Bookplate from the Harry F. Guggenheim Collection.
Bookplate from the Harry F. Guggenheim Collection.

Guide to the Harry F. Guggenheim Letters, 1930-1932

MS 409

A collection in the
Special Collections & Archives Department,
Nimitz Library

Naval Academy Seal

United States Naval Academy
589 McNair Road
Annapolis, MD 21402-5029

Prepared by: David D'Onofrio

August 2010

Descriptive Summary

The Harry F. Guggenheim Letters were donated to the Special Collections & Archives Department by the estate of Harry F. Guggenheim in 1972.
1.5 linear inches.
Access to the Harry F. Guggenheim Letters is unrestricted.
The Harry F. Guggenheim Letters are the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.
It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information
Preferred Citation:
Harry F. Guggenheim Letters, MS 409
Special Collections & Archives Department
Nimitz Library
United States Naval Academy

Biographical Sketch

Harry Frank Guggenheim was born on August 23, 1890 in West End, New Jersey to Daniel and Florence Schloss Guggenheim. After graduating from Columbia Grammar School in 1907, and a subsequent brief stint at Sheffield Scientific School at Yale, Guggenheim enrolled at Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he received both a bachelor's and master's degree, in 1913 and 1918 respectively.

After graduation from Pembroke in 1913, Guggenheim was made executive director of one of his family's mining operations, Chile Copper. At the onset of America's entry into World War I, Guggenheim joined the United States Naval Reserve, where he served as a naval aviator. After the war, he returned to Chile Copper, remaining as executive director until 1923 when he resigned over a dispute regarding the sale of the company.

Guggenheim next served as president of the Daniel Guggenheim Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics, which was founded by Harry's father Daniel in 1926. By 1930, the fund had helped establish six schools of aeronautical engineering. His presidency of the Guggenheim fund, as well as other philanthropic ventures, brought Guggenheim into the circles of such aeronautic pioneers as Charles Lindbergh and Robert Goddard. It was also during this time that he was appointed Ambassador to Cuba by Herbert Hoover, a position Guggenheim held from 1929 until 1933.

In 1940, Guggenheim, along with his then wife Alicia Patterson, founded the Long Island newspaper Newsday. At the outbreak of World War II, Guggenheim rejoined the Navy, initially serving as commander of Mercer Field in Trenton, New Jersey, while his wife tended to the operations of Newsday. In 1945, he was briefly transferred to U.S.S. Nehenta Bay (Escort Carrier: CVE-74), which was serving in the Pacific Theater. After the war, Guggenheim returned to the paper, as well as other philanthropic ventures, including overseeing the construction of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Following the death of his wife, Guggenheim turned daily operations of Newsday over to newly hired publisher Bill Moyers in 1967. After a series of confrontations with Moyers over the political and editorial direction the paper was taking, Guggenheim sold Newsday to the Times Mirror Company in 1970.

On January 22, 1971, Harry Frank Guggenheim died at his Long Island mansion, Falaise.

Scope and Content Note

The Harry F. Guggenheim Letters, and their accompanying illuminated manuscript, span from 1930 to 1932. The letters pertain to the presentation of the illuminated manuscript to Guggenheim, and the dedication of the Aéro Club de France.

Three letters pertain to an illuminated manuscript presented to Guggenheim by the Royal Aeronautical Society, honoring Guggenheim's stewardship of the Daniel Guggenheim Fund, and the fund's support of the society. Two of the letters are between Guggenheim and Sir John Joyce Broderick, British Minister to Cuba. The third letter, signed by Guggenheim, is to Guggenheim's mother. The manuscript itself is signed by Edward, Prince of Wales, and Prince Albert, Duke of York. The remainder of the collection pertains to the dedication of new facilities for the Aéro Club de France, including two letters between Guggenheim and Walter E. Edge, American Ambassador to France, and several press clippings describing the event.

Related Collections

The Harry F. Guggenheim Collection of books, consisting of approximately 2,990 volumes, mostly in the fields of literature, poetry, and aeronautics, is housed in the Special Collections & Archives Department of the United States Naval Academy's Nimitz Library.

Additional manuscript material pertaining to Harry F. Guggenheim can be found in the Harry Frank Guggenheim Papers at the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress.

Container List

Box Folder  
1 1 Correspondence, February 26 - March 5, 1932

Letters between Guggenheim and Sir John Joyce Broderick regarding an illuminated memorial presented to Guggenheim by the Royal Aeronautical Society.

2 Correspondence, March 15-28, 1932

Letters between Guggenheim and Walter E. Edge pertaining to dedication ceremonies held at the Aéro Club de France. Also includes press clippings.

3 Illuminated Manuscript, 1930

Memorial presented by the Royal Aeronautical Society regarding Guggenheim's administration of the Daniel Guggenheim Fund.