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William R. Cox papers

Identifier: Coll 032

Scope and Contents note

The William R. Cox Papers largely consist of correspondence, manuscripts, and pulp magazine tear sheets, and photographs. This inventory represents the incorporation of nine addenda previously cataloged as collection Ax 496, plus new material received in 1980.

The correspondence, arranged alphabetically, is largely of a business nature. One box (Box 5) is devoted to Cox's dealing with his agent, the Lenniger Literary Agency. Business with publishers, including Bantam Books, Dodd, Mead and Co., Doubleday, Fiction House, and Harper and Row, can also be found. Much of the other correspondence is with members of the Western Writers of America. Many writers, whose papers are also in Special Collections, corresponded with Mr. Cox. These include: Hal Evarts, Brian Garfield, William Gault, Noel Loomis, Leo Margulies, and Malcolm Reiss (Paul Reynolds, Inc.).

The manuscripts are of juvenile sports fiction, Western fiction, and crime stories. Those of books and screenplays (mostly for television) appear together in one alphabetical listing by title (Boxes 9-27). The various drafts and states of each manuscript have been denoted. The story length manuscripts, according to previous sorting, are arranged two ways. One box (Box 28) contains an alphabetical by title arrangement, while Box 29 has the stories arranged by subject. All of the manuscripts are typed. Also included in the manuscript series are outlines of sports stories (29/7) and one box of notebooks. The notebooks are arranged chronologically, 1914-1946, and contain notes from Mr. Cox's high school days as well as the period he wrote for pulp magazines.

The pulp magazine tear sheets in the collection from the 1930s and 1940s are largely unorganized within a subject breakdown. The mystery/crime and Western stories list the title and where published. The sports stories are first divided by type of sport (baseball, basketball, boxing, etc.) and then are grouped by magazine title. There are very few whole issues of magazines in the collection.


  • 1914-1980


Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use note

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical/Historical note

Author William Robert Cox was born on April 14, 1901 in Peapack, New Jersey. He was the eldest son of William and Marion Grace (Wenz) Cox. He grew up working for his father delivering ice and coal in Jersey City and Newark. In high school he turned to athletics and boxed, and played baseball, tennis and basketball. Later, he played football in New Jersey and Pennsylvania leagues, earning five dollars per game. According to a 1988 article in the Los Angeles Times, he wrote 80 novels, 1,000 short stories, 100 television scripts and screenplays.

His writing career began with feature writing for Sunday Call, a newspaper in Newark. Later, at age 21, he edited La Tribuna, a weekly Italian-American paper. Cox's first fiction story (on football) was published in 1934, in American Boy. He went on to write stories for detective, Western and sport pulp magazines, such as: Argosy, Blue Book, Dime Sports, Sports Novels, Detective Tales, Black Mask, and Dime Western. He wrote under at least seven pseudonyms: Willard d'Arcy, Mike Frederic, John Parkhill, Joel Reeve, Wayne Robbins, Roger G. Spellman and Jonas Ward. Sometime during the 1930s he moved to Florida and wrote for the pulp magazine industry for at least 14 years.

When these magazines slumped in the late 1940s, Mr. Cox took up writing television plays and some screenplays, including two motion picture films produced by Universal Studios in the 1950s: "The Veils of Baghdad" and "Tanganyika." In 1948 he moved to Sherman Oaks, California, in the San Fernando Valley to be closer to Hollywood. Mr. Cox lived there until his death. He wrote television scripts for shows such as "G.E. Theater," "Bonanza," "Outer Limits," "The Virginian" and many others. Mr. Cox began writing novels in 1954, most of which were Western fiction and juvenile sports fiction.

Mr. Cox was a member of the Writers Guild of America and the Western Writers of America (past committeeman, director, vice-president; and president, 1965-1966, 1971-1972). According to his widow, Casey Collins Cox, he was writing his 81st novel, Cemetery Jones and the Tombstone Wars on the day of his death, Sunday, August 7, 1988. He was 87. He was survived by his wife, Casey, and his stepson, Douglas Campbell. He was the "beloved husband of Midge, Lamar, Lee, Pat and Casey," according to an article in the Armchair Detective (Winter, 1989).

Sources: Los Angeles Times, Friday, August 12,1988; New York Times, Friday, August 12, 1988; Armchair Detective, winter 1989, Vol. 22, No. 1; and Gale Literary Data Bases: Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2003.


19 linear feet (39 containers)

Language of Materials



William Cox (1901-1988) was a prolific writer for the pulp fiction magazine industry during the 1930s, 1940s and into the early 1950s. He later wrote for the television industry and continued to publish in a wide variety of genres including sports, Westerns, and juvenile fiction. This Collection consists of three main series: correspondence with business associates and other contemporary writers (Red Barber, Ray Bradbury, John Ford, David Frost, Lillian Hellman, Elmore Leonard and Allen Rivkin), manuscripts of his published works and screenplays, and tear sheets from the pulp magazines of the 1930s and 1940s.

Arrangement note

Collection is organized into the following series: Series I. Biographical matterSeries II. CorrespondenceSeries III. Manuscripts Subseries A. Books and screenplaysSubseries B. Story length (by title)Subseries B2. Story length (by subject) Series IV. NotebooksSeries V. Tear sheets Subseries A. Mystery (crime)Subseries B. WesternsSubseries C1. Sports (baseball)Subseries C2. Sports (basketball)Subseries C3. Sports (boxing)Subseries C4. Sports (football)Subseries C5. Sports (tennis)Subseries C6. Sports (track)Subseries C7. Sports (other) Series VI. MiscellaneousSeries VII. Photographs

Related Archival Materials note

Additional materials concerning William R. Cox are located at the University of Wyoming.

Separated Materials note

There are 23 books by Cox, catalogued separately in the UO Knight Library. They are mostly Westerns, about half being from the Buchanan series. Some were published in French and Spanish.


There are 23 free-standing volumes by Cox, catalogued separately in the UO Knight Library. They are mostly Westerns and about half of them are from the Buchanan series. Some were published in French and Spanish.
  • Cox, William R.Annoncez la Couleur! (Hell to Pay) Serie Noire 493. Gallimard, 1959.
  • Bigger than Texas, London: Gold Lion Books, 1974.
  • Coeur de Lila (Death Comes Early) Serie Noire 778, Gallimard, 1963.
  • Death Comes Early, New York: Dell Publishing Co., 1961.
  • The Duke, New York: Signet Books, 1962.
  • Firecreek, From a screenplay by Calvin Clements, New York: Bantam Books, 1968.
  • Five were Chosen: A Basketball Story, New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1963.
  • Luke Short, Famous Gambler of the Old West: A Biography, London: W. Foulsham and Co., Ltd., 1961.
  • Mord I Casino, (Murder in Vegas) Dollar Serien, 1965.
  • Le Raid de la Pleine Lune, (Comanche Moon) Paris: Librarie des Champs-Elysees, 1966.
  • Trouble at Second Base, New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1966.
  • Ward, Jonas (pseud.) Buchanan Calls the Shots, Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett Publications, Inc., 1975.
  • Buchanan Gets Mad, Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett Publications, Inc., 1958
  • Buchanan on the Prod., Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett Publications, Inc., 1960
  • Buchanan on the Prod., Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett Publications, Inc., 1960 (later edition, different cover).
  • Buchanan Says No, Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett Publications, Inc., 1957.
  • Buchanan Takes Over, Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett Publications, Inc., 1975.
  • Buchanan's Gamble, Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett Publications, Inc., 1972.
  • Buchanan's Gun, Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett Publications, Inc., 1968.
  • Buchanan's Revenge, Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett Publications, Inc., 1960.
  • Buchanan's Siege, Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett Publications, Inc., 1973.
  • Trap for Buchanan, Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett Publications, Inc., 1972.
  • Trap for Buchanan, London: Coronet Books, 1973.

Processing Information

Collection processed by staff.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Guide to the William R. Cox papers
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by Francis Keating
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA