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David Von Drehle Papers

Identifier: M350


David Von Drehle is a native of Colorado born in Denver and raised in Aurora. He graduated from Gateway High School and is an alumus of the University of Denver (BA, 1983). Von Drehle received a Master of Letters degree from Oxford University. He is a journalist and author. He has been an editor-at-large at TIME since 2007, covers national stories and politics, and has written cover stories that include a profile of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and the 2008 Person of the Year article on President Obama. Previously, Von Drehle was a senior writer for the Washington Post, having served as the paper’s assistant managing editor, national political writer, magazine staff writer and New York bureau chief. ( - Updated August 23, 2012) The collection consists of various papers, correspondence, notes and notebooks, manuscripts, book proposals, clippings, publications, VHS tapes, and copies of articles either written by Mr. Von Drehle or used in his research.


  • 1909 - 2011
  • Majority of material found in 1974 - 2003


Language of Materials

Materials are primarily in english.

Biographical / Historical

David Von Drehle is a native of Colorado born in Denver and raised in Aurora. He graduated from Gateway High School and is an alumnus of the University of Denver (BA, 1983, English and Philosophy) where he was also a Boettcher Foundation Scholar and editor of the Denver Clarion, the student newspaper. In 1985 Von Drehle graduated from Oxford University with a Masters in Literature as a Marshall Scholar. Von Drehle started his career in journalism at 17 years old, working with The Denver Post as a sports writer from 1978 to 1983. Von Drehle was the youngest sports writer that the paper has had. From there he moved on to The Miami Herald in 1985 and stayed on with the paper until 1991 as a staff writer. In 1988, while writing for the Miami Herald, Von Drehle was awarded a Livingston Award, which recognizes excellence in young journalism and is given annually to journalist younger than 35 years of age. Von Drehle was honored for a series titled "The Death Penalty: A Failure of Execution". He was 27 at the time of the award, the youngest of the three journalists recognized that year. The piece also garnered Von Drehle the American Bar Association's Silver Gavel Award for excellence in Media and the Arts in 1989. During his tenure with the Miami Herald, von Drehle also received an American Society of News Editors Distinguished Writing Award, and has subsequently been featured in ASNE's collections of America's Best Newspaper Writing. In 1991 Von Drehle became the New York bureau chief for the Washington Post. A year later, he was sent to New Hampshire to cover the 1992 presidential primary, thus beginning his career as a political writer. He went on to be the editor of the Arts section, and the Assistant Managing Editor in charge of the Style section. David Von Drehle left the Washington Post in 2006 to become Editor-at-Large for Time Magazine. He has gone on to write over 160 articles while at Time. Notable examples include a cover piece on controversial talking head Glenn Beck titled "Mad Man" that appeared in the September, 2009 issue, as well as other cover stories that include a profile of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and the 2008 Person of the Year article on President Obama. His most recent cover story, “Roberts Rules,” appeared in a special issue of TIME on the Supreme Court’s ruling on health care reform. He has also covered the presidential campaigns on the campaign trail. In 1995 he married Karen Ball, the White House correspondent for The Daily News in New York. Von Drehle has also been a recurring contributor to National Public Radio's Morning Edition, speaking on his interview of Bob Woodward and discussing his book on the Watergate scandal. His books and awards include: Among the Lowest of the Dead, 1995 (a narrative history and analysis of the modern death penalty system in Florida, winner of 1996 American Bar Association Silver Gavel honorable mention; Deadlock: The Inside Story of America’s Closest Election, 2001 (an account of the 2000 presidential recount in Florida, written with reporting by The Washington Post political staff; was a source book for the Emmy-winning HBO movie “Recount”); Triangle: The Fire That Changed America, 2003 (Sidney Hillman Foundation book prize, New York Society Library book of the year, New York Times bestseller and Notable Book of the Year, Christopher Award winner, New York Public Library Book to Remember); and Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America's Most Perilous Year released by Henry Holt and Co. in 2012. (, accessed July 25, 2013) As of July 2013, he continues as Editor-at-Large for Time Magazine covering national stories and politics. He resides in Mission Hills, Kansas, with his wife, journalist Karen Ball, and their four children. ( - Updated August 23, 2012, accessed 25 July 2013)


13.25 Linear Feet

Scope and Contents

The collection contains handwritten notes, research notebooks, newspaper clippings, copies of articles, publications, photographs, manuscripts, plaques and awards, souveniers and mementos, certificates, scrapbooks, and other papers pertaining to the writings and career of David Von Drehle. Most of the clippings and publications feature articles written by David himself. Publications include the Washigton Post, the Miami Herald, Time Magazine, Tropic Magazine, the Denver Post, and the Clarion.


Materials are unarranged except as received from donor. __Published books were removed from the collection and given to Cataloging.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

2150 East Evans Avenue
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