Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Gill, G. mss., ca. 1964-2000, consist of the papers, speeches, correspondence, files and notebooks documenting the 33-year career of George Norman Gill, editor of the Pulitzer-Prize winning Louisville Courier-Journal. Gill rose from copy-editor to managing editor, ultimately successfully steering the newspaper through its tumultuous 1986 sale from the Bingham family to the Gannett Corporation. When the Bingham family sold the paper to Gannett in 1986, Gill was named publisher and president until his retirement in 1993.

The paper won ten Pulitzer Prizes, the first in 1918, for the editorial writing of Henry Watterson and subsequently for public service, local general news, feature photography, international reporting and in 2005 for the editorial cartooning of Nick Anderson. During the editorial tenure of Barry Bingham, Sr. the paper was considered Kentucky's "Newspaper of Record" and consistently ranked among the 10 best in the nation.

Gill and his wife, Kay (Baldwin) Gill, met at Indiana University where both studied journalism as winners of Ernie Pyle Scholarships and both served as editors of the Indiana Daily Student. In 1984, Gill received the Indiana University Distinguished Alumni Service Award, the university's highest alumni honor.

A Navy veteran of the Korean Conflict, his many community contributions included serving as president of the Louisville Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the board for the American Printing House for the Blind, president of the Louisville Rotary Club and campaign chairman for the United Way.

The collection is organized into the following series: I. Business Records; II. Subject Files; III. Correspondence; IV. Speeches. Business Records include legal documents, memoranda, notes, and newspaper and magazine clippings related mainly to the Bingham family businesses. Subject Files include memoranda and notes from The Courier-Journal and The Louisville Times, as well as George Gill's personal files.

Correspondents include: Allison, Robert S.; Arpan, Floyd G.; Bingham, Barry; Colwell, Frederick A.; Hooker, John Jay; Janensch, Paul; Jones, Alex S.; Long, Lawrence; Morgan, Jan; Owens, Ed; Thompson, Hunter S.; Tydings, Mansir J.

Speeches include copies of speeches given by George Gill as well as accompanying correspondence.

An inventory is available.

Acquired: 2008

Collection size: 15,000 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.