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Reginald Earle Looker papers

Collection number: ahc.MSS691f

Scope and Content

This collection contains the personal and professional papers of Reginald Earle Looker. The bulk of the personal papers pertains to R. E. Looker "Look" and Antonina "Nina", and includes correspondence between family, friends, and colleagues in the publishing industry. The personal papers also contain items from R. E. Looker's memorial service in 1976 and newspaper clippings from British newspapers collected in 1967 during Looker and Antonina's six-month stay in England. The professional papers consist of correspondence between R. E. Looker, Antonina, and their literary agents in the United States and England. In addition, there are publishing contracts for R. E. Looker's works and one literary agency contract with Julie Thomas of Atlanta, Georgia. The collection also includes articles Looker wrote in 1915 for the Saturday Evening Post. Looker's military career is documented by permit cards, a statement of service, and reports compiled by Looker for President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Lastly, the collection includes pieces of manuscript drafts likely excerpted from Revolt.


  • 1928-1980


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Administrative/Biographical History

Reginald Earle Looker (1895-1976) was born in Washington, D.C., to Henry Brigham Looker and Katherine Chamberlain (Earle) Looker on February 11, 1895. During World War I, Looker served in Europe as an ambulance driver for the American Ambulance Corps and a freelance war correspondent for The Evening Post. He also served in the United States Army overseas from 1918-1919. Looker married Edith Applegate in December 1917 and had two daughters, Edith Beaumont Looker and Katherine "Karen" Earle Looker. After World War I, he worked as an advertising executive, magazine editor, and public relations consultant. As a childhood playmate of President Theodore Roosevelt's children, Looker used his connections to launch a public relations campaign that would help get Franklin D. Roosevelt elected as President. He was President Franklin D. Roosevelt's speech writer until 1940. He wrote several biographies about Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Roosevelt family, including The White House Gang (1928), Colonel Roosevelt, Private Citizen (1932), This Man Roosevelt (1932), and The American Way (1933). He also collaborated with Roosevelt on his work about the Great Depression, Looking Forward (1933). Looker again served in the United States Army from 1940-1945 and retired as a colonel. He completed his service as Director of Morale Service of the Pacific Ocean Areas from 1944-1945. It was in the role that Looker met his second wife, Antonina Hansell, who worked as a Red Cross volunteer at a naval hospital in Hawaii. Looker divorced his first wife in 1946 and married Antonina in 1947. Looker and Antonina moved to Antonina's mother's home "Hillhouse", in Lakemont, Georgia, and spent the rest of their years collaborating as fiction writers. Their joint novel Revolt (1967), was a work of historical fiction about what would have happened if the South had won the Civil War. Looker and Antonina continued to write together until Looker's death from lung cancer.


4 folder(s)



Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 1981

Description Control

Collection processed in 2011.

Reginald Earle Looker papers
Paul Crater
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305