Public Service Journalism

About the collection

Journalists who expose corruption, spur reform, or influence cultural dialogue generate vast collections that are invaluable for researchers. Marlin Fitzwater and David Dary are the two central figures whose papers form the core of this collection, along with important contributions from Mamie and Huck Boyd.

A few selections include

The David Dary papers

David Dary donated his extensive collection of personal papers about his family’s settler history and his professional career as a journalist, academic, and author of western history. Dary is a Manhattan native and a 1956 graduate of K-State.

Dary started in broadcast journalism at WIBW radio and television in Topeka. He later joined CBS News in Washington, D.C., where he covered the Kennedy administrations. In 1963 he was recruited by NBC to be manager of local Washington news.

In the late ’60s he returned to Topeka to help establish a new NBC television station before embarking on a long career as a journalism professor. He is the author of more than 20 books on journalism and historical aspects of Kansas and the American West.

The Marlin Fitzwater papers

Marlin Fitzwater donated more than 50 boxes of his personal papers to K-State Libraries, including those written while working at the White House.

Fitzwater was born in Salina, Kansas, and grew up in Abilene. He attended K-State and moved to Washington after graduating in 1965 to pursue opportunities in journalism.

In Washington, Fitzwater worked for several federal agencies: the U.S. Department of Transportation (1970-72), the Environmental Protection Agency (1972-81), and the Department of the Treasury (1981-82). He held various positions under the Reagan presidential administration, including a stint as Vice President Bush's press secretary (1985-87). In January 1987, Reagan made Fitzwater the acting press secretary, and he became a part of the team that conducted negotiations with the Soviet Union to reduce nuclear weapons, a critical step in the process of ending the Cold War.

Fitzwater was later press secretary for President Bush in the early ’90s. Since leaving public service, he continues to write.

Donate to this collection

To support the public service journalism collection, contact Nicole Askew, director of development at the KSU Foundation, at (785) 532-7530 or