Biography and History

Arthur Krock (1886-1974) had a long and distinguished career as a journalist, working for much of his career as Washington correspondent and columnist for The New York Times. His column "In the Nation" was noted for its depth of information and analysis, especially on American politics. Krock also worked as a reporter and editor at several Louisville newspapers and the New York World.

Arthur Krock was born on November 16, 1886 in Glasgow, Kentucky to Joseph and Caroline (Morris) Krock. He began study at Princeton University in 1904, but was forced to leave after his first semester due to the financial difficulties of his family. He then attended college at the Lewis Institute in Chicago for two years, earning an Associate in Arts degree in 1906, and returned to Louisville with the intention of securing a newspaper job. He was hired as a reporter at the Louisville Herald, where he covered the national political conventions at Chicago and Denver, his first experience reporting on national politics, after which he was assigned to cover Kentucky politics. Krock had to leave the Herald in 1908 when the newspaper reorganized and worked briefly as a deputy sheriff in Jefferson Country, Kentucky before becoming night editor for the Associated Press in Louisville.

In 1910, Krock went to Washington, D.C. for the first time as Washington correspondent for the Louisville Times. In 1911, he became Washington correspondent for the Louisville Courier-Journal as well, both papers being edited and partly owned by the same man. In 1915, Krock returned to Louisville to serve as editorial manager on both papers, working for Colonel Henry Watterson. Krock traveled to France for the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, where he wrote syndicated articles for several newspapers and was one of the journalists who convinced the Peace Conference to open its sessions to the public. Krock was made an officer in the French Legion of Honor for his coverage of the conference.

Krock became editor in chief of the Louisville Times in 1919, which was purchased by Judge Robert W. Bingham. He took time off to assist the chairman of the Democratic National Committee of New York in 1920, the only time in his career that he participated directly in politics. Krock remained at the Louisville Times until the fall of 1923, when he left for New York after differing with Bingham over editorial policy. He first took a job outside of journalism, working in public relations as assistant for Will H. Hays, head of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America. While in this position, he was asked to write a few editorials by Frank I. Cobb, editor of the New York World, which lead to his appointment in 1923 as assistant to Ralph Pulitzer, president of the World. Krock remained there until 1927, when he left to join the editorial staff of The New York Times.

In 1932, Krock became the Times' Washington correspondent and head of the Washington bureau. Much of his subsequent writing was for his column "In the Nation," which is published on the Times' editorial page from 1933 until he retired in 1966, as well as writing on important events for the Times. His views on political, social, and economic issues were generally conservative, and "In the Nation" became widely regarded as a major voice of conservative America, while still maintaining independence from any political agenda. The column provided detailed information on current issues, along with critical analysis. In his writings, Krock supported the State Department's international policies, but beginning in 1936 became a critic of and authority on the economic policies of the Roosevelt Administration, the New Deal. Krock covered many fields, including foreign policy, but predominantly wrote about American politics. He wrote the "lead" story for the Times for every biennial election from 1932 to 1952. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1935 for his excellence as Washington correspondent for his coverage of the beginning of the New Deal, and won again in 1938 for his exclusive interview with President Roosevelt. He also received a special commendation from the Pulitzer awards board for his interview of President Harry S. Truman in 1950 and a special citation in 1955 for distinguished correspondence from Washington. Krock retired from The New York Times in 1966, but continued to go to his office at the bureau, working on several books. In 1968, he published Memoirs: 60 Years on the Firing Line. He also wrote The Consent of the Governed and Other Deceits (1971) and Myself When Young: Growing Up in the 1890s (1974).

Arthur Krock married Marguerite Polleys on April 22, 1911 and they had one son, Thomas Polleys Krock. Marguerite Krock died in 1938. Krock married Martha Granger Blair on June 14, 1939. She had two sons, William Granger Blair and Robert H. Blair, from a previous marriage. Krock died on April 12, 1974 at the age of 87.

Source: From the finding aid for MC079

  • John Foster Dulles Oral History Collection »

    Krock, Arthur (1886-1974) - Journalist. 1965.

    Call Number: 144

  • Arthur Krock Papers. 1909-1974 (inclusive), 1930-1974 (bulk).

    Call Number: MC079

    Arthur Krock (1886-1974) had a long and distinguished career as a journalist, working for much of his career as Washington correspondent and columnist for The New York Times. His column "In the Nation" was noted for its depth of information and analysis, especially on American politics. The Krock papers document his journalism career, especially with The New York Times, and include his correspondence, his writings, and biographical materials.

  • Arthur Krock Papers. 1909-1974 (inclusive), 1930-1974 (bulk).

    Call Number: MC079

    Arthur Krock (1886-1974) had a long and distinguished career as a journalist, working for much of his career as Washington correspondent and columnist for The New York Times. His column "In the Nation" was noted for its depth of information and analysis, especially on American politics. The Krock papers document his journalism career, especially with The New York Times, and include his correspondence, his writings, and biographical materials.