David Von Drehle Papers, 1897-2003
- Von Drehle, David, 1961-
- The David Von Drehle Papers contain information on the death penalty, primarily in Florida. Von Drehle compiled the materials while researching his 1995 book Among the Lowest of the Dead: Inside Death Row.
- 7.5 cubic ft.
- English and English
- Preferred citation:
- Preferred citation for this material is as follows: and Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, David Von Drehle Papers, 1897-2003. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Von Drehle Papers).
Access and Use
- Conditions Governing Access:
Access to this record group is unrestricted.
The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
- Scope and Content:
David Von Drehle is an award winning journalist. He is the author of several books including 1985's Among the Lowest of the Dead: Inside Death Row, the book this collection is based upon. Among the Lowest of the Dead: Inside Death Row is described as: “Perhaps the finest book ever written on the death penalty” by the Chicago Tribune. The Von Drehle Papers contain all of the research material used to write this book, including correspondence, newspaper clippings, interview notes, law review articles, court appeals, and copies of inmate letters and diaries. It also features newspaper cover stories about the death penalty, including articles written by Von Drehle.
Among the Lowest of the Dead: Inside Death Row highlights faults in the capital punishment system not only in Florida, but throughout the country. Through in-depth interviews, review of famous cases and over ten years of research, Von Drehle hoped to capture a true picture of death row.
This collection is organized alphabetically by subject. Not all dates in the collection are inclusive. Cases of possible interest involving the death penalty within the Von Drehle Papers include Ted Bundy, William Jent, Ernest Miller, John Spenkelink, Robert Sullivan, and Arthur Goode. The collection also provides an overview of capital punishment in Florida.
The archivist retained the original order of Von Drehle's record keeping scheme. Therefore please note that case files, such as Willie Darden's, also include materials about other court cases involving related subjects or circumstances. Von Drehle also created Florida specific subject files, and then separate general folders on the same topic.
- Biographical / Historical:
David Von Drehle was born in Denver, Colorado on February 6, 1961; he now resides in Shawnee Mission, Kansas. He is married to Karen Ball and they have four children, Henry, Ella, Addie, and Clara. Before attending college Von Drehle secured a job as a reporter at the Denver Post. At the age of seventeen he was the youngest sports writer in the paper’s history. He attended the University of Denver, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree with double honors in English and Philosophy. Von Drehle continued his education at Oxford University, graduating with a Master of Letters in 1985.
After college he became a staff writer for The Miami Herald, receiving the Livingston Award for National Reporting, American Society of Newspaper Editors Distinguished Writing Award, and the American Bar Association Silver Gavel during his tenure at the paper. Von Drehle left The Miami Herald in 1991 to become senior writer and eventually assistant managing editor at The Washington Post. Currently Von Drehle is editor-at-large for TIME, a position he has held since 2007.
Von Drehle is also an author of four books, Among the Lowest of the Dead: Inside Death Row (1995), Deadlock: The Inside Story of America’s Closest Election (2001), Triangle: The Fire That Changed America (2003), and Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and American’s Most Perilous Year (2012). Von Drehle has also been a board member of many community organizations, including his current role as a director of the Youth Ambassadors of Kansas City and the Truman Library Institute.
- Acquisition information:
David Von Drehle donated his papers to the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections at the State University of New York, Albany in 2005 and 2007.
- Processing information:
Processed in 2014 by Dana Zorzenon.
- Death Penalty
Criminal Justice and Prisons
Death row inmates--Florida--Case studies.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Files by subject
- Von Drehle, David, 1961-
Darden, Willie Jasper, -1988
Graham, Bob, 1936-
United States. Supreme Court.
Florida. Supreme Court.
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.