Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Restrictions

Persons

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Inventory

University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Seth Kantor Papers



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Kantor, Seth
Title: Seth Kantor Papers
Dates: 1950-1993
Abstract: Original clippings, research files, publications, and correspondence comprise the bulk of the Seth Kantor Papers and document his long career as a newspaper journalist.
Accession No.: 2012-111
Extent: 23 ft.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Born in New York City in 1926, Seth Kantor came of age at the outbreak of World War II and joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1943. He served in a combat platoon of the Third Marine Division at Iwo Jima and Guam. After the war, Kantor attended Wayne State University while working full time for the Detroit bureau of the Associated Press. He worked at various small newspapers in Colorado from 1948 to 1950 and subsequently wrote for numerous Scripps-Howard papers including the Fort Worth Press and the Dallas Times Herald. He was called before a Senate subcommittee for his reporting on a defense contract, refusing to give up his confidential source.

Leaving Scripps-Howard to work for the Detroit News, Kantor wrote hard-hitting investigative pieces on Richard Nixon’s campaign finances, the neglect of welfare children, and the Fednet computer system for gathering secret information on individuals and institutions. During the late 1970s and 1980s he worked for Cox newspapers including the Atlanta Constitution and the Austin American-Statesman, covering the Carter administration, the Middle East, the U.S.S.R., the Jim Wright financial scandal, and many other world events.

Kantor was with President John F. Kennedy’s press entourage when the president was assassinated in Dallas, and Kantor spent many years investigating the background of Jack Ruby. He published Who Killed Jack Ruby? in 1978, calling into question the Warren Commission’s report particularly as it pertained to Ruby’s potential involvement in the assassination plot. He also published a book on Nazi saboteurs living in the United States. Seth Kantor died in 1993 at the age of 67.

Sources:

New York Times obituary, 8/19/1993; Seth Kantor Papers

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Scope and Contents

Original clippings, research files, publications, and correspondence comprise the bulk of the Seth Kantor Papers. A strength of the collection is Kantor’s extensive research into Jack Ruby and the John F. Kennedy assassination. Another area of interest is the U.S. national political landscape from the 1960s to the 1980s and Kantor’s coverage of the presidency, as well as his in-depth investigative reporting on such issues as child welfare, government intrusion on privacy, and campaign finance. Another important aspect of the collection is Kantor’s determined defense of his journalistic “qualified privilege” of maintaining the confidentiality of his sources.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Most of this collection is stored off-site. Contact repository in advance for retrieval.

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Persons

Kantor, Seth
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963
Ruby, Jack

Subjects (Organizations)

Scripps-Howard
United States. Warren Commission

Subjects

Assassination--Investigation--United States--20th century
Assassination--United States--Periodicals
Confidentiality--Periodicals
Newspapers--United States
Politicians--United States

Places

Washington (D. C.)

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Seth Kantor Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

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Detailed Description of the Papers

 

Inventory

Contact repository for a detailed inventory.

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