McCormick Archives

The Papers of Colonel Robert R. McCormick

The McCormick Archives contain the personal and business correspondence of the late Colonel Robert R. McCormick (1880-1955). These documents and papers provide an insight into the Colonel’s life as a businessman, journalist, politician, soldier and veteran.

Born on July 30, 1880, Colonel McCormick had been a Chicago city alderman (1904), the President of the Sanitary District Board (1905-1910), President of the Tribune Company (1911-1955), and Editor and Publisher of the Chicago Tribune (1914-1955). During World War I, Col. McCormick served in the First Division, A.E.F. He then became a life member of the veterans association, the Society of the First Division.

As Editor and Publisher of the Chicago Tribune, Col. McCormick found himself in the center of many political and legal struggles. A staunch supporter of press freedom, the Colonel was involved in several landmark cases, including Ford vs. Chicago Tribune, City of Chicago vs. Chicago Tribune, and Near vs. Minnesota.

Also, Col. McCormick fought against political corruption, waste, and various controversial governmental policies. His strongly held beliefs led him to oppose Prohibition, the New Deal and interventionism. Col. McCormick’s correspondence is a rich source of materials regarding the controversies and issues of 20th Century Chicago, American and world history.

The McCormick Archives are open for research. Please send a research request stating your name, contact information and project description by email to

See also the Joseph M. Patterson Papers at the Donnelley and Lee Library Archives and Special Collections at Lake Forest College. Joe Patterson was a cousin of Col. McCormick and longtime business partner. The collection description can be found at

For more information about the McCormick Archives, please contact:

Eric Gillespie Director of Research Center 630.260.8186