Location: Bowdoin / Library / Special Collections & Archives / Manuscript Collections / James E. Bassett Jr. Papers

James E. Bassett Jr. Papers 1929-1977, n.d.


3.5 linear feet.

Catalog Number: M213

Series List:


Agency History / Biographical Note:
James E. Bassett Jr. (1912-78) graduated from Bowdoin Phi Beta Kappa in 1934. After graduation, Bassett worked on the Los Angeles Times, serving as a reporter from 1934-37; aviation editor from 1937-41; science editor from 1947-48; political editor in 1961; director of the editorial pages from 1963-71; and associate editor from 1971-77. He retired in 1977. Bassett also worked for the Los Angeles Mirror serving as political editor in 1948; city editor in 1954; and assistant managing editor in 1957.

In 1941, Bassett entered the Navy as a lieutenant junior grade and became public relations officer for Fleet Admiral William F. Halsey and the Third Fleet. He served in that capacity until 1945. Bassett received the Bronze Star and retired from the Naval Reserve as a Captain.

Bassett served as press secretary for vice president Richard Nixon's campaign in 1952, as public relations director of the Republican National Committee in 1954, as campaign director for the Nixon vice presidential campaign in 1956, and as planning director of the Nixon presidential campaign in 1960. In 1962, Bassett published Harm's Way based on his wartime experience; the novel was made into a movie. Bassett also published The Sky Suspended in 1961 and Commander Prince, USN in 1971.

Bassett married Wilma Moreland in 1936 and the couple had one daughter.

Scope and Content:
The collection contains Bassett's letters (1940-63) from Pearl Harbor and the Pacific Theater, and from the Nixon campaigns; literary drafts of published and unpublished books, short stories, and plays; photographs; records of his naval service, including documents, orders and letters (1941-56); and Mamaroneck [N.Y.] High School, Bowdoin College (including a 1930-34 scrapbook), and U.S. Navy memorabilia. The collection also includes a retirement book from his work on the Los Angeles Times, and a bound copy of The Life and Times of Los Angeles, a history of the first 100 years of the Los Angeles Times.

Finding Aid/Index:

Cite as: James E. Bassett, Jr., Papers, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library.

Access Restrictions: None.

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