A Guide to the Robert Baskin Collection, 1917-1983
Born to banker and newspaper editor Robert Edward Baskin (1884-1942) and the former Alma Elizabeth Hood in Seymour, Texas, Robert Edward "Bob" Baskin, Jr. (1917-1983) graduated with a bachelor’s of journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1938. For the next two years, he worked for the Times and Record News in Wichita Falls before joining the U.S. Army in 1941 and fighting with the 85th Division in the Rome-Arno Campaign (1944) and the Po Valley Campaign (1945) of World War II. Following his honorable discharge in 1946, Baskin began work as a copy editor and political analyst for the Dallas Morning News (DMN), attending all but one national convention from 1952 to 1976. As chief of the DMN’s Washington, D.C., bureau from 1960 to 1972, Baskin covered Presidents Eisenhower through Ford, traveling with them on international trips and even riding in John F. Kennedy’s motorcade at the time of his assassination in Dallas. During his 30 years at the DMN, Baskin also reported on the Supreme Court, the U.S. Congress, and Texas state politics, and he continued writing syndicated columns after his retirement from the Dallas Morning News in 1977.
Composed of newspapers, correspondence, articles, school and military records, political memorabilia, and photographs, the Robert Baskin Collection, 1917-1983, documents the journalism career of Baskin as well as his childhood and military service. Newspapers and articles, correspondence, and political memorabilia illuminate Baskin’s work with the Dallas Morning News as a political correspondent and White House press member. The collection includes letters from sitting presidents, senators, and other public figures; press cards for presidential inaugurations and national conventions; documents relating to his account of the assassination of John F. Kennedy; and Baskin’s newspaper columns on contemporary political topics, such as Lyndon B. Johnson’s trip to South Vietnam and Richard Nixon’s work with the Soviet Union. Consisting of report cards, graduation certificates and programs, newspaper clippings, and term papers and exams, the school records concern Baskin’s education in Seymour, Texas, and at the University of Texas at Austin. The military records contain letters, military assignments, and discharge papers, documenting his training in the U.S. Army and service in the European Theatre during World War II. Other documents, such as correspondence and genealogical research, relate to his family history and relationship with other Baskin family members. Photographs depict Baskin as a soldier and journalist as well as his meetings with political figures, like President Johnson.
This collection is open for research use.
Robert Baskin Collection, 1917-1983, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Laurel Rozema, January 2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers