Harold Brayman papers
Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267
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Harold Brayman (1900-1988), former director of the Public Relations Department of Du Pont Company, retired from that position March 31, 1965. He had headed that activity of the company for 21 years, establishing a concept of public relations which was widely emulated throughout the United States.
Harold Brayman was born on March 10, 1900, at Middleburgh, New York. He received his A.B. degree in 1920 from Cornell University, and was awarded an honorary LL.D. by Gettysburg College in 1965.
Brayman went to Du Pont in 1942 after a distinguished newspaper career of twenty years, fourteen of them spent as Washington correspondent for leading New York and other American dailies. He started his journalistic career as Albany legislative correspondent for various newspapers in New York City and state, and had served briefly in London as a foreign correspondent.
Harold Brayman first went to Washington in 1928 as correspondent of theNew York Evening Post. When the Post was sold by the Cyrus H.K. Curtis estate in 1933, he remained with the Curtis organization as Washington correspondent of the Philadelphia Evening Ledger until 1940. From then until 1942, he was a correspondent for Jesse H. Jones' Houston Chronicle. Meanwhile he wrote his syndicated columns, "The Daily Mirror of Washington," 1937-1940, and "Washington Preview," 1940-1942.
As a specialist in reporting and analyzing political events, Brayman attended all national political conventions from 1928 through 1940. He crisscrossed the nation as a correspondent on the presidential campaign trains of Alfred E. Smith in 1928, President Roosevelt in 1932, Alfred M. Landon in 1936, and Wendell L. Wilkie in 1940.
While a correspondent in Washington, Brayman was president of the National Press Club in 1938 and president of the Gridiron Club in 1941, one of the very few Washington correspondents to have been elected president of both of these organizations .
Harold Brayman was appointed assistant director of the Public Relations Department of the Du Pont Company in April 1942, and two years later, upon the death of Ted Joslin, became director, a position he would hold until 1965.
Brayman authored several books, includingCorporate Management in a World of Politics (McGraw-Hill, 1967), a book on the public, political, and governmental problems of business; Developing a Philosophy for Business Action (1969); A history of the Lincoln Club of Delaware (1970), with A.O.H. Grier; and The President Speaks off the record… (Dow Jones, 1976), a history of the Gridiron Club.
Brayman was a member of the Board of Visitors of the School of Public Communication, Boston University, from 1951 to 1972, and chairman 1961-1972. He was a member of the Public Relations Advisory Committee of the Manufacturing Chemists Association from 1951 to 1956, serving as chairman from 1951 to 1953; a member of the Sponsoring Committee of the annual Public Relations Seminar from 1952 to 1961; and a trustee of the Foundation for Public Relations Research and Education from 1956 to 1962.
He was a member for many years of the United States Chamber of Commerce Committee on Taxation and of other Chamber committees. Brayman was editor of thePublic Relations Journal, organ of the Public Relations Society of America, during 1956; and in 1963 was awarded the citation of the Society for "distinguished service in the advancement of public relations." He was also named "Public Relations Professional of 1963" by the Public Relations News. In 1965 Brayman was given the "Golden Plate" award of the American Academy of Achievement, the first award of that organization in the field of public relations. He was vice president of the organization from 1966 to 1973.
Active in the affairs of Cornell University, Brayman was a member of the Cornell council, was its chairman from 1961 to 1963, and was also a member of the University's Centennial Celebration Committee . He also served as chairman of the Advisory Council of the Graduate School of Business and Public Administration from 1960 to 1965. Brayman was president of the Cornell Club of Delaware for 1955-1956.
Brayman was a member of the Board of Directors of the Continental American Life Insurance Company and the Greater Wilmington Development Council. He served as a trustee of the Wilmington Medical Center, was a trustee of Gettysburg College, and in 1968 served as the first Corporate Executive in Residence for the American University, Washington, D.C. He was president of the Lincoln Club of Delaware for 1965-1966, and was on the Board of the Wilmington Country Club from 1952 to 1964. He was a member of the Wilmington Club, the Greenville Country Club, the Du Pont Country Club, and Rotary Club of Wilmington; the University Club (N.Y.); and the Gridiron, National Press, and Overseas Writers Clubs in Washington, D.C.
Harold Brayman married Martha Witherspoon Wood on January 25, 1930, and they had two sons, Harold Halliday and Walter Witherspoon. Brayman died in Wilmington on January 3, 1988.
Biographical note adapted from a press release in the collection.1920 Democrat: James Cox and Franklin Roosevelt Republican: Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge (winner) 1924 Democrat: John Davis and Charles Bryan Republican: Calvin Coolidge and Charles Dawes (winner) 1928 Democrat: Alfred Smith and Joseph Robinson Republican: Herbert Hoover and Charles Curtis (winner) 1932 Democrat: Franklin Roosevelt and John Garner (winner) Republican: Herbert Hoover and Charles Curtis 1936 Democrat: Franklin Roosevelt and John Garner (winner) Republican: Alfred Landon and Frank Knox 1940 Democrat: Franklin Roosevelt and Henry Wallace (winner) Republican: Wendell Wilkie and Charles McNary
The papers of Harold Brayman (1900-1988) span the dates 1900-1991, with the bulk dates 1928-1978, and document the successful dual career of one man in the fields of journalism and public relations. The collection includes correspondence, memoranda, press releases, speeches, newspaper clippings and articles, manuscripts for publications, photographs, and memorabilia.
The material in the collection is arranged into three series to parallel Brayman's career and personal activities: Series I. Journalism Career, Series II. Public Relations Career, and Series III. Personal. Brayman was a very active man, and the arrangement within each series documents his personal networks of professional relationships, his organizational skills in shaping the agenda of groups to which he belonged, and his educational contributions through writing, speaking, and teaching.
Series I, Journalism Career, vividly presents Brayman's role in the circle of newspapermen covering news of the Nation's capital. The correspondence and clippings document his connections and output. The club files reflect Brayman's steadfast friendships, his buoyant personality as a leader, and his dedication to journalism. In addition, the subject content of his columns and features, the satire of the Gridiron skits, and his book The President Speaks... all document historical and political events worthy of press in the United states from the 1920s to 1942.
Brayman had a short two-year apprenticeship at Du Pont before assuming the position of director of the department of public relations in 1944. Brayman's career in public relations paralleled the growth of the developing field: the National Conference on Public Relations was only established in 1942. Brayman's transition from journalism to public relations also paralleled the careers of other newspapermen who were hired to reshape and promote corporate images. For example, Phelps Adams, a close friend and colleague of Harold Brayman, also moved from reporting for the New York Sun to become director of public relations at U.S. Steel.
Brayman assumed a leadership role in his career in public relations as he had in journalism. He was especially instrumental in expanding the role of corporate public relations from maintaining press relations to developing a broader public understanding and support for large industry.
This development was important to the history of the Du Pont Company as it struggled with its wartime reputation. The 1934 charge of the Special Committee Investigating the Munitions Industry (the Nye Committee) -- to examine the structure and activities of the munitions industry -- reflected the public's distrust of industries which had profited from World War I. During World War II, Du Pont was careful to disassociate itself from public disillusionment with "merchants of death." The company developed new products and began a successful ad campaign of "Better things for better living through chemistry." Public relations for many American industries in the 1940s and '50s developed out of such needs for promotion of company policy.
Series II, Public Relations Career, includes a small subseries of Du Pont files, while the other subseries strongly document the growth of the public relations field and the corporate message put forth by Brayman on behalf of Du Pont. Brayman was a regular participant and frequent organizer of the Public Relations Seminar, an annual professional conference. As was not uncommon for Brayman, he took on the project of writing the history of the organization. The series of public relations files include correspondence and literature of the field, some of it authored by Brayman.
Series III, Personal, relates to other personal activities of Harold Brayman. The subseries on Cornell documents the many contributions he made to his alma mater. The correspondence files, arranged by subject, suggest the wide range of his contacts and interests. The special correspondence includes selected letters from prominent individuals or dear friends, collected over a lifetime of acquaintances ranging from H.L. Mencken to Mary Martin. Other miscellaneous subseries in Series III include biographical and family files, as well as other writing projects.
- Boxes 1-20: Shelved in SPEC MSS record center cartons
- Box 21: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxes (upright manuscript boxes)
- Removals: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (32 inches)
- Removals: Shelved in SPEC Media Audio reels
- Removals: Shelved in SPEC Media Phonographic records
- Removals: Shelved in SPEC Media Videocassettes
- Removals: Shelved in SPEC Media Audiocassettes
Gift of Mrs. Harold Brayman, 1988.
Processed by L.R. Johnon Melvin, 1991-1992. Finding aid encoded by John Caldwell, December 2017.
- Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994
- Adams, Phelps
- Carpenter, Walter Samuel, 1888-1976
- Greenewalt, Crawford H., 1902-1993
- Morrison, C. M. (Charles Munro)
- E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company
- New York post-standard
- Committee for the Re-election of the President
- Gridiron Club (Washington, D.C.)
- Cornell University
- National Press Club (U.S.)
- New York post
- Lincoln Club of Delaware
- League of Nations
- Legislative Correspondents' Association of the State of New York
- Knickerbocker Press
- Watertown Times
- Albany Journal
- Middleburgh News
- Albany Evening News
- Philadelphia Evening Ledger
- International House
- Public Relations Society of America
- Public relations
- Journalists--United States
- Journalism--Political aspects--United States--History--20th century
- Political participation
- Political campaigns
- World War, 1939-1945
- Prohibition--United States--History
- Business enterprises--United States--History--20th century
- Depressions--1929--United States
- New Deal, 1933-1939
- Delaware--Politics and government
- United States--Politics and government--20th century
- Washington (D.C.)
- Albany (N.Y.)
- University of Delaware Library Special Collections
- Finding Aid Author
- University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
- Finding Aid Date
- 2017 December 20
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research.
- Use Restrictions
Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library, https://library.udel.edu/static/purl.php?askspec
This subseries includes material related to Brayman's early career as a legislative correspondent in Albany, New York. The files document Brayman's membership in the Legislative Correspondents' Association and his attendances of their annual dinners. The dinners were held at the Ten Eyck Hotel in Albany, and they were a precursor for Brayman's involvement with the Gridiron Club in Washington, D.C. The programs in this subseries include songs and skits of political satire targeting New York governors, politicians, and legislative issues. The toast list of the first program in the subseries, 1923, includes Governor Alfred E. Smith and Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt. Brayman kept in touch with his Albany colleagues after he left New York and attended the annual dinners when he could.
This subseries includes material which documents various aspects of Brayman's career as a Washington correspondent from 1928-1942. Two folders include an assortment of invitations and dinner programs to which he was invited over the years. One folder of photographs and news clippings captures Brayman on the job covering Washington press conferences. Several folders document Brayman's coverage of presidential campaigns from 1928 to 1940. These files include campaign songs, train rules for the press, advance copies of campaign speeches, and material related to inaugurations. The Wilkie campaign of 1940 is best documented, including a notebook of columns titled "The Political Week" fromUnited States News. (Correspondence in Subseries III.C verifies Brayman's authorship of the column). The subseries also includes a collection of Brayman's press badges and passes. In addition to those for the national conventions, there are presidential inaugural tickets and a pass book to the New York World's Fair of 1939.
The subseries also contains several folders of selected press releases, memos, and stories which are arranged chronologically. Of special interest are Brayman's confidential memoranda to his editor, apprising him of issues such as the damage to Pearl Harbor and the auto industry's war preparedness efforts.
The newspaper clippings in this subseries (all of which have been copied onto acid free paper for preservation) were collected by Harold Brayman and his wife, Martha, to document Brayman's career. All of these were loosely kept in cardboard boxes with the good intention to one day paste them into scrapbooks. These have been arranged in approximate chronological order, following the original order of the clippings as removed from the boxes. Many of the articles are undated with no citation.
The clippings include some of Brayman's earliest work as a reviewer of vaudeville and movies at Proctor's Grand (Middleburgh or Watertown, New York?), 1923-1924. In one review, he described Bill Robinson as "a warm-footed colored performer, with a keen understanding of rhythm ..." and mentioned other actors in movies such as Jackie Coogan in "Long Live the King."
His early New York articles appeared in theKnickerbocker Press and Albany Evening News, the Middleburgh News, the Albany Journal, and the Watertown Times. Among the sensational stories he covered from Albany was the 1927 case of state census irregularities by Mrs. Florence E .S. Knapp, secretary of state to Governor Al Smith.
Issues covered during his years in Washington include legislative debate on the repeal of prohibition, U.S. participation in the League of Nations and the World Court, the veterans' bonus, economic recovery during the Depression, and the beginning of World War II. Dates are lacking on many of the articles, but the arrangement of the articles as removed from the original boxes provides a steady coverage of Washington news from the late 1920s to the United States' entrance into World War II.
Immediately following the clippings files are folders of preservation copies of Brayman's scrapbooks. (The original scrapbooks are shelved with the collection and are also available. Folder contents F87 - F96 correspond to scrapbook volumes.) These scrapbooks were compiled by Mrs. Brayman and consist of more of the same type of newspaper clippings as described above. Of particular interest are the final two files/scrapbooks containing Brayman's syndicated column, "Daily Mirror of Washington," 1937-1940.
The National Press Club was formed in 1908 by a small group of Washington newspapermen for both professional and social purposes. The membership of the Club grew, and by 1928 they had built and moved to the National Press Club Building. The Club hosted dinners, programs, and special events, attracting special guests such as celebrities like Sarah Bernhardt or Charles Lindbergh, and statesmen such as presidents and ambassadors.
Brayman served as president of the Club in 1938 and among the speakers he engaged were Joseph P. Kennedy (before his departure to serve as Ambassador to Great Britain), Prime Minister Anthony Eden, Alexander Kerensky, and Senator Robert Taft. Howard Hughes, "round-the-world flyer," received a special tribute from the Club during Brayman's tenure as president, and the files in this small subseries include correspondence with many other figures of national import. Much of the correspondence concerns acceptance or regrets of invitations to participate in or attend club functions. Prominent names include Eleanor Roosevelt, Cordell Hull, J. Edgar Hoover, Herbert Hoover, Alexander Woollcott, Ira Eaker, Alf Landon, and several senators.
In addition to the correspondence, this subseries includes dinner programs, speeches, club rosters, and clippings about club activities. Some of Brayman's speeches for the National Press Club may be found in Subseries II.B. Speeches; and material related to Brayman's later involvement with the club may be found in Subseries III.B. Correspondence (subject files).
The Gridiron Club subseries includes a few general files concerning organization of the Club, but consists primarily of files documenting the annual Gridiron Dinners from 1929-1988. In 1933, Harold Brayman became a member of the Gridiron Club, a select group of Washington correspondents and newspapermen whose primary function since their organization in 1885 was to hold an annual dinner to roast politicians and the national political parties.
The Gridiron dinners had become a Washington institution by the time Brayman began attending them. By tradition, the President of the United States was invited to the dinner where he was roasted, toasted, and given the opportunity to address the Club members and their distinguished guests. In turn, a leading figure of the opposition party was invited to deliver a response. These speeches and the political satire of the Club's songs and skits were delivered in good humor. Yet the content of these speeches, songs, and skits -- many of which are preserved in this subseries -- reflect the political tensions and issues of each administration.
The Gridiron dinners also reflected relations existing between presidents and the media. For example, comments found in Brayman's post-dinner correspondence favor the good-humored John Kennedy, but reflect impatience with Lyndon Johnson, a president who kept Club members guessing and betting on whether he would appear at the dinners held during his administration.
Politics, social trends, and history are marked in the record of the Gridiron Club dinners. The annual spring dinners had been held without interruption until April 1945 when the event was cancelled following the death of President Roosevelt. The winter 1941 meeting was cancelled after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the December 1963 meeting was cancelled as the nation mourned the recent assassination of Kennedy. The dinners continued, however, in spite of "women's libbers" loudly protesting the male-only membership tradition of the Club in 1970, 1971, and 1972.
Brayman presided as president of the club in 1941 and attended nearly every dinner from 1929 until 1987 when illnesses prevented him from attending. In addition to attending the dinners held each year at the Statler Hilton in Washington, Brayman and a corps of friends known as the Drones hosted pre and post-dinner cocktail parties in the hotel's suites. Further, he attended rounds of parties hosted by other networks of associates. Foremost among Brayman's Gridiron friendships was his relationship with fellow Drone and frequent Gridiron roommate, Phelps Adams. Adams' career paralleled Brayman's: after a successful stint in journalism Adams became head of public relations at U.S. Steel Corporation.
The traditions of the Gridiron Club, the warm associations with his colleagues, and the high spirits of the political roasts were deeply important to Brayman as evidenced in the correspondence and other contents of this subseries.
The preliminary general files include "Officers," "Monthly meeting notices," and "Guest lists," files which succinctly reflect the membership, activities, and networks of the Club. Brayman's guest lists reflect his considered distribution of the coveted dinner invitations allotted to him. The dinner files consist of dinner programs, dinner schedule cards, menus, Club post-dinner press releases, newspaper clippings, song lyrics and skit scripts, and invitations and correspondence. The dinner programs contained a guest list and a detailed seating chart for the approximately 500 attenders of each dinner. The verso of the dinner menus were illustrated with political caricatures by cartoonists such as Clifford K. Berryman, James T. Berryman, and Herbert Block.
In 1971, Harold Brayman -- a member of the Gridiron club since 1933, retiree, and the author ofCorporate Management in a World of Politics -- began planning to write his second major book. He wanted to write a history of the Club that would "throw some of the Gridiron glow on political developments since 1885 and planned an outline with chapters on each of the presidents of the United States. Brayman was able to gain the approval and permission of the Gridiron Club executive committee to quote from its off-the-record archives of speeches, songs, and skit scripts. In addition, he obtained permission to quote from persons still then living who had spoken at the Gridiron dinners. The resulting book was titled The President Speaks Off the Record: from Grover Cleveland to Gerald Ford... Historic Evenings with America's leaders, the Press, and other men of power at Washington's most exclusive club--the Gridiron.
The files in this subseries include correspondence with the publisher, Dow Jones and Company, from 1971 until the book's release in 1976. The correspondence discusses such things as the proposed subject, editorial changes, the title of the book, proofs, the compilation of the index, marketing, sales, and royalties. The "Correspondence with publisher" files also includes exchange between Brayman and some of his newspaper colleagues as Brayman solicited comments on drafts of his Gridiron chapters. These correspondents include Arthur Krock (New York Times), Phelps Adams (New York Sun), Jack Steele (Scripps-Howard Newspapers), and Fletcher Knebel.
This subseries also consists of files concerning permissions, reviews, advertisements, and book promotion. The permissions files include correspondence with individuals and presidential libraries. The "Letters" files include correspondence and con gratulatory letters from individuals following the release of the book in 1976. The remainder of the subseries includes "Source materials," and "Background materials."
The papers of Harold Brayman contain only a small amount of material related to his career at Du Pont, and of what is available here the material is mostly personal. Brayman's complete files from the public relations department of Du Pont are company records and as such are stored with the Du Pont company archives at the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington.
This subseries contains material documenting Brayman's 1942 appointment as assistant director of the public relations department and his 1944 promotion to director of the department. The small subseries of "Du Pont archives" was called such by Brayman and consists of his only remaining company files. Limited as these files are they give a sense of Brayman's role at the company. The files include memoranda to the Du Pont board of directors and executives such as Walter s. Carpenter, Jr., and Crawford H. Greenewalt, including specific reports about the importance of Du Pont's corporate image.
Other material in the subseries includes plans for the development of a company news reel, correspondence withFortune regarding Du Pont's decision not to cooperate on a company profile by the magazine, and procedures for controlled release of confidential company news. There is material relating to press relations with the Wilmington News Journal and information about public relations at other companies such as U.S. Steel. A small amount of material deals with a significant issue for Du Pont, the 1950s antitrust case for GM-Du Pont. Related material which further documents Brayman's work at Du Pont may be found in Subseries II.B. Speeches, and Subseries III.D. Miscellaneous Personal Correspondence.
Several files in the subseries concern Brayman's 1965 retirement from Du Pont. A file of correspondence from 1965-1966 documents Brayman's ongoing involvement in public relations and contains tributes from his peers in the field. Also included are photographs of Brayman with Denny Griswold, publisher and editor ofPublic Relations News, with Brayman being recognized as a previous recipient of the "P.R. Professional of the Year" award.
Company publications in the subseries include a 1963 Du Pont fact book and several issues of "This is Du Pont," an irregularly published serial devoted to themes related to work, industrial progress, technological and corporate growth in America.
This subseries includes speeches made by Harold Brayman, primarily in his capacity as public relations director at Du Pont, but also on various other occasions. The speeches were presented to the board of directors of Du Pont, press conferences, professional public relations seminars and conferences, and annual business meetings of corporations. Brayman also presented guest lectures on business and public relations at graduate schools, made introductions at numerous meetings, spoke at clubs such as Rotary or the Lincoln Club in Wilmington, and made presentations to alumni groups and the executive council of Cornell University.
The topics of Brayman's speeches most often concerned the relations of business with the public. He spoke about American consumers, the power of choice in the market, the need for business to meet the consumer's demands, and the importance of public support to successful business ventures. Brayman promoted the benefits of business to the American standard of living and spoke about the responsibility of industry to contribute to social progress. He frequently chose to speak about management issues such as production, research, monopoly, competition, bigness in business, and the relations between business and government. The miscellaneous speech cards at the end of the subseries include several "sales speeches" and speeches made at the National Press Club during the late 1930s.
Interesting speeches representative of the diverse audiences and topics in this subseries include a press conference announcing the development of cellophane as a new product at Du Pont, a lecture on the business organization of the Du Pont company delivered to a graduate class at the U.S. Naval Academy, and a testimony before the Finance Committee of the U.S. Senate for the Frear-Simpson bill which concerned the court-ordered divestment of General Motors and Du Pont stock.
The "lines and stories" files at the end of the Speeches subseries consist of quotes and anecdotes which Brayman collected. Much of the material is clippings from newspapers and magazines, but Brayman also typed accounts of stories he had heard or quips that he picked up in conversations. The frequent subjects of the "lines and stories" are politics and politicians, public relations, journalists, and economics.
In 1952, the Public Relations Seminar was established "to permit advanced discussion of major public relations problems." The discussions were to be held at annual seminars to which a select group of public relations executives from major corporations and individuals from prestigious private firms were invited. Government officials, academics, journalists, and Seminar members were the featured speakers at the events. Harold Brayman was a founding member of the Public Relations Seminar, an organization which superseded the National Conference of Business Public Relations Executives. Brayman served on the Public Relations Seminar Committee, a sort of steering committee which planned and directed the annual seminars, from 1952 until 1961 when his election to the Council of Cornell University curtailed his ability to participate in Seminar committee meetings. He remained committed to the purpose of the Seminar, however, and did not miss a meeting from 1952 until 1982.
In 1968, Brayman was commissioned by the sponsoring committee of the Public Relations Seminar to write a history of the organization. Brayman's resulting book,Developing a Philosophy for Business Action, was published in a limited edition of 500 copies in 1969.
This subseries consists of two sub-subseries: one chronicling the annual seminars, and one concerning the writing of the history of the Seminar. The annual seminar files contain correspondence, programs, Brayman's seminar notes, lists of registrants, biographies of speakers, and occasional speeches. The years from 1951 until 1961 also contain minutes of the Public Relations Seminar Committee and proposed program topics and outlines for small group discussions.
The files concerning the history of the Seminar include correspondence from the sponsoring committee asking Brayman to undertake the writing project and Brayman's correspondence with early members of the Seminar soliciting recollections about the founding of the organization. The files also include speech texts from 1952 until 1968 and requests for permission to quote from the seminar participants. Some of the speakers contacted were Peter Drucker, Ted Sorensen, Bryce Harlow, Dave Broder, and Glen Perry. Other files in the subseries include background material and typescript drafts of the book.
This subseries contains a small amount of material documenting Brayman's professional affiliations in the area of public relations, specifically his involvement withPublic Relations News. The newsletter was founded and edited by Denny Griswold in 1944, and the publication grew in substance and reputation with the emerging field of public relations. Several copies of this professional newsletter are in the files, many containing notes about Harold Brayman.
Brayman received an award from Griswold and the publication in 1963 as "Public Relations Professional of the Year." He also delivered a speech on the occasion of the 20th anniversary ofPublic Relations News which was widely circulated and reprinted. The speech, "The Importance and impact of communication in our modern society," was included in Vital Speeches of the Day in November 1964.
This subseries includes correspondence about Brayman's award and his speech, information about other organizations, and copies of thePublic Relations Journal from 1956, the year Brayman served as editor.
Harold Brayman retired from DuPont in 1965 and immediately began research for a book that was published by McGraw-Hill two years later,Corporate Management in a World of Politics: the Public, Political, and Governmental Problems of Business. The book reflected observations from his dual careers in corporate public relations and in journalism reporting on government and politics. Brayman's basic messages were that public opinion is the dominant force in government and business that communicators are the power elite, and that leadership is needed to shape public opinion. The book was successful with its targeted audience and won the Academy of Management Book Award in 1967.
This subseries includes files related to the planning, production, and promotion of the book. "Correspondence with publisher" includes Brayman's proposal to the publisher, ads and promotional material, and book order information. Also included in the subseries are files of comments from the publisher's readers, permission letters, and promotional letters to academia and business. Brayman was personally involved in the strategy for promoting his book to educators in business schools and to professionals in public relations. The alphabetical sequence of "Correspondence" and the "Advance copy letters and lists" are especially reflective of Brayman's extensive personal and professional networks.
The book was reviewed in the national press in business columns, in theWall Street Journal, and in professional literature. The remainder of the subseries includes several files of "Documentation," Brayman's research sources, and drafts of chapters with final editorial and textual changes.
Harold Brayman graduated from Cornell in 1920 and remained an active alumnus until shortly before his death in 1988 when he was prohibited from travelling by his declining health. It is interesting to note that Walter s. Carpenter, Jr., chairman of the board of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, was also an alumnus of Cornell (class of 1910). Brayman served as chair of Cornell University Council in the early 1960s and was a member of several other significant committees such as the Centennial Committee and the Presidential Selection Committee of 1962. Brayman contributed his public relations expertise as a member of the Graduate School of Business and Public Administration Advisory Council and in other areas of university relations with the public.
Among the material of interest in this subseries are the memoranda and correspondence from Brayman and other alumni which reflect grave concern over the campus unrest experienced by Cornell in 1968-1969. Brayman led a critical group of alumni in attacking the capitulation of the administration to the demands of student "revolutionaries." Articles and newspaper clippings document the activities of the Cornell chapter of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and the occupation of Willard straight Hall by black militants. This material is found in the folder, "Cornell--General--1962-1986."
This subseries was apparently the correspondence file maintained by Brayman during his retirement. After he left the Du Pont Company in 1965, Brayman maintained an office in the Wilmington Trust Building in Wilmington. The series was filed alphabetically and spans a wide range of subjects, personal names, and associations of interest to Brayman. Some of the material in the files date from 1946, but the bulk of the material is from Brayman's retirement.
The folders given separate labels represent Brayman's more regular correspondents or other areas of interest. Individuals mentioned in this series include Brayman's good friend and head of public relations at U.S. Steel, Phelps Adams; DeWitt Wallace, co-chairman of the Reader's Digest Company; and Clifford Stone, president of the Walnut Valley State Bank (Kansas) who was impressed with Brayman's public relations ideas. The files are full of newspaper clippings, editorials, opinions, and speeches related to business or public relations. Several letters to friends digress with anecdotes about political figures, stories which were often gleaned from Gridiron affairs. Many of Brayman's exchanges with colleagues consist of congratulations and/or critical comments for articles published in various newspapers or professional literature.
A number of files relate to organizations. There are several for the annual Du Pont Educators conference, and the Du Pont General file contains several miscellaneous speeches of interest: "Is Bigness Badness?" by Harold Haskell, "Vision in Industry and Business" by Irenee du Pont, and "In Anticipation of Frederick W. Taylor: a study of Work by Lammot du Pont, 1872" by Norman B. Wilkinson. The "Who's Who in America" file contains Brayman's entry as well as entries for several other executives from Du Pont.
For several years Brayman participated in a special trade mission sponsored by an organization known as International House. Brayman was special correspondent to theNew Orleans Times-Picayune during the missions. Other files reflect his personal activities with the Lincoln Club (president 1965-1966); H.L. Mencken Society of Delaware; the Rotary Club of Wilmington; Quill and Grill, a club whose founding members included Howard Pyle, Charles M. Curtis, Willard Saulsbury, Jr., and Joseph Richardson; and the Wisemen, an informal public relations fraternity which met for dinners in New York.
This small subseries contains "special correspondence" culled by Brayman from his other files throughout his career. Copies of these originals are found in some other files in the collection. The series includes some correspondence deemed special for purely sentimental reasons and many letters from prominent individuals. Several of the items document milestones in Brayman's life such as appointments, promotions, pay raises, pay cuts, his marriage, and the births of his sons. There are letters from editors Hans Adamson at theNew York Evening Post, and C.M. Morrison and Stanley Walker at the Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger. In addition to several letters from Charlie Tutt (Brayman's brother in-law) , there are also letters from Joe Kennedy, Wendell Wilkie, Anthony Eden, Anna Roosevelt Boettiger, Cordell Hull, H.L. Mencken, c. Douglass Buck, Richard Nixon, Caleb Boggs, Clark Clifford, Ira Eaker, and Mary Martin.
The special Christmas cards include a similar assortment of cards from prominent people which Brayman had saved over the years.
This subseries consists of miscellaneous correspondence spanning the dates 1925-1977. The chronological arrangement gives a sense of the range of Brayman's activities over this period of 50 years, from material in 1925 related to his short stint as a foreign correspondent in London to correspondence from the 1970s with politicians.
Most of the early correspondence is with Brayman's publishers and editors, concerning salary, assignments, campaign coverage, and offers of articles to other magazines. Among the other editors and magazines contacted were Ogden Nash at theNew Yorker, DeWitt Wallace at Reader's Digest, and Outlook, the American Mercury, Forum, and the New Republic. In addition to correspondence, there are interesting items such as Brayman's completion of a 1940 survey for Life ranking the "Ten ablest U.S. Senators" and ballots from the 1940 Democratic and Republican National Conventions.
Brayman worked for thePhiladelphia Evening Ledger from 1933-1940 and the correspondence from this period includes many letters from his editor there, C.M. Morrison. Morrison's letters regularly praise Brayman for his coverage of Washington issues, and otherwise represent editorial advice. Topics of the correspondence cover a wide range of Washington news and issues.
The correspondence from 1942 documents Brayman's move from journalism to his career with Du Pont. There are many company memoranda and related correspondence, but after 1945, the subseries consists of mostly personal correspondence. The folders from 1965 contain many letters related to Brayman's retirement from Du Pont, and the limited files from the late 1960s reflect contributions to Republican Party campaigns.
This subseries contains miscellaneous personal items and correspondence that provide some biographical information about Harold Brayman. There are two small groups within the subseries: Biographical and Personal Chronology.
The biographical material includes press releases and tear sheets from professional directories, material from the memorial service for Harold Brayman in 1988, genealogical information about the Brayman family, and clippings related to Brayman's family. The folder related to Martha Brayman includes miscellaneous items ranging from college exams and sorority rules to dinner plans for the Braymans' 50th wedding anniversary. The Harold Brayman personal documents include his 1916 high school commencement program, 1920 teaching certificate, 1920 commencement program at Cornell University, and a 1929 letter of personal reference commending Harold Brayman to Mr. Walter Wood (Martha Wood's father). The folder from Cornell includes plays and essays from Brayman's student days.
The Personal Chronology includes miscellaneous letters, clippings, cards, certificates of appreciation, and other items. The material reflects a range of friendships and contacts.
In his retirement, Harold Brayman offered regular advice to local and nationally prominent politicians. Most of these individuals were known to Brayman from his days in journalism or from Du Pont, and many of them were Republicans. Brayman wrote to congratulate on political positions, to advise on the Delaware political climate, to comment on legislation, to suggest campaign strategies, and even to offer constructive criticism on the effectiveness of speech deliveries.
Correspondence in this subseries is with several Delawareans: Senators John J. Williams, J. Caleb Boggs, Bill Roth, C. Douglass Buck, and Joseph Biden, Jr.; Representatives Bill Roth, Pete du Pont IV, and Thomas B. Evans, Jr.; Governors Pete du Pont IV, Russ Peterson, and Michael N. Castle; and Wilmington Mayor Harry Haskell, Jr. Brayman was actively involved in advising for the 1970 U.S. Senate elections, and was a charter member of the Republican Senatorial Inner Circle. Brayman eventually broke from the group when he disapproved of their wasteful fundraising strategies. Among the Republican senators corresponding with Brayman were John G. Tower (Tex.), William E. Brock III (Tenn.), Robert w. Packwood (Oreg.), Robert Dole (Kan.), Orrin Hatch (Utah) , Paul Laxalt (Nevada) , and John Heinz (Penn.).
Brayman also corresponded with presidential aides: General Alexander Haig; Herbert Klein, Special Assistant to Vice President Lyndon Johnson, later Director of Communications for the Executive Branch to Richard Nixon; and Gerald F. terHorst, Press Secretary to Gerald R. Ford. The folders of "White House files" document Brayman's advice to the Nixon Administration, which was actively solicited by Herb Klein.
Brayman offered comments on the President's press conferences and views on the public image of the President and his Administration, as well as issues of the day: Vietnam, the economy, the Congress as "spenders," the "Black sector," crime, and drugs. In 1971-1972, Brayman was invited to serve as a volunteer consultant member of the Public Relations Advisory Group to the Committee for the Re-election of the President. The group consisted of about 50 members who communicated by memoranda, mail, phone, and meetings in Washington. Chairman Kenneth Youel oversaw the analysis and summary of reports submitted by the Advisory Group, and distributed their advice to key campaign officials. Correspondence and memoranda in these folders thoroughly document Brayman's involvement with this group. The files include letters of appreciation from President Nixon and President Ford.
Other activities documented in this subseries include awards of recognition, participation in the Wilmington Rotary Club, and other writing projects. Brayman received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement in 1965. The other writing projects include contributions to books and journals, guest editorials, a book proposal, and Brayman's history of the Lincoln Club of Wilmington.
Several photographs are found in individual files throughout the Harold Brayman papers, but a small separate group of photographs have been arranged topically in folders in Box 21. Within the topical folders, the photographs have been arranged in chronological order when this was able to be determined. There are a few photographs from 1938, the year of Brayman's tenure as president of the National Press Club, in the oversize box, but the vast majority of the photographs dates from Brayman's public relations career at Du Pont. The photographs depict Brayman with his colleagues, at meetings and speaking engagements, and in company publicity portraits. The social photographs include presentation photographs from Senator Orrin Hatch (Utah) and Delaware Governor Pete du Pont.
The realia and miscellaneous items in the collection include books written by Brayman or related to his public relations interests; copies ofAffairs, a Washington weekly to which Brayman contributed political news and analysis; and several personal items and mementos as described below.
Two copies with the manuscript collection; cataloged copies are available in the general stacks and the Delaware Collection in Special Collections.
Brayman submitted item 51, "Tax the rich to help the poor."
Includes citations to works by Brayman.
Brayman was a contributor.
"Ashmun Brown, 1927" on mallet head. "Roy A. Roberts, 1929" on handle.
"May this nylon horseshoe bring the same good fortune to Harold Brayman that the Du Pont Company has known with nylon, March 31, 1965."
Enclosing business card of Everett McKinley Dirksen, United States Senate, signed "Thank you. Everett." On verso: "Harold Brayman, Everett McKinley Dirksen Dinner, Sheraton Park Hotel, April 28, 1965."
"Governor's Club of Delaware. Harold Brayman, charter member." Signature illegible.
2 acetate discs
See Subgroup B, Series 2, Speeches, Box 10, F 90Physical Description
6 1/4 inch audio tape1 Kodak reel, 1 reel used for cutting discs, 4 presentation copy reels
Audio recording of Brayman's book.Physical Description
14 audio cassette2 sets of 7 cassette tapes
1 betamax tape
1 VHS Tape