Murrow at the Institute of International Education (IIE), 1932-1935

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IIE and CBS Radio

Institute of International Education (IIE) Annual Report, 1960
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In fall 1934, Stephen P. Duggan had Murrow assist him in setting up, researching, and organizing Duggan's 25-week lecture series on CBS radio which was to start in late 1934. Duggan had been asked to do lectures plus news commentary in a program called Last Week Abroad, aired on the American School of the Air, CBS's educational network. Duggan did his lectures in a style of neutral advocacy that would soon characterize Murrow's own approach when broadcasting on the radio. Carrying out all the behind-the-scene work, Murrow usually listened in to the show at the CBS studio in New York. At the time their CBS contact was again Fred Willis, a former friend from Murrow's years at NSFA, who by now was Director of Education and assistant to the president of CBS, William S. Paley.

Throughout his NSFA presidency and while at IIE, Murrow had routinely arranged educational broadcasts with prominent individuals for CBS. And he had done broadcasts himself for both organizations. Impressed with his work, Fred Willis suggested Murrow for the new, purely administrative, position of Director of Talks to Coordinate Broadcasts on Current Issues. Their first choice, the renowned reporter Raymond Gram Swing, had withdrawn precisely because the position was not to involve any broadcasting. By that time in his life, Edward R. Murrow had come to realize that he had no future in academia - a job offer to become president of the women's Rockford College in Illinois was withdrawn when the committee realized that Murrow had fudged his age and academic credentials. He was overworked and at a dead end at IIE where its president Stephen P. Duggan had begun to reign in his assistant director in 1934 for fear of losing control of what Duggan considered to be his institute. The CBS position demanded the kinds of skills and interests for which Murrow had shown an aptitude: education, management, knowledge of political affairs, and contacts. Murrow accepted the CBS offer in fall of 1935.

Murrow and IIE in Later Years

IIE telegram wishing Edward R. Murrow a speedy recovery, 1965 Murrow would remain a trustee of IIE until his death; he was head of its board from 1946 to 1948. He served frequently on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees since his work schedule allowed him to attend its lunch meetings. He spoke at IIE events and conferences with Eleanor Roosevelt or Hubert H. Humphrey for example. He helped raise funds or addressed potential sponsors among them General Dwight D. Eisenhower, John Hay Whitney, or the Vanderbilt House. He asked for volunteers. And he participated in sponsor appeals with Milton Eisenhower and others.

During the war, the institute had granted unrestricted access to its files to the War Department, the Navy, and the FBI. However, during Murrow's term as head of the board, the institute repudiated the State Department's request to turn over scholarship applications of unsuccessful foreign candidates for the purpose of general information gathering by the State Department (March 1948). Some of IIE's noteworthy programs in the forties and fifties were for instance its cooperation with the International Rescue Committee and the World University Service to place Hungarian student refugees and professors in Austria after the Hungarian Revolution in 1956; its organization of a U.S.-wide educational tour for Soviet student editors in 1955; and its increase of scholarships to Asian, African, and Latin-American students.

Murrow's affiliation with IIE and its 1934 Summer Session in the Soviet Union and the cancelled 1935 Summer Session - both organized by Murrow - became a major thrust in McCarthy's 1954 accusation that Murrow had communist tendencies. After World War II, there was another McCarthy connection: Murrow had lost a personal friend to an early campaign of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and Richard Nixon in 1948. The accidental death of Laurence Duggan, director of IIE, in 1948, was turned into an admission of guilt by HUAC and Richard Nixon. Laurence, Stephen Duggan's son and a friend of Murrow from the 1930s, had been accused and interviewed in connection with the Hiss investigation. Upon Laurence's death, rumors about his ties to the Soviet Union were spread by HUAC without providing any evidence.1 In response, Murrow did a scathing radio broadcast about Laurence's accident and HUAC's allegations.

Letter by IIE director regarding Edward R. Murrow's resignation from the USIA, 1964 Program for an IIE conference, 1948 The IIE addressing potential sponsors, signed by Edward R. Murrow and others, 1952

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1 Only five decades later, records were made available that indicated that Laurence Duggan, indeed, had provided information to the Soviet Union; see here Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev, The Haunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America - the Stalin Era (Random House: New York 1999). For an edited version of Murrow's broadcast about Laurence Duggan's death on December 21, 1948, 7:45pm, see Laurence Duggan 1905-1948: In Memoriam (1949).


Text and Selection of Illustration Susanne Belovari, PhD, M.S., M.A., Archivist for Reference and Collections, DCA
Digitization Michelle Romero, M.A., Murrow Digitization Project Archivist
Images All images: Edward R. Murrow Papers, ca 1913-1985, DCA, Tufts University, used with permission of copyright holder.

Partial Bibliography

For a full bibliography please see the exhibit bibliography section.
Books consulted include Persico (1988) and Sperber (1986); also Kendrick (1969).xxx

All documents from Edward R. Murrow Papers, ca 1913-1985, DCA.

Bederson, Benjamin, In Appreciation: Fritz Reich and the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars, Physics in Perspective 7 (2005), 453-472.

The Rockefeller Foundation's Refugee Scholar Program: Emergency Program, 1940-1945, Rockefeller Foundation Archives Collections, (

For a list of rescued scholars see the following IIE website:

German and Jewish Intellectual Émigre Collection - Finding Aid for the Walter Maria Kotschnig Papers, 1923-1984 (GER-053), M. E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives University Libraries / University at Albany / State University of New York Home page of the Institute of International Education, (

Inventory of the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars Records, 1933-1945, Finding Aid, New York Public Library.

Kotschnig, Walter M., Unemployment in the Learned Professions: An International Study of Occupational and Educational Planning (Oxford University Press: London 1937).

Kotschnig, Walter M., Slaves Need No Leaders: An Answer to the Fascist Challenge to Education (Oxford University Press: London 1943).

Laurence Duggan 1905-1948: In Memoriam (1949).

Murrow, Edward, R., Outline Script Murrow's Career, December 18, 1953.

"Refugee Scholars," Time, Aug. 19, 1940 (online version).

Shotwell, James T., Channels of International Cooperation: A preliminary draft of a survey of the study of international relations in the United States (1933). Authors include: James Thomson Shotwell; George Augustus Finch; Edith E Ware; A Curtis Wilgus; Edward R Murrow; Heber Reece Harper; Alice S Cheyney; Carol Riegelman; Grover Clark. Confidential proof for members of the Committee on Problems and Policy of the Social Science Research Council and of the American National Committee on International Cooperation. Collaborators include: George A. Finch, Edith E. Ware, A. Curtis Wilgus, Edward R. Murrow, Heber Harper, Alice Cheyney, Carol Riegelman. Edited by Grover Clark. Corp Author(s): American National Committee on International Intellectual Cooperation; Social Science Research Council (U.S.) 1933. Published in revised form as: The study of international relations in the United States: survey for 1934 / edited by Edith W. Ware. New York: Columbia University Press, 1934.

Weinstein, Allen and Alexander Vassiliev. The Haunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America - the Stalin Era (Random House: New York 1999).