Oakes, John B. (John Bertram), 1913-2001

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BIOGHIST REQUIRED John B. Oakes, journalist, editor, and environmentalist was born in Philadelphia in 1913 to George Washington Ochs-Oakes and Bertie Gans Ochs. He attended Princeton University and studied at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. Following graduation, he started as a reporter on the Trenton Times and the Trenton State Gazette, and in 1937, joined the staff of the Washington Post as a police reporter, but quickly moved to covering both houses of Congress. He was drafted into the Army in 1941 and served in the Office of Strategic Services as a member of a team controlling German double agents in Europe. For this work, John Oakes received the Bronze Star, the Croix de Guerre and the Order of the British Empire. On his return to the United States in 1945, he married Margery Hartman and took a position with the New York Times, of which his uncle, Adolph Ochs, was owner and publisher. He started as a reporter and writer for the “Review of the Week” section of the Times and rose to the position of editor. In 1949, John Oakes joined the Editorial Board of the New York Times, where he became known for his interest in civil and human rights, environmentalism, and his opposition to McCarthyism and the Vietnam War. He succeeded Charles Merz as editor of the editorial page in 1961, winning the George Polk Award in 1966. He proposed and oversaw the creation of the New York Times Op-Ed page in 1970, which was the first contemporary Op-Ed page in the nation, featuring signed opinion columns designed to run opposite the paper's official (and unsigned) editorials. He was forced to leave his position as editor of the editorial page in 1976 over a dispute concerning the Times' endorsement of Daniel Patrick Moynihan in the Democratic primary; the publisher, Arthur Hayes Sulzberger, endorsed Moynihan over Oakes's objections. He continued as a contributor to the Op-Ed page into the mid-1990s, particularly focusing on environmental issues.

From the guide to the John B. Oakes Papers, 1912-2005, (Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library, )

Newspaper editor.

From the description of Reminiscences of John Bertram Oakes : oral history, 1964. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 309741107

From the description of Reminiscences of John Bertram Oakes : oral history, 1978. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 309741096

From the description of Reminiscences of John Bertram Oakes : oral history, 1961. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 309741083

John B. Oakes, journalist, editor, and environmentalist was born in Philadelphia in 1913 to George Washington Ochs-Oakes and Bertie Gans Ochs. He attended Princeton University and studied at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. Following graduation, he started as a reporter on the Trenton Times and the Trenton State Gazette, and in 1937, joined the staff of the Washington Post as a police reporter, but quickly moved to covering both houses of Congress. He was drafted into the Army in 1941 and served in the Office of Strategic Services as a member of a team controlling German double agents in Europe. For this work, John Oakes received the Bronze Star, the Croix de Guerre and the Order of the British Empire. On his return to the United States in 1945, he married Margery Hartman and took a position with the New York Times, of which his uncle, Adolph Ochs, was owner and publisher. He started as a reporter and writer for the "Review of the Week" section of the Times and rose to the position of editor. In 1949, John Oakes joined the Editorial Board of the New York Times, where he became known for his interest in civil and human rights, environmentalism, and his opposition to McCarthyism and the Vietnam War. He succeeded Charles Merz as editor of the editorial page in 1961, winning the George Polk Award in 1966. He proposed and oversaw the creation of the New York Times Op-Ed page in 1970, which was the first contemporary Op-Ed page in the nation, featuring signed opinion columns designed to run opposite the paper's official (and unsigned) editorials. He was forced to leave his position as editor of the editorial page in 1976 over a dispute concerning the Times' endorsement of Daniel Patrick Moynihan in the Democratic primary; the publisher, Arthur Hayes Sulzberger, endorsed Moynihan over Oakes's objections. He continued as a contributor to the Op-Ed page into the mid-1990s, particularly focusing on environmental issues.

From the description of John B. Oakes Papers, 1912-2005. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 506250407

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Oakes, John B. (John Bertram), 1913-2001. John B. Oakes Papers, 1912-2005. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Baldwin, Hanson Weightman, 1903-1991. Hanson Weightman Baldwin papers, 1900-1988 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Harrison Salisbury Papers, 1927-1999 Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
referencedIn Chester Bowles papers, 1924-1982 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
creatorOf Oakes, John B. (John Bertram), 1913-2001. Reminiscences of John Bertram Oakes : oral history, 1978. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Sulzberger, Arthur Hays, 1891-1968. Papers, 1935-1968. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Oakes, John B. (John Bertram), 1913-2001. Reminiscences of John Bertram Oakes : oral history, 1961. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn New York Times Company records. Arthur Hays Sulzberger papers, 1823-1999 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Bowles, Chester, 1901-1986. Chester Bowles papers, 1924-1982 (inclusive). Yale University Library
creatorOf John B. Oakes Papers, 1912-2005 Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
referencedIn Irving Brant Papers, 1910-1977, (bulk 1938-1975) Manuscript Division, Library of Congress
referencedIn Salisbury, Harrison E. (Harrison Evans), 1908-1993. Harrison E. Salisbury Papers, 1927-1999. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Oakes, John B. (John Bertram), 1913-2001. Reminiscences of John Bertram Oakes : oral history, 1964. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Atkinson, Brooks, 1894-1984. Letters, 1920-1977 : to Lewis Mumford. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn New York Times Company records. John B. Oakes papers, 1952-1995, 1970-1990 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Hanson Weightman Baldwin papers, 1900-1988 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn New York Times Company records. A.M. Rosenthal papers, 1955-1994, 1967-1986 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Baldwin, Hanson Weightman, 1903-1991. person
associatedWith Bowles, Chester, 1901-1986. person
correspondedWith Brant, Irving, 1885-1976 person
associatedWith Bruns, Scott, person
associatedWith Leish, Kenneth W., person
associatedWith New York Times Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Personal name. person
associatedWith Rosenthal, A. M. (Abraham Michael), 1922-2006 person
associatedWith Salisbury, Harrison E. (Harrison Evans), 1908-1993. person
associatedWith Starr, Louis Morris, 1917-1980, person
associatedWith Sulzberger, Arthur Hays, 1891-1968. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Newspaper editors
Editors(Journalism)--Interviews
Journalists
Editorials
Journalism
Journalistic ethics
Journalism--Objectivity
World War, 1939-1945
Newspapers--Sections, columns, etc
Journalists--Interviews
Newspaper publishing
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1913-04-23

Death 2001-04-05

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