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Finding Aid for the Russell Birdwell papers, 1915-1951, bulk 1936-1946
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Russell Juarez Birdwell was a reporter for Hearst Newspapers and subsequently the head of publicity for David O. Selznick (ca. 1936-193), for whom he directed the publicity campaign for Gone with the Wind. Thereafter he worked independently as publicity agent for actors and other celebrities and for American businesses. The collection pertains both to individual clients and to Birdwell's personal and professional interests, and includes extensive correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, and press releases.
Russell Juarez Birdwell was born on October 17, 1903. He worked for Hearst newspapers in Los Angeles and New York, and covered Charles Lindbergh's takeoff for Paris. He directed two silent movies in 1929 and a short in 1933. Subsequently he became the head of publicity for David O. Selznick. In February 1939 he opened his own office, Russell Birdwell and Associates, in Beverly Hills and New York, with occasional offices in London and Chicago. Among the many he publicized were actresses Carole Lombard, Marlene Dietrich, Janet Gaynor, Joan Blondell, and Jane Russell; companies Celotex and Associated Filmmakers; businessman Howard Hughes; King Carol II of Romania; and major films including Gone with the Wind and The Outlaw. In 1939 he published the autobiographical novel I Ring Doorbells. In 1941 he traveled to England and wrote the book Women in Battle Dress (1942) based on his observations. In later years he published a volume of poetry (1969) and the novel Mount Horeb (1972). He died on December 15, 1977 in Oxnard, California.
59 boxes (29.5 linear ft.) 1 oversize box.
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