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Fred Rodell papers


Held at: Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections [Contact Us]370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford, PA 19041

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Fred Rodell (1907-1980) was a law professor born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Haverford College in 1926 and received his law degree from Yale University in 1931. After attending law school, Rodell worked as a special legal advisor to Governor Gifford Pinchot of Pennsylvania until 1933, when he joined the faculty of the Yale Law School. He became a full professor in 1939 and remained at Yale until 1973, when he retired and received an honorary LL.D. from Haverford. During his career, Rodell maintained a large number of other activities, such as a feature writer for the Chicago Times (1940), Director of Cooperative Consumers, Inc. in New Haven, Connecticut (1941-1945), contributing editor for Progressive magazine (1943-?), working at the American Civil Liberties Union, and writing a great deal of legal journalism. Rodell was the author of Fifty-five Men: the Story of the Constitution (1936); Woe Unto You Lawyers (1939); Nine Men: a Political History of the Supreme Court from 1870 to 1955 (1955); as well as many articles.

Biographical information from Directory of American Scholars, sixth edition, vol. IV (New York: Bowker Co., 1974) and Charles Alan Wright, "Goodbye to Fred Rodell," 89 Yale L.J. 1455 (New Haven: Yale Law Journal Co., Inc., 1980).

The correspondence in this collection of law professor and author, Fred Rodell (1907-1980) spans the period 1940-1980. Among the writers are Thurman Arnold, Charles Alan Wright, Abraham Ribicoff, Josephine Baker, Arthur Goldberg, various law professors, attorneys, and publishers, and others.

The papers include a scrapbook of letters and other materials dedicated to Fred Rodell, an annotated book by Rodell, Nine Men, and a collection of Rodell's published writings.

The Fred Rodell papers are divided into two series: Correspondence and Papers

The Fred Rodell papers were donted to Special Collections, Haverford College in 2011 by Loren Ghiglione.

See also HC.MC.827, which is an extensive collection of the papers of Fred Rodell, and HC.MC.827.2.

Processed by Diana Franzusoff Peterson; Completed July, 2011. Revised by Allison Hall; Completed May 2020.

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
Diana Franzusoff Peterson
Finding Aid Date
July, 2011
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Law apply (U.S. Title 17).

Collection Inventory


Descriptions of correspondence are highlights of material based on content or significant author.

Physical Description

3 boxes

1940, 1956-1962.
Box 1
Scope and Contents


Letter by Charles Gerstenberg


Correspondence with attorneys, law professors, judges, publishers, and particularly regarding Rodell's article "The Pattern of Defiance" on racial segregation. (Ca. 90 items.)


Letter by Thurman Arnold and typescript of Arnold's Professor Hart's Theology


Correspondence, including with Charles Alan Wright, law professors, Haverford College president Hugh Borton, attorneys, publishers, letters to several Supreme Court justices, clippings, articles by FR. (Ca. 80 items.)

Mostly undated material:

Typed list of addresses, lectures, speeches by FR, 1959-1960.

Biographical information on FR;

Typed letters to the editor: 2 items.

Typed articles: 28 items.

Manuscript articles: 4 items.

Book reviews: 3 items.

Book chapters: 2 items.

Box 2
Scope and Contents


Correspondence including from former students, attorneys, law professors, publishers, clippings. Ca 55 items


Correspondence, including with law professors, publishers, Judge Kenneth Wynne, 2 items signed by Josephine Baker, note signed by Justice Arthur Goldberg, Letter by Bill Scranton, clippings, including Rodell's published magazine and newspapers pieces, published article. Ca. 80 items


3 typed copies of letters from Charles A. Wright, Bernard Ward and William Brennan, correspondence, including with publishers, 3 articles by Fred Rodell, clippings, letters from Rodell asking permission to include photographs of them in a book. Ca. 40 items


Correspondence, including from professors, friends and attorneys, clippings. Ca. 10 items


Correspondence, including from publishers, attorneys, Charles A. Wright, professors, Anti-Shyster League, Roy Mersky. Ca. 90 items


Correspondence, including from publishers, law professors, attorneys, Ralph Nader (2), Abraham Ribicoff (1), clippings, Fred Graham (NYT). Ca. 110 items

Box 3
Scope and Contents


Correspondence, including from professors, Karl Menninger, book review editors, newspaper editors re Rodell articles, attorneys, Arthur Goldberg, clippings, Victor Navasky, Charles A. Wright, Nat Hentoff. Ca. 180 items


Correspondence, including with Sam Ervin, clippings, professors, attorneys, book review editors, the Carswell case, the Haynsworth case, defense of Justice Douglas, Victor Navasky. Ca. 185 items


Correspondence, including with Sen. John Tunney, John R. Coleman, clippings, Charles A. Wright, professors, attorneys, publishers. Ca. 90 items


2 items

Physical Description

2 boxes

Scrapbook; Nine Men; Wendell Wilkie; Articles re Fred Rodell.
Box 4
Scope and Contents

• 1 book: Nine Men. New York: Random House, 1955, with many notes by Rodell interspersing pages • Yale Law Journal. 1974. In Honor of Fred Rodell. • Yale Law Journal. 1980. Goodbye to Fred Rodell / by Charles Alan Wright. • "Wendell Willkie, Private Servant"/ by Fred Rodell. 1940. Copy of typescript. • Scrapbook of letters, clippings and photos in honor of Fred Rodell, 1975, including from William O. Douglas (1), John R. Coleman, various legal scholars and professors;

Published Articles.
Box 5
Scope and Contents

Circa 50 items

Print, Suggest