Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Hughes, Emmet John, 1920-
Emmet Hughes Papers
Public Policy Papers
Permanent URL:
1940-1976 (mostly 1952-1974)
22 boxes
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Box 1-22


Emmet John Hughes (1920-1982) was a journalist and speechwriter. The collection is primarily composed of drafts, research files, reviews, and other materials pertaining to various books and articles written by Hughes. The collection also documents Hughes's work as a speechwriter for Dwight D. Eisenhower in the presidential campaigns of 1952 and 1956 and the first year of Eisenhower's presidency, as well as his role as a political advisor and speechwriter for Governor Nelson Rockefeller's 1968 presidential bid.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection is primarily composed of drafts, research files, reviews, and other materials pertaining to various books and articles written by Hughes. The collection also consists of various versions and revisions of speeches, many of them containing comments or editing by President Eisenhower. The letters and notes found in the correspondence series cover a range of topics, some of which are related to the Eisenhower campaigns.

Collection Creator Biography:

Hughes, Emmet John, 1920-

Emmet John Hughes was born in Newark, New Jersey on December 26, 1920, the son of John L. and Grace (Freeman) Hughes. He graduated summa cum laude in 1941 from Princeton University and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. His senior thesis, The Church and the Liberal Society (1944), was published by the Princeton University Press and was a Catholic Book Club selection.

He enlisted in the army during his first year of graduate studies at Columbia University. While in the army (1942-1946), he served as a press attachè with the United States Embassy at Madrid and with the Office of Strategic Services and Office of War Information in Spain.

Time-Life International appointed him bureau chief in Rome from 1947 to 1948 and then transferred him for a one-year assignment in Berlin. In 1949 he moved to the New York offices of Time-Life, Inc. His positions included articles editor for Life (1949-1953), Time-Life International special European correspondent (1953-1956), editor of Fortune (1956-1957), and Time-Life International chief foreign correspondent (1957-1960). Later he was a Newsweek columnist and editorial consultant (1963-1968). He retired from the board of editors of Fortune magazine in 1982.

Hughes was an aide and speechwriter for Dwight D. Eisenhower during various leaves of absence from Time-Life, Inc. He drafted speeches for Eisenhower's 1952 and 1956 campaigns and served as administrative assistant to Eisenhower in 1953. He wrote the "I shall go to Korea" speech which is credited with sealing Eisenhower's 1952 victory. Hughes accompanied the president-elect on this promised trip to Korea.

Hughes wrote several books on the presidency, including America The Vincible (1959) which criticized the Eisenhower administration and ended his friendship with the president. This book led to his position as the political advisor for the Rockefeller family from 1960-1963. He subsequently worked as a political advisor and speechwriter for Governor Nelson Rockefeller during his unsuccessful presidential bid in 1968.

Hughes authored other books, including Report from Spain (1947) based on his experience during his military service there, The Ordeal of Power: A Political Memoir of the Eisenhower Years (1963), and The Living Presidency: The Resources and Dilemmas of American Presidential Office (1973).

Hughes served as professor of political science at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University from 1970 until he died from a heart attack on September 18, 1982 at the age of 61.

Hughes had a son John with his first wife Mariefrances Pfeiffer whom he married while living in Spain. He had two daughters, Mary Larkin and Kathleen Freeman with Eileen Lanouette with whom he worked at Time-Life in New York and wed December 24, 1951. He later married Katherine Nouri with whom he had two daughters, Caitlin and Johanna.

Collection History


Emmet Hughes donated this collection in 1965 .

The materials in the 2016 accession were donated by Emmet Hughes's daughter, Kathleen Murphy '76, in June 2016. The accession number associated with this donation is ML.2016.015.


No information about appraisal is available for Series 1 through 3 of this collection. No materials have been separated from the 2016 accession.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Rachel E. Ban in 2001. Finding aid written by Rachel E. Ban in 2001.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. For quotations that are fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For those few instances beyond fair use, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold the copyright and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from the Mudd Library to move forward with their use.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Emmet Hughes Papers; Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
65 Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
(609) 258-6345
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Box 1-22