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Harry Golden papers - pt. 2

Identifier: MS0020.2

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: 1944 - 1987
  • Creation: 1950 - 1981


Language of Materials

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. For authors of other materials in this collection, copyright may be retained by the authors or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. It is the sole responsibility of users of this collection to observe all copyright laws, permissions and restrictions applicable to the materials contained in the collection.

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 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 (b. 1927), Harry Jr. (1927-1991), William (b. 1929), 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 same 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.


72 Linear Feet


Part two of 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, and photographs.


The collection has been arranged to maintain where possible Golden’s systems of arrangement and is organized primarily by types of material. Part Two of the Golden Papers is divided into twelve series.

CORRESPONDENCE is divided into two subseries. The Subject Correspondence represents Golden’s filing system for those individuals and organizations with which he was most directly concerned. The General Chronological Correspondence contains chronological files of correspondence related to subscription requests, responses to Golden’s writings, hate mail, and holiday and greeting cards.

BIOGRAPHICAL FAMILY AND PERSONAL PAPERS, contains papers primarily related to Golden’s personal affairs, including biographical materials, family correspondence, and legal papers.

LITERARY PRODUCTIONS is divided into five subseries. The Carolina Israelite Columns contain copies of articles, drafts, galleys and letters to the editor for Golden’s newspaper, the Carolina Israelite. The Only in America Columns contains copies of columns, drafts, and correspondence related to his syndicated column “Only in America.” Articles contain materials related to and copies of articles written by Golden for various publications, including widely-reprinted titled articles, articles for various publications and organizations, and miscellaneous articles, contributions, reviews, and scripts. Books contains materials related to many of Golden’s books published from 1958 through 1975, including correspondence, drafts, galley proofs, manuscripts, research materials, and reviews. Manuscripts contains manuscripts submitted to Golden by other writers, including related correspondence.

BUSINESS MATERIAL contains assorted materials used to facilitate Golden’s various enterprises, including advertising, contracts and agreements, and correspondence with agents and syndicates.

PRINTED MATERIAL is divided into two sub-series. Newspaper Clippings/Scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings and scrapbooks which primarily document Golden’s writing and activities as a civil libertarian. The newspaper clippings contain copies of his Only in America column, articles, reviews, and statements by Golden, articles documenting his activities, and files dealing with various civil liberties issues and political figures. The scrapbooks document Golden’s authorship and civil liberties activities. Miscellaneous Publications contain various miscellaneous publications, including items dealing with Jewish culture.

FINANCIAL PAPERS contains records documenting Golden’s personal and business financial affairs, including deposit journals, financial statements, legal papers, and tax records.

SPEECHES is divided into four subseries. Public Speeches contain speeches by Golden on various issues. Radio and Television contains materials related to Golden’s appearances on radio and television programs. Correspondence with Agents contains correspondence with agents regarding Golden’s speech tours, and Itineraries contain records and correspondence related to his speech tours.

PHOTOGRAPHS contains a photographic album presented to Golden by the Pak Ai Orphanage in Korea; a photographic album presented to Golden by Dick Stalley and Greg Villet of Time magazine; images used (and not used) in his book, The Greatest Jewish City in the World; and photographs of Golden engaged in a variety of activities.

ARTIFACTS, AWARDS AND MEMORABILIA contains awards, medallions collected by Golden, and miscellaneous personal items.

AUDIOVISUAL MATERIALS contains four microfilm reels of The Carolina Israelite (1944-68); nine microfilm reels of Golden’s columns, speeches, and correspondence; five videotapes, including “A Glass of Warmth,” “World of Harry Golden,” “They Entered the Golden Door,” “The Golden Touch” and “Anita Brown’s documenting of Harry Golden on 8th St.”; two metal film canisters containing the films “Glass of Warmth” and “World of Harry Golden”; one audiotape containing “Whispering Hope” and “Drowsy Waters”; one audiotape to Harry Golden from “Jarrett” of Central Piedmont Community College; and one cassette audiotape, “Israel.”

INDEXES contains a series of indexes documenting Golden’s writing, research, personal contacts, articles, books, columns, quotes, reviews, speeches and appearances, and an index to books in Golden’s personal library.

CARL SANDBURG Series consists of materials Golden collected while writing an informal biography of his friend Sandburg (Carl Sandburg, World Publishing Company, 1961). Contains miscellaneous materials and newsclipping albums.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts of Harry Golden Jr., Richard Goldhurst, William Goldhurst, 1982-83, 1991; Elizabeth and Sanford Rosenthal, 1983; Anita Brown, 1991, 1993-94.

Related Materials

Harry Golden papers, part 1, 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

Separated Materials

Issues of Carolina Israelite cataloged separately and shelved in oversize Special Collections (RARE FOLIO AN0 .C3) Typewritten manuscripts authored by H. L. Mencken were removed for separate cataloging (MS0306). Chutzpah board game was removed for separate cataloging.

Harry Golden papers - pt. 2
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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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

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