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Ernie Pyle Collection

Identifier: MSS-0001

Scope and Content

The collection consists of a large amount of newspaper clippings, and also contains various original documents, photographs, scrapbooks, and realia. The newspaper clippings have been arranged in general subject areas by various library staff over more than fifty years. The collection has been divided into eight subject areas in addition to photographs, scrapbooks, and realia.

Subject descriptions:

I. Pyles, Early Years. This material contains information concerning Ernie Pyle’s years as a roving reporter, beginning in 1935, for the Scripps-Howard Alliance. It includes a donation from the Willard E. Holt family with a well known photo taken in Lordsburg, NM, Pyle’s black notebook with notes and story ideas, columns in 1937-38 from Kalaupapa, Hawaii, about the Kalaupapa Leprosy Colony, miscellaneous early travel documents, correspondence, 1936-1937 consisting of fan letters, and articles, describing Ernie Pyle’s days as a roving reporter.

II. Pyles, In Albuquerque. Information in this category includes various imprints of Ernie Pyle’s article, “Why Albuquerque,” and records of significant events that occurred while the Pyles lived in Albuquerque including Pyle’s honorary degrees from UNM and Indiana University, and Pulitzer Prize award. Included in this category are also a letter Pyle received from Dwight Eisenhower acknowledging the receipt of Pyle’s latest book, and several letters from Eleanor Roosevelt.

III. Family and Friends. Contains mostly newspaper clippings about Ernie Pyle’s family. There are some clippings about Jerry Pyle including the article, “That Girl,” and a folder of personal correspondence about family.

IV. Death. Contains mostly clippings about Pyle’s burial in Ryukyus, reburial at the National Cemetery of the Pacific in 1949, and public reaction to his death including front page articles from several newspapers.

V. Memorials, Tributes. Over the years there have been numerous memorials and tributes to Ernie Pyle. This category contains articles and a large quantity of clippings about general memorials and tributes as well as separate folders of clippings about Ernie Pyle Day, the park dedicated to him in Dana, Indiana, the Ernie Pyle Stamp, and the Ernie Pyle Theatre in Tokyo, Japan.

VI. Ernie Pyle Memorial Library. Albuquerque’s memorial to Ernie Pyle is the Ernie Pyle Memorial Branch Library. This category contains clippings about the library, as well as memorial events and activities held at the library from its beginnings in 1948 through 2000. Some early library correspondence and files are included. Files dating from 2000 to the present have been arranged as a related collection.

VII. Writings about Ernie Pyle. Contains general interest clippings about Pyle, and several magazine articles ranging from before his death to 2005. A separate folder contains a variety of poems written about Pyle.

VIII. Writings by Pyle. Contains articles, books, reviews, and articles about the movie, 'The Story of G.I. Joe’ based on his books. There is also an extensive collection of columns written by Pyle during his early career, and his columns covering World War II.


  • 1928-2009
  • Majority of material found within 1935-2004


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions


Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Biography / History

Ernest Taylor Pyle (August 3, 1900-April 18, 1945) is best known as Ernie Pyle, an American journalist and war correspondent. He was born on a farm outside of Dana, Indiana, the first and only child of Will and Maria Pyle. He entered Indiana University in 1919. There he met Paige Cavanaugh, a life long friend.

Just a semester short of completing a degree in journalism, in 1923 he took a general reporting job at the La Porte Herald in Indiana. Three months later, he moved to Washington, D.C. to become a reporter for the Scripps-Howard Washington Daily News. Lee G. Miller one of the paper’s editors would promote Ernie’s career, later handle his business matters and write a posthumous Pyle biography, The Story of Ernie Pyle.

While in Washington, he met Geraldine “Jerry” Siebolds. On July 7, 1925 they married, and in 1926 they quit their jobs to drive around the United States. After a brief employment detour with the New York Evening News, in Dec. 1927, Ernie Pyle returned to the Washington Daily News. In addition to his responsibilities as copy editor, he started the first daily aviation column in American journalism. Scripps-Howard made Pyle aviation editor for the entire chain, a position he held until 1932 when he became the managing editor of the Washington Daily News.

After traveling to recuperate from a severe flu illness, Pyle wrote eleven columns about his travels. G.B.(Deac) Parker, editor-in-chief was impressed by Pyle’s writing, and by 1935 Pyle began writing a national column for the Scripps-Howard Alliance group. He was to write six columns a week for distribution to twenty-four Scripps-Howard papers. Select columns were later compiled and published in the book Home Country.

Initially Jerry traveled with Ernie. Column readers knew her as “That Girl”. She lived out of suitcases, retyped his copy, and offered praise and criticism of his work. Her life revolved around Ernie. By April of 1937, beginning with Ernie’s extended trip to Alaska, they began spending more time apart.

While Ernie sailed to England in mid- November, 1940 to report on the Battle of Britain, Jerry oversaw the construction of their home in Albuquerque, NM built by Mount and McCollum Builders. Earl Mount and Edward Shaffer, editor-in-chief of the Albuquerque Tribune, and their wives were good friends of the Pyles.

Jerry’s depression and attendant medical problems forced Pyle to take a leave of absence from Scripps-Howard in late 1941 to care for her. On April 14, 1942, with the concurrence of Jerry’s doctors and family, Ernie and Jerry divorced. It was hoped the shock would help her deal with life. Ernie left open the possibility of remarriage and they were remarried by proxy on 3/12/1943.

From mid-June 1942 until his death on April 18, 1945, with only a few breaks, Ernie Pyle covered World War II, from No. Africa (12/1942-6/1943), Sicily (7/1943-9/1943), Italy (12/1943-5/1944), France (6/1944-9/1944), and the Pacific (1/1945-4/1945).

In this writing, by studying the men, he sent back a kind of detail unlike any other reporter. His wartime writings were compiled into four books: Ernie Pyle in England, Here is Your War, Brave Men and Last Chapter. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1944 for distinguished war correspondence based on articles he wrote in 1943.

Ernie Pyle was killed instantly on April 18, 1945 while on patrol in Ie Shima, Japan, an island west of Okinawa. He was initially buried on the Ryukyus Island of Ie Shima, but in 1949 was reburied in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.

Jerry Pyle died at St. Josephs Hospital in Albuquerque, November 23, 1945 of complications from influenza, and is buried in her home state near Afton, Minnesota.

Pyle’s friend Paige Cavanaugh flew to Albuquerque to close out the Pyle’s house. He retrieved bundles of letters Pyle had written Jerry over the years.

The City of Albuquerque acquired the Pyle’s house on 900 Girard SE from the Pyle estate, and in 1948 the house opened to the public as the first branch library of the Albuquerque Public Library. In 2006 the house was designated a National Historic Landmark.


30 cubic feet


This collection contains materials written by and about Ernie Pyle, an American journalist who was most famous for his World War II columns from the 1940s. The collection also covers his early days as the “Roving Reporter,” his life in Albuquerque and overseas, and his eventual death in Ie Shima, Japan in 1948. There is also much information on various tributes and memorials which occurred after his death, including the opening of the Ernie Pyle Memorial Library in Albuquerque, NM.

Related Material

Ernie Pyle Papers, Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico

Wartime Columns-Ernie Pyle, University of Indian, School of Journalism

Ernie Pyle Collections, Lilly Library, Indiana University

Indiana State Museum, Ernie Pyle Home, Dana, Indiana
Inventory of the Ernie Pyle Collection, 1928-2009
Edited Full Draft
Catherine Purley
© 2011
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Repository Details

Part of the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Special Collections Library Repository

Special Collections Library
The Public Library, Albuquerque and Bernalillo County
423 Central Ave NE
Albuquerque NM 87102 USA