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David Westheimer literary papers

Identifier: MS 0345
Finding aid note: Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via or call 713-348-2586.

Scope and Contents

Manuscripts and multiple drafts with marked revisions of Westheimer's novels as well as teleplays and scripts for his television work. Also included are Houston Post newspaper columns, research, photos, and related correspondence.


  • Creation: 1940 - 1997

Conditions Governing Access

Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via or call 713-348-2586.

Access Restrictions

This material is open for research.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish material from the David Westhemier literary papers must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.

Biographical Note

David Westheimer (April 11, 1917-November 8, 2005) was born in Houston, Texas and graduated from Rice University in 1937. He left his career as a journalist for the Houston Post to join the U.S. Army Air Forces after the United States entered World War II. He became a prisoner of war (P.O.W.) after his B-24 bomber was shot down near Italy, He used this experience to shape one of his best known literary works Von Ryan's Express, which was published in 1964 and went on to become a bestseller and a film starring Frank Sinatra. Besides writing novels such as My Sweet Charlie(1965), Westheimer also wrote television screenplays (often based on his work) and his autobiography: Sitting It Out: A World War II POW Memoir(1992). He returned to the Houston Post as a columnist in the 1980s and died of heart failure in Los Angeles in 2005.


36 Linear Feet (35 boxes)

Language of Materials



Contains materials relating to Westheimer's literary work, including manuscripts, typescripts, drafts, reviews, research, and correspondence

Acquisition Information

This collection was donated by David Westheimer in 2003. An addendum was donated by Fred Westheimer (son of David Westheimer) in 2013.

Guide to the David Westheimer literary papers, 1940-1997
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas Repository

Fondren Library MS-44, Rice University
6100 Main St.
Houston Texas 77005 USA