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Leo Margulies papers

Identifier: Coll 133

Scope and Contents

The Leo Margulies papers consist of surviving business correspondence and manuscripts documenting Margulies' editing and publishing career from 1943-1977. Earlier material had been destroyed by Margulies, not recognizing its value.

The Correspondence series includes correspondence with other publishers and writers whose stories were published by Margulies. It is interesting to note that some of today's well-known authors got their starts writing for the pulps -- among them Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, John Jakes, Philip Margolin, and Richard Deming. Other notables include Isaac Asimov, Forrest Ackerman, S. Omar Barker, Anthony Boucher, Lin Carter, Leslie Charteris, Oscar Friend, lb Melchior, and Ted Sturgeon.

The Manuscripts series includes manuscripts from Charlie Chan Mystery Magazine, The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine, Weird Tales, and Zane Grey Western Magazine, as well as articles by Margulies. Most of the manuscripts are ribbon or carbon copies, but a few appear in dummy form only or in reprint form from another magazine. In some instances, entire issues are present in dummy form or first proofs.

The Contracts series contains Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. and Renown Publications, Inc. contracts, publicity materials, assorted newsletters regarding pulps, and collected printed material.

The Boxed volumes series contains boxed volumes of Charlie Chan Mystery Magazine, The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine, Weird Tales, Zane Grey Western Magazine, and a copy of “The Flying Wildcats”, an anthology of aviation stories which Margulies edited.


  • 1943-1977


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

Leo Margulies, born in Brooklyn in 1900, was a publisher and editor of pulp magazines. He attended Columbia University but was persuaded to give up his studies by the famous editor, Robert H. Davis, who insisted that practical experience was the way to learn the job. Margulies worked with Davis, who was editorial director of the Munsey magazines, selling subsidiary rights to stories. When Davis opened his own agency, Margulies moved with him.

Margulies went on to head the research department for Fox Films on the east coast, a position he held for five years. After a while, Margulies opened his own literary agency. When Woolworth stores became the first national chain to sell magazines, Leo Margulies was in on the venture.

In the early 1930s, Margulies joined Ed Pines to form Standard Magazines, for which, at its zenith, he simultaneously edited forty-four magazines. Many of today's writers were first published in the pulps, and Margulies is credited with recognizing their talent and providing them with a vehicle whereby they could train and improve.

He married Sylvia Kleinman in 1937; she too was a respected editor. Together they worked to build their publishing enterprise, Renown Publications, which began in New York. During World War II, Margulies served as a Navy war correspondent, and Kleinman joined the WACS.

Renown Publications moved to California in the early 1970s, with Margulies publishing Weird Tales, Charlie Chan Mystery Magazine, Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine, and Zane Grey Western Magazine. In addition to publishing these magazines, he compiled anthologies in the mystery and science fiction genres. Margulies is also credited with being a founder of the Popular Paperback Library.

During a flight to England in 1975 to attend a writers' convention, Leo Margulies became seriously ill. He was flown back to Los Angeles, where he died of a stroke on December 26, 1975.


34.5 linear feet (69 containers)

Language of Materials



Leo Margulies (1900-1975) was an editor and publisher of pulp magazines, and founder of the publishing enterprise, Renown Publications. The Leo Margulies papers consist of correspondence with authors and publishers; manuscripts published in Charlie Chan Mystery Magazine, The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine, Weird Tales, and Zane Grey Western Magazine; articles and editorials by Margulies; contracts; a copy of "The Flying Wildcats"; and boxed volumes of pulp magazines.


The Leo Margulies papers are arranged in four series: Series 1. Correspondence, circa 1946-1977. Series 2. Manuscripts, circa 1965-1975. Series 3. Contracts, Undated. Series 4. Boxed volumes, 1943-1976.

The Correspondence series is arranged in two subseries: Subseries 1.1 Outgoing, 1946-1977. Subseries 1.2 Incoming, Undated.

The Manuscripts series is arranged in seven subseries: Subseries 2.1 Charlie Chan Mystery Magazine, 1973-1974. Subseries 2.2 The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. Magazine, 1966-1967. Subseries 2.3 The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Magazine, 1966-1968. Subseries 2.4 Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine, 1965-1975. Subseries 2.5 Weird Tales, 1973. Subseries 2.6 Zane Grey Western Magazine, circa 1969-1973. Subseries 2.7 Articles by Leo Margulies, Undated.

Processing Information note

Collection is processed.

Guide to the Leo Margulies papers
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by University of Oregon Libraries, Archivists' Toolkit Project Team. Revisions by Sarah Lueders.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

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

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA