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Bill Granger papers

 Collection
Identifier: MSS0053

Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence, contracts, early writings, manuscripts, proofs, and much of the journalism of Bill Granger as a Chicago reporter, newspaper columnist, and novelist. It also includes personal documents, photographs, and childhood items.

Dates

  • 1941-2012
  • Majority of material found within 1963-1998

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Biographical / Historical

William "Bill" Granger was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1941, grew up on the city's south side, and made a career in Chicago by writing for both of its major newspapers, Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times. He co-authored two nonfiction titles on the subject of Chicago politics, and used the city as the setting in two of his novels.

His earliest writings began in childhood in the St. Ambrose Catholic School newsletters (1951-1955). In college, Granger was the editor of DePaul University's student newspaper, The DePaulia. Even before his graduation with an English degree from DePaul University in 1963, Granger was working as a re-write man, reporter, and radio wire writer for the Chicago bureau of United Press International (UPI). From the late 1960s through the 1990s, Granger worked as a journalist for both of Chicago's major newspapers, Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times. Granger's last regular column was with suburban Chicago's largest newspaper, The Daily Herald.

The literary segment of Granger's career began in 1977. Inspired by the Belfast riots he had covered as a freelance journalist in 1971 while on an extended trip in Europe, Granger turned those ideas into his first novel, The November Man, which was published in 1979. This novel received a considerable amount of press since elements of its plot paralleled the 1979 assassination of Lord Mountbatten by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) (Box 6). The book's success sparked a series of 13 "November Man" spy novels over the next 14 years. During that time, Granger also wrote other mysteries and suspense dramas, sometimes under the pseudonyms Joe Gash or Bill Griffiths. In addition, Granger collaborated with his wife Lori to write three nonfiction titles. Two of these, Fighting Jane and Lords of the Last Machine, chronicle political events in the city of Chicago and one, The Magic Feather, is an exploration of Special Education and the school system, a topic inspired by the Grangers' experiences coping with their son's learning disability. In total, Granger authored or co-authored a total of 28 books between the years of 1979 and 1995. His earliest writings began in childhood in the St. Ambrose Catholic School newsletters (1951-1955). In college, Granger was the editor of DePaul University's student newspaper, The DePaulia. Even before his graduation with an English degree from DePaul University in 1963, Granger was working as a re-write man, reporter, and radio wire writer for the Chicago bureau of United Press International (UPI). From the late 1960s through the 1990s, Granger worked as a journalist for both of Chicago's major newspapers, Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times. Granger's last regular column was with suburban Chicago's largest newspaper, The Daily Herald. The literary segment of Granger's career began in 1977. Inspired by the Belfast riots he had covered as a freelance journalist in 1971 while on an extended trip in Europe, Granger turned those ideas into his first novel, The November Man, which was published in 1979. This novel received a considerable amount of press since elements of its plot paralleled the 1979 assassination of Lord Mountbatten by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) (Box 6). The book's success sparked a series of 13 "November Man" spy novels over the next 14 years. During that time, Granger also wrote other mysteries and suspense dramas, sometimes under the pseudonyms Joe Gash or Bill Griffiths. In addition, Granger collaborated with his wife Lori to write three nonfiction titles. Two of these, Fighting Jane and Lords of the Last Machine, chronicle political events in the city of Chicago and one, The Magic Feather, is an exploration of Special Education and the school system, a topic inspired by the Grangers' experiences coping with their son's learning disability. In total, Granger authored or co-authored a total of 28 books between the years of 1979 and 1995.

Chronology: June 1, 1941 William "Bill" Granger born, Chicago, Illinois 1962-1963 Editor, The DePaulia, DePaul University student newspaper 1963 B.A. DePaul University, English 1963-1965 Served in the U.S. Army, honorable discharge 1963 Reporter, UPI (United Press International), Chicago bureau 1966-1969 Reporter, Chicago Tribune 1969 Began teaching journalism classes at Columbia College, Chicago 1969-1978 Reporter and columnist, Chicago Sun-Times 1971 Six-month leave from newspaper to tour Europe and cover Belfast civil war for Newsday, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times news service 1972-1974 Suburban feature writer, Chicago Sun-Times 1975-1977 Radio-television critic, Chicago Sun-Times (column) 1976 Testified on television violence at national PTA hearings 1979 First novel, November Man, published 1980 Contributing columnist, Chicago Tribune 1981 Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Chicago-based novel, Public Murders 1984 UPI Best Newspaper Columnist in Illinois 1994-1999 Columnist, Daily Herald Pseudonyms: Joe Gash Bill Griffith

Extent

9 Linear Feet (7 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Arrangement

The Bill Granger papers are arranged into four series: 1. Biographical; 2. Early and Unpublished Works; 3. Journalism; 4. Book Writing and Publishing. The collection's overall organization reflects Granger's original file arrangement. Chronological and/or alphabetical adjustments were made within Granger's original groupings of materials to better facilitate access.

Physical Location

4/2/F

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Lori Granger, Accession 2001.30

Related Materials

29 books by Bill Granger were separated and cataloged. Contact departmental staff for the complete bibliography; Issues of The DePaulia, 1962-1963, can be found at DePaul University Special Collections and Archives and online as part of the DePaul Heritage Digital Collections.

Processing Information

M. McCoy 2010

Title
Guide to Bill Granger papers
Status
Completed
Author
M. McCoy 2010
Date
2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the DePaul Special Collections and Archives Repository

Contact:
John T. Richardson Library
2350 N. Kenmore Ave.
Room 314
Chicago Illinois 60614
773-325-7864