Thomas, Lowell, 1892-1981

Alternative names
Birth 1892-04-06
Death 1981-08-29

Biographical notes:

American author, journalist, and world traveller.

From the description of Letters, 1961-1981. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122553309

Newscaster, foreign correspondent, and explorer.

From the description of Papers, [ca. 1890]-1981. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 155531746

Thomas was a radio and television broadcaster, author, and world traveler.

From the description of The Lowell Jackson Thomas papers. 1916-2010. (University of Utah). WorldCat record id: 701904298

Traveler, lecturer, radio commentator, author.

From the description of Letter to [Lola] Kovner, 1936 April 9. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 55057647

From the description of Letter to [Lola] Kovner [sic] [manuscript], 1936 April 9. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647978159

Lowell Jackson Thomas (1892 - 1981) became one of the most recognizable figures of his day as he led a life of world traveler, broadcaster, and communications pioneer. The Lowell Thomas Papers document Thomas's life and career in textual materials, graphic materials, objects, sound recordings, and moving images.

From the description of Lowell Thomas Papers (Marist College). WorldCat record id: 457207722

Lowell Jackson Thomas was born 6 April 1892 in Woodington, Ohio, to Harry and Harriet Wagner Thomas. When Lowell was eight, the family moved to Victor, Colorado. Later, at the age of fifteen, the family moved back to Ohio. After graduating from High School, he obtained B.S. degree from Valparaiso University. He went on to obtain both B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Denver and started working and writing for the Chicago Journal until 1914. While in Chicago, he was a professor at the Chicago-Kent College of Law, teaching oratory. He began studying at Princeton University, where he also taught oratory, to obtain another M.A. degree.

In 1915 he traveled to Alaska and began a travelogue which led the U.S. Government to commission him to film and record World War I events. As a war correspondent, Thomas met T.E. Lawrence, a captain in the British Army, in Jerusalem. Thomas shot footage of Lawrence which later led to the book With Lawrence in Arabia . During 1930–76 he was a radio newscaster, but he managed to travel to exotic places around the world, narrate Movietone newsreels (1935–52) and travelogues for Twentieth Century-Fox, and write many books. He broadcast from many combat zones during World War II, and in 1949 he was invited to Tibet by the Dalai Lama. He profiled outstanding historical figures on Public Broadcasting System's Lowell Thomas Remembers (1976–1979), and published a two-part autobiography, Good Evening Everybody (1977) and So Long Until Tomorrow (1978). He also wrote Beyond Khyber Pass about Afghanistan and The First World Flight.

Thomas died 29 August 1981 in Pawling, New York.

From the guide to the Lowell Jackson Thomas papers, 1916-2010, (J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah)


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  • Television programs
  • Politicians
  • Actors
  • Journalism
  • Motion pictures
  • Boxing
  • Television broadcasting of news
  • Baseball
  • Authors, American--Correspondence
  • Aeronautics--History
  • Broadcasters
  • Sports
  • Golf
  • Heads of state
  • Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
  • World War, 1914-1918
  • Broadcast journalism
  • Explorers
  • Anthropology
  • Recreation
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • Dalai lamas
  • Athletes
  • Capitals (Cities)
  • Journalists--Correspondence
  • World War, 1914-1918--Campaigns
  • Broadcasters--United States
  • Skis and skiing
  • Pikes Peak Cog Railway


  • Journalists
  • Explorers
  • Broadcasters


  • Middle East (as recorded)
  • New Guinea (Territory) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Alps (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Dutchess County (N.Y.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Victor (Colo.) (as recorded)
  • Tibet Autonomous Region (China) (as recorded)
  • Cripple Creek (Colo.) (as recorded)
  • Italy (as recorded)
  • Palestine (as recorded)
  • Pawling (N.Y.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Tibet Autonomous Region (China) (as recorded)
  • Dutchess County (N.Y.) (as recorded)
  • Germany (as recorded)