Skip to main content
Please contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections for assistance with accessing these materials.

James H. McCartney Papers

Identifier: GTM-120103

Scope and Contents note

The James H. McCartney papers document the life and career of longtime American journalist James H. McCartney, a noted correspondent with Knight-Ridder newspapers. Personal files concern his family, his education, his military service during World War II, and his memoirs. Professional files trace his career from his time with the "South Bend Tribune" through his extensive travels throughout Europe and the Middle East covering diplomatic and international issues into the 21st century. Numerous clippings of newspaper articles by McCartney in addition to teletypes from his coverage of various news stories are retained.

Digitized items from the McCartney papers are available. To consult inventories of these digitized items, click here. Georgetown University faculty, students, and staff may access the corresponding images by clicking here. The file names and disc numbers from the inventory will guide you to the desired images. Non-Georgetown researchers may submit a request to view digitized images through Aeon, our online researcher registration system.


  • 1905 - 2012
  • Majority of material found within 1960 - 2009

Conditions Governing Access note

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Library Booth Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Biographical note

Longtime American journalist James H. McCartney was born on July 25, 1925, in St. Paul, Minnesota, the son of Floyd and Cora McCartney. He received a B.A. from Michigan State University in 1949 and an M.S.J. from Northwestern University in 1952. He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University from 1963-1964. McCartney served in the U.S. Army from 1943-1946.

James H. McCartney began his career as a reporter for the "South Bend Tribune" from 1949-1950. Next, he worked as a public relations staffer at Michigan State University from 1951-1952. Then, McCartney was reporter, city editor, and Washington correspondent for the "Chicago Daily News" from 1952-1968. McCartney was co-winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1955.

In 1968, McCartney became a Washington correspondent for Knight-Ridder Newspapers and covered domestic politics, foreign affairs, and defense policy. He traveled widely and became a respected journalist. He was a Washington correspondent for over 30 years and reported from more than 30 countries. He directed the White House press relation studies from 1973-1974. At different points in his career, McCartney taught at several institutions, including Northwestern University, American University, and Georgetown University. He received the Edward Weintal Prize for Diplomatic Reporting from Georgetown University in 1989. He was an active member in the Gridiron Club.

In 1952, McCartney married Jule Graham. Their children were Robert J. McCartney and Sharon J. McCartney. The marriage ended in divorce, and MCartney later married Molly Sinclair McCartney.

James H. McCartney died on May 6, 2011, in Holmes Beach Florida.

[Sources: "Contemporary Authors" Online 2011. "Washington Post" May 8, 2011, p. C07.]


25.83 Cubic Feet (59 boxes)

Language of Materials



The James H. McCartney papers are arranged into six series: Series I. Personal Files; Series II. Professional Files; Series III. Computer Media; Series IV. Correspondence; Series V. Clippings and Teletypes; and Series VI. Objects and Ephemera.


Gift of Molly McCartney, 2012.

James H. McCartney Papers
Scott S. Taylor. Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections, Washington, D.C.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057