University Archives Acquires Hal Bruno Jr. Papers

In September of 2012, the University of Illinois Archives officially acquired the personal papers of Harold (Hal) Robinson Bruno, Jr. (1928-2011), University alumnus (’50), former political editor of Newsweek (1960-1978), and former political director of ABC News from 1978 to 1997. Bruno also took a turn in front of the camera when he served as the moderator of the boisterous 1992 vice presidential debate between Dan Quayle, Al Gore, and James Stockdale. He also hosted the weekly radio program Hal Bruno’s Washington on ABC Radio from 1981-1999.

Bruno edits copy at his desk during his time at the Chicago bureau of Newsweek in the mid 1960s. Photo by Bill Rogers. Photo may not be reproduced without permission.

Researchers and media enthusiasts can look forward to a collection rich in personal and professional accounts of major political events, including the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968, the Iran Contra affair, and extensive coverage of every presidential campaign from 1960-2000, and time spent as a Fulbright Scholar in India in the mid 1950s where he studied the Indian media.

Assistant Archivist Chris Prom displays materials from the Hal Bruno Jr. Papers to Bruno’s son, Hal Bruno III.

The Hal Bruno, Jr. Papers also include a correspondence file with significant correspondents such as ABC news anchor Peter Jennings, former US Senator Charles Percy and columnist Mike Royko.

Additional highlights of the collection include audio tapes from Bruno’s 1982 interview with the famed Carter Sisters in Nashville, materials relating to Bruno’s career as a volunteer firefighter, and his time as the chairman of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

The Hal Bruno, Jr. Papers join the James B. Reston Papers and the Godfrey Sperling, Jr. Papers as a premier resource of investigative journalistic research materials held by the University of Illinois Archives.

The Hal Bruno, Jr. Papers are currently being processed for use and will be made publicly available in late November 2012.

Hal Bruno’s granddaughter, Maddy, examines a news column written by her late grandfather during an August trip to the University Archives.
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