Guide to the William Loeb III Papers, 1957-1968
Collection number: MC 243
Size: 1 box
About William Loeb III
William Loeb III (1905-1981) was born on December 26, 1905 to William Loeb Jr.
(1866-1937) and Katharine Loeb (nee Dorr). His father, William Loeb Jr., served as
assistant secretary to the president from 1901-1903 and then executive assistant to
the president under Theodore Roosevelt from 1903-1909. The two families were close,
and when William Loeb III was born, Edith and Theodore Roosevelt became his
godparents. From this association William III had a continued relationship with
Teddy Roosevelt’s family through adulthood, especially his wife, Edith Roosevelt and
his son, Archibald Roosevelt.
As an adult, Loeb led a complicated personal life, with three marriages and several
prominent and often overlapping extramarital affairs. All but the first of these
relationships had a direct impact on the funding of his newspapers. Additionally, he
had an increasingly acrimonious relationship with his mother, especially after she
discovered that Loeb had taken $250,000 in securities without her knowledge and used
them as collateral to purchase controlling interest in the Manchester Union Leader
(New Hampshire) in 1949. She in turn filed a lawsuit for $1,000,000 of the paper’s
stock, which they later settled out of court.
Professionally Loeb was known as a provocative, conservative newspaper editor. On
October 25, 1941 Loeb bought his first paper, the St. Albans Messenger (Vermont),
with $40,000 borrowed from his mother, in spite of having very little experience as
a journalist. He went on to own papers in Connecticut and Massachusetts, but his
most notable impact was on the New Hampshire press where he was editor of the
Manchester Union Leader, the only daily paper distributed statewide in New
Hampshire. New Hampshire’s position as the “first in the nation” primary and Loeb’s
control over local publishing interests via the Manchester Union Leader made him a
surprisingly significant force in shaping state and national politics, which he
leveraged by expressing his opinions in bold front page editorials.
As a highly polarizing figure with influence over politics, Loeb instigated many
high profile alliances and feuds throughout his career. In many cases, feuds
occurred when alliances failed, did not necessarily fall along party lines, and
often benefited those who funded his newspaper interests. For instance, Loeb
initially supported then Senator John F. Kennedy, writing a front page editorial
entitled “Modern Day Paul Revere” in which he applauded the senator for his position
on national defense. It was, however, a time during which Loeb was pursuing funding
for his Manchester newspapers from Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy. After his meeting
with the elder Kennedy did not produce an agreement where his papers received
funding but Loeb maintained controlling interest, he turned his editorials soundly
against the entire Kennedy family, calling John F. Kennedy “The no. 1 liar in the
United States” shortly after his inauguration. Loeb at one time or another writes
editorials attacking most of the U.S. Presidents, regardless of party, elected
during his tenure, including Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, and
Jimmy Carter. Though generally approving towards Richard Nixon, he was highly
critical of his National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, Henry
Interestingly, in spite of being anti-labor in regards to his own business, he went
from critic to supporter of Jimmy Hoffa, after one of his advisors retired and sold
his stock in the Union Leader Corporation to the Central States, Southwest,
Southeast Area Pension Fund of the Teamsters Union. Loeb would then continue to
support Hoffa, even after his conviction and imprisonment in 1967.
About the William Loeb III Papers
The William Loeb III Papers, 1957-1968 is comprised mostly of correspondence to
William Loeb III from personal friends, business and political contacts,
prepublication article submissions, and newspaper readers responding to his
editorials. Many of these correspondents included clipped articles or photos with
their letters. These papers also include several dictated phone conversations as
well as pamphlets, copies of congressional records, 4 pieces of political ephemera,
a returned membership form from the Harvard Club (includes a recommendation by
Archibald B. Roosevelt), a booklet and a subpoena.
Notable correspondents that can be found in these papers include: H. J. Gibbons
(International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Executive Assistant), U.S. Representative
Robert W. Hemphill, Roger H. Ferger (president and publisher of the Cincinnati
Enquirer), U. S. Representative Thomas W. Miller, Edith Kermit Roosevelt, U.S.
Representative Clarence J. Brown, Sr., Archibald B. Roosevelt, New Hampshire Senate
Minority Leader Louis I. Martel, Alabama Sheriff James G. Clark, Jr., Fred C. Koch,
U.S. Senator Norris H. Cotton, and Major General Sir Francis DeGuingand.
Prominent topics discussed include: opposition to civil rights, Communism, the
Republican Party and its candidates, the nature of conservative politics in the
1950s and 1960s, national defense, Teddy Kennedy, and Jimmy Hoffa.
This collection is open.
Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions
about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.
[Identification of item], William Loeb III Papers , 1957-1968, MC 243, Milne
Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham,
Purchase: DeWolfe & Wood, December 2, 2011 (Accession number: 2012.03)
Additional correspondence and newspaper clippings may be found in the Paper[s] of
Charles W. Tobey, held at the Rauner Special Collections Library, Dartmouth
|Box 1, Folder 1||Papers, 1957-1959|
|Box 1, Folder 2||Papers, 1960-1961|
|Box 1, Folder 3||Papers, 1962|
|Box 1, Folder 4||Papers, 1963|
|Box 1, Folder 5||Papers, 1964-1965|
|Box 1, Folder 6||Papers, 1966-1968|
|Box 1, Folder 7||Papers, undated|