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Ralph Story papers, 1940-2007
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Provenance/Source of Acquisition
  • Processing Note
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biography/History
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Related Material
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID

  • Title: Ralph Story papers
    Collection number: 867
    Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 33.0 linear ft. (66 document boxes and 9 oversize boxes)
    Date: 1940-2007
    Abstract: Ralph Story was a broadcast journalist and television host for more than four decades, hosting programs such as Ralph Story's Los Angeles-- an Emmy-winning weekly magazine series that ran on KNXT-TV from 1964 to 1970, The $64,000 challenge, Ralph Story's A.M., the KNXT Channel 2 Evening News and numerous prime time specials. Renowned especially for his local interest reporting, Story served as correspondent, reporter and anchor for radio and television news from the 1940s to the 1980s, and was a prolific lecturer on the media and California history. The collection consists of scripts and professional documentation spanning Story's career.
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
    Creator: Story, Ralph

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to UCLA Library of Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    • Ralph Story's Los Angeles scripts, donated ca. 1965
    • Addition, and bulk of the collection, gift of Diana Story, December 2008
    • Addition, predominantly photographs, clippings, and albums, gift of Diana Story, November 2009

    Processing Note

    Processed by Ellen Mulligan in the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT)  with assistance from Kelley Wolfe Bachli, 2009. Additions to collection processed by Heather Lowe, 2010.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Ralph Story Papers (Collection 867). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.


    Ralph Story (August 19, 1920 - September 26, 2006) was born Ralph Bernard Snyder in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In high school and at Western Michigan College, he worked part time as a radio announcer, and eventually left college to pursue a career in radio full time first in Grand Rapids, Michigan and then Buffalo, New York. His career was interrupted when he joined the Air Force during World War II. Already a licensed pilot, he served first as a flight instructor and then flew 63 missions over Europe as a P-51 fighter pilot. After the war, he returned to Buffalo to work as an announcer and program director for CBS radio affiliate WGR. In 1948, CBS radio transferred him to Los Angeles. There, he served as program director and morning DJ at KNX and changed his name to Ralph Story. While at KNX, the Military Air Transport Service invited Story to visit and interview for broadcast servicemen and civilians from California stationed around the world. The result was California Around the World, broadcast on CBS radio.
    After a brief stint as host of the game show What Do You Have in Common?, Story moved to New York City to emcee The $64,000 Challenge from 1956-1958, when it was cancelled in the wake of the quiz show scandal. Story returned to Los Angeles and for the next forty years hosted, wrote and produced for radio and television, exploring and shaping such formats as talk radio, news broadcasting, human interest and local color reporting, and the magazine show. The bulk of his broadcast career was spent at KNX radio and its sister television station KNXT, both CBS affiliates. However, Story also worked for KABC, KNBC, KCET, KCAL, and independent production companies including National General and O'Connor radio.
    In addition to his serialized weekly and daily programs and radio spots, Story hosted a variety of special programs, including prime-time specials, award ceremonies, and local events such as the Tournament of Roses Parade and Hollywood Bowl concerts. He was also a prolific producer, writer and lecturer on local and California history, and prepared but did not publish a guidebook to Los Angeles. Story was active in civic and professional groups, hosting celebrity tennis events and serving as grand marshal for numerous local festivals and functions. He was a fundraiser for Public Television stations KCET and KOCE and a frequent speaker at community and educational meetings.
    Story is best remembered for his detailed research and his wry and witty observations about life in California and especially in Los Angeles. Television work includes: the "Human Predicament" on KNXT's The Big News, Ralph Story's Los Angeles, Ralph Story's AM, The Channel 2 News, It's a Nice Place..., The Sunday Show, On the Road Again, The Wine Game, Things That Aren't Here Anymore and More Things That Aren't Here Anymore.
    Story's radio titles include: The Ralph Story Show, Top of the Morning, Storyline, Hollywood Today, Dimension in Hollywood, Meet the Cook, Food News, You're the Judge and an annual Christmas Morning special.
    In 1984, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awarded Story their highest honor, the Governors Award. Other awards Story received throughout his career include numerous Los Angeles Area Emmys and Golden Mikes, two Directors Guild of America Awards, and many local and professional honors.
    Ralph Story died on September 26, 2006 after a long battle with emphysema at the age of 86 in Los Angeles, California.

    Scope and Content

    This collection documents the activities of Ralph Story, a broadcast journalist and television host. An original donation of 208 scripts for Ralph Story's Los Angeles was supplemented in 2008 with approximately 40 more scripts from Ralph Story's Los Angeles, and scripts, research and production materials spanning Story's career. The bulk of the collection consists of broadcast scripts, clippings, contracts, correspondence, financial and legal material, production records, photographs, research material, draft chapters of a guidebook, miscellaneous printed matter and ephemera.

    Organization and Arrangement

    Creator's original order has been retained and arranged into the following series:
    • 1. Broadcasting
      • 1.1 Radio
      • 1.2 Television serial programming
      • 1.3 Television special programming
    • 2. Print projects
    • 3. Personal Appearances-lectures and speeches, cameos, hosting gigs, commercials
    • 4. Professional Career/History
      • 4.1 Correspondence
      • 4.2 Awards
      • 4.3 Contracts
      • 4.4 Biographies and clippings
      • 4.5 Research, uncategorized
    • 5. Photographs
      • 5.1 Ralph Story
      • 5.2 Studio press kits for various films
    • 6. Personal

    Related Material

    The UCLA Film and Television Archive  holds various items spanning Ralph Story's career in television broadcasting, including over 100 episodes of Ralph Story's Los Angeles, selected specials, news programs, and early television work.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 3222343 

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Story, Ralph--Archives.
    Los Angeles (Calif.)--History.
    Television personalities--California--Los Angeles--Archives.
    Television scripts.