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Harry Golden papers - pt. 1

Identifier: MS0020.1

Scope and Contents

The Harry Golden Papers comprise an extensive collection of materials reflecting the multi-faceted career of the author and civil libertarian. The collection's emphasis is on Golden as editor and publisher of the Charlotte based Carolina Israelite (1942-68), a bi-monthly newspaper that liberally addressed political issues, Jewish and minority concerns, and the daily lives of the common individual from the perspective of an American Jew. The collection also reflects his career as best selling author, beginning with Only in America in 1958, and as spokesperson for civil rights and individual social liberty. These papers provide insight into personal journalism of the 20th century, as well as an appreciation of the political and social atmosphere of the South from the 1940s through the 1960s, particularly in relation to desegregation.


  • Creation: 1898 - 1970
  • Creation: 1941 - 1968


Language of Materials

Collection predominantly in English, with some materials in Hebrew.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Conditions Governing Use

Richard Goldhurst serves as literary executor of Harry Golden. For permission to publish material by Carl Sandburg, rights must be secured from the Sandburg Family Trust. See collection folder for additional information.

Biographical Note

Harry Lewis Golden was born Herschel Goldhirsch on May 6, 1902 to Leib and Anna Goldhirsch in the Austro- Hungarian Empire. In 1905, the Goldhirsch family emigrated to the Lower East Side of New York City. [Some of the family changed the family name to Goldhurst when they entered the workforce. Golden himself went through various name changes, starting life as Chaim Goldhirsch.] Golden graduated from P.S. 20 elementary school in 1917 and from East Side Evening High School around 1920. He enrolled at the City College of New York, but left two years later without a degree. Between 1921 and 1929, he worked various jobs in New York and became a stockbroker. Golden married Genevieve Gallagher in 1926 and they had four sons: Richard (1927-2015), Harry Jr. (1927-1991), William (1929-2010), and Peter (1938-1957). In 1929, Golden's brokerage firm declared bankruptcy and he was convicted for mail fraud and sentenced to 5 years in the Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta. Following his parole in 1933, Golden wrote and sold advertising for The New York Daily Mirror and The New York Post. He moved to Norfolk in 1941 to work for The Norfolk Times Advocate, leaving shortly thereafter for Charlotte. From 1941 to 1944, Golden worked for the Charlotte Labor Journal and The Charlotte Observer. In 1942, he commissioned The Charlotte News to print the first issue of the Carolina Israelite, which had an initial circulation of 800. The following year he formed Southland Publishing Company with Henry Stalls and Martin Rywell to own and publish the Israelite and their venture operated from 1944 to 1949, when the company's assets were transferred to the Henry Lewis Martin Publishing Company. Golden first met Carl Sandburg in 1948. In 1950, Golden wrote and published his first book, Jews in American History, with Martin Rywell. During the period 1956-57, Golden began popularizing his civil rights convictions through his articles in the Israelite on "vertical integration." An accidental fire destroyed his offices in 1958, the year in which he also released his first best seller, Only in America, and his mail fraud conviction and prison sentence were revealed in The New York Herald Tribune. In 1960, Golden toured West Germany to study the status of Jews in that country. Two more tours followed in 1961: one to Israel to cover the Eichmann trial for Life and the other to South Korea. Declining health forced Golden to cease publication of the Israelite in 1968. President Richard M. Nixon pardoned him in 1974. Golden died in Charlotte on October 2, 1981.


37 Linear Feet


Papers of a journalist, best selling author, and civil libertarian. Consists chiefly of material generated as editor (1944-68) of the Charlotte-based Carolina Israelite but also documenting his involvement in the Democratic Party, the civil rights movement, and Jewish issues. Includes extensive correspondence files, manuscripts and research materials for books and articles, speeches, financial records, publications, photographs, and material by and about Carl Sandburg and his family. Significant correspondents are P. D. East, Frank Porter Graham, Paul Green, Hubert H. Humphrey, Herschel V. Johnson, Charles R. Jonas, John, Robert, and Edward Kennedy, Ralph McGill, Joseph L. Morrison, Boyd Payton, Ronald Reagan, Terry Sanford, W. Kerr Scott, Lillian Smith, Morris Speizman, Adlai Stevenson, and William Targ.


The collection has been arranged to maintain where possible Golden's systems of arrangement and is organized primarily by types of material. Part One of the Golden Papers is divided into nine series: Carl Sandburg (1898-1970); Correspondence (1898, 1915, 1945-1964); Literary Productions (1945, 1954-1970); Business Material (1947-1948, 1956-1960); Printed Material (1907, 1949-1965); Photographs (1900-1970); Awards (1958-1965); Miscellany (n.d.); Audio Visual Material (1944-1965).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts of Harry Golden, 1970-71.

Related Materials

Harry Golden papers, part 2, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections -

Harry Golden Theatre Program Collection, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections -

Harry Golden Phonograph Album Collection, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections -

Harry Golden papers, Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

Harry Golden papers - pt. 1
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Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte NC 28223 United States

About this Site

Finding aids are guides to archival collections, including manuscripts, university records, and oral history collections. These guides help you find physical collections which can be viewed in the Dalton Reading Room on the 10th floor of Atkins Library. A small number of finding aids link to digital content online. Please contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment:

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