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Paul Miller Papers

Identifier: 1982-002

Scope and Contents

The Paul Miller Papers consist of general correspondence, speeches, columns, and photographs of Mr. Miller, as well as similar material and memorabilia related to the Associated Press, the Gannett Corporation, and other newspaper, radio and television concerns with which Mr. Miller was involved. In addition to providing biographical information on Mr. Miller and other leaders of the Gannett Group, the material in this collection helps to document four decades of world affairs and of developments in journalism and broadcasting.

The expansion of Gannett Co. into a major world-wide newspaper group and a stockholder's corporation is thoroughly documented. The collection contains not only Mr. Miller's notes, but also company publications, background studies, and correspondence regarding acquisitions and mergers as well as the efforts to take the company public. Each time the Gannett Group added a newspaper to its membership, the newspaper was carefully studied and Miller communicated with the owners and publishers. As a result, these papers depict developments in the privately owned newspaper industry throughout the United States as well as the history of the corporation.

During World War II and the decades following, newspapermen covered a multitude of events around the world. There are notes regarding the private sides of world leaders such as Sir Winston Churchill and Harry S. Truman and communications with military officers, some of which were confidential at the time they were written. The 1945 air flight that pioneered scheduled global service is documented in detail, as is the United Nations Organization conference. There also are first-hand reports from Berlin during the 1949 airlift, from London and Cairo during the 1956 Suez Canal Crisis, from Guatemala after a revolution in 1959, from the Soviet Union during a 1962 meeting with Khrushchev, and from China in 1972, shortly after that country opened its gates again to foreign visitors.

Miller spoke and wrote on the wide variety of concerns faced by journalists in the 1960's and 1970's. In his columns, which he began in 1957 and continued until his retirement, he commented forthrightly on social and political affairs at the local, state, and national levels. Among the topics included in these resources are: journalistic ethics, acquisitions and mergers, cable television, economic conditions, presidential elections, taxation, and the space age.

* Paul Miller Curatorial Files have been separated (August 2007) and are maintained in separate collection # 2007-051. Prior to separation these were boxes 40-43. More boxes have been added since.


  • 1898 - 1992
  • Majority of material found within 1957 - 1978

Language of Materials

Most of the material in this series is in English. Some brochures, pamphlets and articles are in Chinese, French, German, Russian and Swedish.

Condtions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the Oklahoma Open Records Act (, and other relevant regulations. Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which Oklahoma State University Libraries assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use

The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, Oklahoma State University Archives will provide information about copyright owners and related information. Securing permission to publish or use material is the responsibility of the researcher. Note that unless specifically transferred to Oklahoma State University Libraries, any applicable copyrights may be held by another individual or entity. Copyright for material published by Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College/Oklahoma State University is held by the Board of Regents for the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges. All rights reserved.

Biographical Sketch

From traditional American roots Paul Miller rose to a position of international influence in both the Gannett Corporation and Associated Press. His world-wide acquaintances, newspaper knowledge, and communication skills were acknowledged by many newspapermen in 1957 when he became president of the Gannett Corporation, and again in 1963 when he was also elected president of Associated Press. His decades of leadership have provided a legacy in the realms of journalism that will endure for generations.

Born in 1906 to a Disciples of Christ minister's family in Diamond, Missouri, Mr. Miller's own experiences in the newspaper world began in communities in Oklahoma. While still in high school, he worked for the Pawhuska Daily Journal as a reporter and even served briefly as city editor. During college, he worked for the Daily Oklahoman as well as on student newspapers at the University of Oklahoma and at Oklahoma A & M College, from which he graduated in 1931 after haven taken a year out to be publisher and reporter for yet another newspaper, the Okemah Daily Leader.

Miller's first job with Associated Press began in 1932, the same year in which he met and married Louise Johnson. During their first eleven years of marriage, they moved ten times as the enterprising newspaperman worked for a variety of AP bureaus in Ohio, Missouri, Utah, Pennsylvania, and New York. Then in 1942 Miller became chief of the Washington bureau, where for five years he guided national political coverage for Associated Press and headed the AP staff who reported the 1945 United Nations Organization conference in San Francisco.

Frank Gannett persuaded the adept bureau chief to make another move and join his corporation in 1947. Ten years later Miller was elected president of Gannett Co. Under his leadership this major media group carried out a vigorous expansion program and placed its stock on the public market.

As president and chief executive officer of the Gannett Corporation from 1957 to 1978, and as president and chairman of Associated Press from 1963 to 1977, Paul Miller traveled widely, reporting both on current events and on political, social, and cultural aspects of the countries visited. He met with presidents and other world leaders and served as the national spokesman on journalistic affairs. In the latter activity, he encouraged journalism to grow and keep up with changes in society as well as with developing technologies and to preserve its integrity. Throughout his years as a newspaperman, Miller maintained that "Our actions must be determined not by mere compliance with state or federal law, not by public attitudes, but on the basis of doing the right thing."


52.4 Linear feet (30 record storage boxes, 6 document boxes, 4 oversized flat boxes, 2 negative storage boxes and 1 map drawer)


Arranged into 13 series.


For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog or contact the Oklahoma State University Archives Reference staff.


Gift of Paul and Louise Miller, 1982.

Processing Information

Processed by: Wilmer H. Paine Jr., 1985.

Revised by Jim Klein, 2003; Revised by Kari Mays, 2005; Converted to new template by Misty Smith, September 2006. Updated by Kate L. Blalack.
Paul Miller Papers Collection Number 1982-002
Wilmer H. Paine Jr
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Oklahoma State University Archives Repository

204 Edmon Low Library
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater 74078-1071 USA