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Finding Aid for the Jim Tully papers, 1883-1952 [bulk dates 1920-1947]
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The collection documents the life and career of Irish American novelist and writer Jim Tully. The papers contain manuscripts of novels, short stories, articles, plays and celebrity profiles written by Tully, as well as research material for his varied interests, including pugilism, prison reform and capital punishment, hoboing, labor strikes and many other topics. There is extensive correspondence with Hollywood celebrities, directors, studio executives, literary figures, and family and friends, including one of Tully's mentors, H.L. Mencken. The papers also include photographs and personal material about family history, marriages and travel.
Background
Jim Tully (1886-1947) was an Irish American novelist and writer, born in St. Mary's, Ohio to Maria Bridget Lawler Tully and James Dennis Tully. After the death of his mother in 1892, Jim Tully was sent to an orphanage and later apprenticed to a farmer by his father. After running away, he returned to St. Mary's and worked various local jobs while developing a voracious reading habit. He traveled the country as a "road kid," hopped trains, worked carnivals, learned chainmaking and frequented public libraries during his travels. He boxed professionally and attempted a career as a reporter. He moved to California to follow boxing opportunities and began writing Emmet Lawler, rooted in his mother's family history in St. Mary's. After moving around the country for several years, he settled in California again in 1920. Through the efforts of Paul Bern, Tully found work as a publicist for Charlie Chaplin and continued work on his novel, which was published in 1922. Mentored by Rupert Hughes and H.L. Mencken, Tully established himself as a sought after author for such publications as Vanity Fair, Esquire and The American Mercury, as well as numerous fan magazines, including Photoplay, Screen Story, Screen Pictorial and Cinema Arts. He also wrote several novels, drawing heavily from his experiences on the road (Beggars of Life, Circus Parade, The Bruiser) and in Hollywood (Jarnegan). His career flourished throughout the 1920s and 1930s. The audience for his hard-boiled novels about society's underclass began to wane as the '30s drew to a close and he was overcome with health problems during the war years. He died on June 22, 1947.
Extent
143 boxes (71.5 linear ft.) 11 oversize boxes
Restrictions
Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library 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.
Availability
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.