Guide to the David Westheimer Oral History interview MS 665
David Westheimer (April 11, 1917-November 8, 2005) was born in Houston, Texas and graduated from Rice University in 1937. He left his career as a journalist for the Houston Post to join the U.S. Army Air Forces after the United States entered World War II. He became a prisoner of war (P.O.W.) after his B-24 bomber was shot down near Italy, He used this experience to shape one of his best known literary works Von Ryan's Express, which was published in 1964 and went on to become a bestseller and a film starring Frank Sinatra. Besides writing novels such as My Sweet Charlie(1965), Westheimer also wrote television screenplays (often based on his work) and his autobiography: Sitting It Out: A World War II POW Memoir(1992). He returned to the Houston Post as a columnist in the 1980s and died of heart failure in Los Angeles in 2005.
Dr. Philip Napoli is an assistant professor of 20th-Century US Social and Public History at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. He teaches courses on the theory and practice of oral history, the history of American popular culture, the history of the American war in Vietnam, and a variety of other topics.
This collection contains ten Compact Discs and thirty-two cassette tapes of Professor Philip Napoli's interview with David Westheimer. The interviews were conducted over a two-day span in June of 2002.
This material is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Permission to publish material from the David Westhemier Oral History Interview must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.
David Westheimer Oral History Interview, 2002, MS 665, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University
This collection was donated by Dr. Philip Napoli and transfer facilitated by Brooklyn College Archives and Special Collections in 2016.
Detailed Description of the Collection