would have happened if the South had won the Civil War. Looker and Antonina continued to write together until Looker's death from lung cancer.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains the personal and professional papers of Reginald Earle Looker. The bulk of the personal papers pertains to R. E. Looker "Look" and Antonina "Nina", and includes correspondence between family, friends, and colleagues in the publishing industry. The personal papers also contain items from R. E. Looker's memorial service in 1976 and newspaper clippings from British newspapers collected in 1967 during Looker and Antonina's six-month stay in England. The professional papers consist of correspondence between R. E. Looker, Antonina, and their literary agents in the United States and England. In addition, there are publishing contracts for R. E. Looker's works and one literary agency contract with Julie Thomas of Atlanta, Georgia. The collection also includes articles Looker wrote in 1915 for the Saturday Evening Post. Looker's military career is documented by permit cards, a statement of service, and reports compiled by Looker for President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Lastly, the collection includes pieces of manuscript drafts likely excerpted from Revolt.

Index Terms

Authors and publishers--Correspondence
Citizens for Decent Literature (U.S.).
Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
Hyde, Katherine Earle Looker
Joseph, Nannine
Mitchell, Edith Beaumont Looker
Novelists, American--20th century
Pollinger, Gerald John, 1925-
Rabun County (Ga.)--Social life and customs
Roosevelt, Franklin D., (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945
Rupert Hart-Davis Limited.
World War, 1914-1918
World War, 1939-1945
Young, Stanley, 1906-1975

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Reginald Earle Looker papers, MSS 691f, James G. Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 1981

Description Control

Collection processed in 2011.


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.