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Glenn Cunningham collection : [sec. 1] Papers of Glenn Cunningham

Creator: Cunningham, Glenn, 1909-1988

Date: 1888-2004 (bulk 1932-1988)

Level of Description: Sub-collection/group

Material Type: Multimedia

Call Number: Ms. Coll. 904: Bxs. 1-6, Osz. bxs. 1-2

Unit ID: 312681

Biographical sketch: Distance runner, philanthropist. Of Kansas; Perry County, Conway, Ark. Full name: Glenn Verniss Cunningham.

Abstract: Includes photographs, some correspondence, interviews by & about him, speeches, awards, programs, telegrams, school notebooks, films, audio recordings, autobiographical & biographical sketches, artwork, financial records, magazine articles, and newspaper clippings about Glenn Cunningham, his achievements as a world record holder middle distance runner, and his work with troubled children. Included is information about his early life, schooling, track & field competitions, press coverage, jobs, military service, honors & awards, friends & family, Youth Ranch, speeches & public appearances, and death & legacy.

Summary: Series Descriptions

Items marked by an asterisk (*) denote containers retained with their original descriptions and in original internal order as received.

A complete folder list follows these descriptions.


Series 1: HOME TOWNS, EARLY LIFE (GENERAL), 1917-1988. 2 folders (Box 1a)

Autobiographical and biographical sketches, genealogical information, and material on Glenn Cunningham’s 1984 return to Elkhart, Kans. Also contains biographical material about him compiled by the Morton County Historical Museum in Elkhart including autobiographical sketches of his early life, transcripts of newspaper articles about the Sunflower School fire that seriously injured him, a news clipping about the community’s reaction to his death, and interview notes concerning his high school races. Genealogical information about him compiled by his wife Ruth is in her papers (Section 2).

Organized by provenance.

Contents:
folder 1: General information, 1984-1988
folder 2: Elkhart Museum,* 1917-1988


Series 2: SCHOOLING AND ALUMNI ACTIVITIES, 1906-2004. 0.2 ft. (6 folders) (Box 1a)

Composition books, clippings, report cards, university publications, commencement programs, and diplomas relating to Glenn Cunningham’s studies at Elkhart, Kans., public schools; the University of Kansas (Lawrence) (KU), where he earned his B.A. degree; and graduate school at the University of Iowa (Iowa City), where he earned his M.A., & New York University, where he earned his Ph.D. Included is an abstract of his dissertation as well as information on alumni and reunion activities. This series pertains primarily to academic matters, although there are some clippings pertaining exclusively to his KU athletic endeavors. Most material on his athletic accomplishments while in school is in Series 3, Track and Field, 1930-2003.

Organized chronologically by school.

Contents: Elkhart schools, 1906-1988 (folders 1-2) -- University of Kansas (Lawrence), 1931-2004 (folders 3-4) -- graduate schools, 1936-1938 (folders 5-6).


Series 3: TRACK AND FIELD, 1930-2003. 0.5 ft. (13 folders & envelopes) (Box 1a)

Articles, clippings, & other publications; lists of races, times, & records; University of Kansas (Lawrence) news releases; photographs; souvenirs; programs; schedules; letters & telegrams received; certificates; items received from fans; advertising material featuring Glenn Cunningham; and related materials relating to Cunningham’s races & travels and track in general. Includes items relating to Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass.) Fatigue Laboratory studies of athletes. Some items are in European and the Japanese languages. Letters and telegrams received of a more general nature are in Series 6 and 7.

Organized chronologically with general information at the beginning.

Contents: General, 1933-2003 (no. 1-3) (Box 1a) -- pre-1932 Olympics, 1930 May 29-31 (no. 4) (Box 1a) -- between Olympics (1932-36), 1933-1939 (no. 5-9) (Box 1a, Oversize Box 1) -- 1936 Summer Olympics (Berlin) (and reunions), 1936-1986 (no. 10-11) (Box 1a, Oversize Box 1) -- post-1936 Olympics, 1936-1940 (no. 12) (Box 1a, Oversize Box 1) -- post-retirement, 1941-1988 (no. 13) (Box 1a).


Series 4: EMPLOYMENT, 1938-1941. 2 folders (Box 1a)

News clippings and a letter received pertaining to Glenn Cunningham’s positions with the University of Kansas (Lawrence) Extension Dept. and Cornell College (Mount Vernon, Ia.)

Arranged chronologically by job.

Contents: folder 1. University of Kansas (Lawrence), 1938 July-1939 Jan. -- folder 2. Cornell College (Mount Vernon, Iowa), 1940 Apr.-1941 Feb.


Series 5: MILITARY SERVICE (U.S. NAVY), [1944 Oct. 17?]. 1 folder : 1 item (2 leaves) (Box 1a)

Photocopy of a photograph and caption of Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Glenn Cunningham comforting the wounded at San Diego, Calif.


Series 6: LETTERS RECEIVED (GENERAL), 1934-1987. 2 folders (Box 1a)

Letters received from admirers; another man named Cunningham; friends in Elkhart, Kans.; and a photographer. Included is a holograph draft of a letter from Glenn Cunningham about Jack Lovelock. Also included in this series is a letter received by Cunningham and a script of a biographical movie about him by Genie Productions; the actual motion picture is in Series 12, Audio-visual Items, 1935-1964.

Organized so that the movie material follows the other items.

Contents:
folder 1: General, 1934-1987
folder 2: Genie movie,* 1964 June 10


Series 7: TELEGRAMS RECEIVED (GENERAL), 1937-1954. 1 folder (7 items) (Box 1a)

Telegrams received relating to meetings with journalists & others, trips, and from Glenn Cunningham’s wife Ruth about a car problem. Many of the telegrams cannot be dated by year and could be earlier than 1937. Other telegrams related to his athletic competitions are in Series 3, Track and Field, 1930-2003.

Telegrams arranged chronologically with undated ones at the end.


Series 8: CASH BOOK, 1939-1953. 1 folder : 1 v. (200 p.) (Box 1a)

A Cash Book for the Cedar Point Ranch in Chase County and other Kansas properties. The book contains entries for various commodities as well as journal entries detailing chronological transactions. Annotated in the volume are some personal thoughts and possible speech ideas. Inserted into the book is a telegram, 1946 June 19, from Helen [?] informing Lieutenant Glenn Cunningham of his father’s death.


Series 9: PRESS COVERAGE (GENERAL), 1933-2001. 0.4 ft. (12 folders and envelopes) (Boxes 1a-1b, Oversize Box 1)

Newspaper clippings, articles, and other publications about Glenn Cunningham generally or multiple facets of his life. Included are texts of news releases by the University of Kansas (Lawrence) News Bureau that it was felt should be kept as a group. The envelopes grouped by time periods (Items 2-6, noted by asterisks [*] in the Contents list) are retained intact as kept by the family and include individual articles on track and other topics. Some items are incomplete. Included is the text of an autobiographical article Cunningham sent to at least 1 editor for consideration; letters from a friend; articles about his children’s & grandchildren’s track achievements; articles about Elkhart, Kans., history; articles about friends; radio interview transcripts; a history of the world’s 1st indoor track meet; an article about Cunningham as a student research subject; and publicity about the 2001 Glenn Cunningham Award by the Arkansas Senior Olympics. Press coverage about specific activities is filed in other series relating to those activities. Other clippings, articles, and publications are in topical series and Series 11, Binders and notebooks, [1916]-2004.

Organized with general material at the beginning followed by chronological groups of clippings & other items and topical folders.

Contents:
no. 1 (folder): General, 1933-2001 (Oversize Box 1)
no. 2 (envelope): 1939* [i.e. 1934-1940] (Box 1a)
no. 3 (envelope): 1939* [i.e. 1938 Aug.-1939 June] (Box 1a)
no. 4 (envelope): 1940* [i.e. 1939-1941] (Box 1a)
no. 5 (envelope): 1941* [i.e. 1940-1941] (Box 1a)
no. 6 (folder): 1960-69* [i.e. 1941?-1976] (Box 1a)
no. 7 (folder): Glenn,* 1979-1981 (Box 1b)
no. 8 (folder): Misc. publicity, 1967-1988 (Box 1b)
no. 9 (folder): Things sent to Paul Kiell,* 1958-[not before 1979] (Box 1b)
no. 10 (folder): Magazine reprints, 1966-1968 (Box 1b)
no. 11 (folder): Radio interviews,* 1933 Mar. 2 (Box 1b)
no. 12 (folder): Glenn’s life,* [not before 1930]-1979 (Box 1b)


Series 10: HONORS AND AWARDS (GENERAL), [1930]-2003. 0.1 ft. (2 folders + 1 envelope) (Box 1b)

News clippings, articles, cartoons, and news releases describing honors and awards given to Glenn Cunningham. Included is a folder about him being named the top track athlete in the history of Madison Square Garden (New York City) and a certificate presented posthumously by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Other items mentioning awards for specific events may be found in other series with information about those events.

Organized with general information at the beginning followed by the Madison Square Garden award and NCAA certificate.

Contents:
folder 1: General, [1930]-2003
folder 2: Madison Square Garden top track athlete,* 1979 Jan.20
envelope: National Collegiate Athletic Association. [Memorial certificate,] 1989 Jan. 8


Series 11. BINDERS AND NOTEBOOKS, [1916]-2004. 3 ft. (24 items) (Boxes 2-4)

Notebooks, scrapbooks, and similar vol. containing primarily articles, newspaper clippings, and other publications about Glenn Cunningham. Included are some letters received, souvenirs, transcripts of interviews, programs, itineraries, certificates, photographs, documents about his military service, and publicity about other competitors. Most of the vol. are believed to have been compiled by his wife Ruth from items collected at the times of publication. About half are labeled by time period. Similar items, unbound, are found in other parts of the collection.

Organized with dated vol. preceding undated ones.

Contents:
1932* (Box 2)
Olympics ‘32, ‘36; European tour* (Box 2)
1933* (Box 2)
1934 : summer, Orient* (Box 2)
Glenn Cunningham, 1934* (Box 2)
1935* (Box 2)
1936* (Box 2)
1937-1938* (Box 3a)
1938* (Box 3a)
1938 April-December* (Box 3a)
1939* (Box 3a)
1939 book no. 2* ; 1939, [book no.] 3* ; 1940 book 1* (Box 3a)
1940* (Box 3a)
1970* (Box 3a)
Keep,* [1916]-2004 (Box 3b)
Glenn,* [ca. 1930-ca. 1989] (Box 3b)
[maroon notebook] 1931-1988* (Box 3b)
[light blue notebook] 1936-[ca. 1969]* (Box 3b)
Publicity : articles,* 1965-1974 (Box 3b)
[dark blue notebook] 1965-1988* (Box 3b)
[blue notebook] 1975-1986* (Box 4)
[blue notebook, ca. 1980-ca. 1989*] (Box 4)
Glenn’s memorial,* [not before 1931]-1990 (bulk 1988) (Box 4)
Memorial,* 1986-1988 (bulk 1988) (Box 4)


Series 12: AUDIO-VISUAL ITEMS, 1935-1964. 7 in. + 5 motion pictures (5 film reels), 1 sound cassette (30 minutes) : analog (Boxes 5-6, Oversize Box 2)

Photographs, films, audio tapes & cassettes, and a computer disk relating to Glenn Cunningham, primarily his athletic achievements.

Organized by format.

Contents: Photographs (Box 5, Oversize Box 2) -- films, 1935-1964, 5 films (5 film reels) -- audio tapes -- sound cassettes, [ca. 1960], 1 cassette audiotape (30 minutes) : analog -- computer disk (CD) (Box 6).


Series 13: PERSONAL, FRIENDS, AND FAMILY, 1993-2003. 0.2 ft. (3 folders) (Box 6)

Letters received, publications, newspaper clippings, articles, and photographs relating to Glenn Cunningham, family members, and friends. Included are autobiographical sketches & pamphlets by Cunningham; publications by Paul Borel, a University of Kansas (Lawrence) classmate and close friend; an article on historic building preservation at Cornell College (Mount Vernon, Iowa); material from & about Bill Chisholm, a fellow Olympian; and an obituary for Jesse P. Abramson, a New York Herald Tribune sportswriter

Organized with general information at the beginning followed by folders on specific topics.

Contents:
folder 1: General, 1933-2003
folder 2: Bill Chisholm,* 1970-1993
folder 3: Jesse P. Abramson, sportswriter, death* [published 1979 June 12]


Series 14: YOUTH RANCH, 1960-1988. 0.1 ft. (3 folders) (Box 6)

Promotional & fund raising materials, articles, publications, and newspaper clippings relating to Glenn Cunningham’s Youth Ranch in Kansas (ca. 1950-73) and Arkansas (1973-76). Included are copies of letters written by Frank Sinatra, Jr., on behalf of the Ranch and a photograph of him.

Organized with general information at the beginning followed by information on specific locations, arranged chronologically.

Contents: folder 1. General, 1966-1988 -- folder 2. Kansas, 1960-1971 -- folder 3. Arkansas, 1972-1986.


Series 15: SPEECHES, MOTIVATIONAL WORK, AND PUBLIC APPEARANCES, 1888-1988 (bulk 1960-1987). 0.1 ft. (3 folders) (Box 6)

Correspondence, schedules, programs, articles, publications, news releases, speaker’s talks & notes, and newspaper clippings documenting Glenn Cunningham’s speeches and public appearances. Includes some items presumably used as source materials. The Mobil Grand Prix folder includes information on the 1988 USA/Mobil Track and Field Grand Prix, in which Cunningham's achievements were mentioned; background information from 1888 sources on the United States at that time; and material on the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Track and field indoor championships (1988).

Organized with general material first, followed by folders on the Mobil Grand Prix and source material.

Contents:
folder 1: General, 1937-1987 (bulk 1960-1987)
folder 2: Mobil Grand Prix,* 1888-1988
folder 3: Source material, 1957-[not before 1972]


Series 16: DEATH AND LEGACY, [not before 1932]-1988 (bulk 1988). 2 folders (Box 6)

Obituaries, articles, tributes, publications, and related items published after Glenn Cunningham’s death. Includes articles about him scheduled for publication prior to his demise but printed after he died; an autobiographical sketch written ca. 1976; inspirational reflections, 1983, that he presumably kept; and a photograph of him running as a University of Kansas (Lawrence) student.

Organized so that tributes follow obituaries.

Contents:
folder 1: Obituaries, 1988 Mar. 11
folder 2: Tributes and related items, [not before 1932]-1988

Summary: Folder List

Items marked by an asterisk (*) denote containers retained with their original descriptions and in original internal order as received.

Series 1: HOME TOWNS, EARLY LIFE (GENERAL), 1917-1988. 2 folders (Box 1a)

folder 1: General information, 1984-1988
folder 2: Elkhart Museum,* 1917-1988


Series 2: SCHOOLING AND ALUMNI ACTIVITIES, 1906-2004. 0.2 ft. (6 folders) (Box 1a)

folder 1: Elkhart schools (general), 1906-1988
folder 2: Elkhart misc.* [report cards], 1925-1930
folder 3: University of Kansas (Lawrence) (general), 1931-2004
folder 4: KU,* 1966 July 9
folder 5: University of Iowa (Iowa City) Graduates’ Dinner program, 1936 Feb. 4
folder 6: New York University Abstract of thesis, 1938


Series 3: TRACK AND FIELD, 1930-2003. 0.5 ft. (13 folders & envelopes) (Box 1a, Oversize Box 1)

no. 1 (folder): General, 1964-2003 (Box 1a)
no. 2 (folder): Glenn records,* [not before 1945] (Box 1a)
no. 3 (folder): Times and records,* 1933-1940 (Box 1a)
no. 4 (folder): Pre-1932 Olympics, 1930 May 29-31 (Box 1a)
no. 5 (folder): Between Olympics (1932-36), 1933-1936 (Box 1a, Oversize Box 1)
no. 6 (envelope): Europe 1933,* [i.e. 1933-1935] (Box 1a)
no. 7 (envelope): Foreign news clippings, 1933* July-Aug. (Box 1a)
no. 8 (envelope): 1933 Foreign,* [i.e. 1933-1935] (Box 1a)
no. 9 (folder): 1933 June-July,* [i.e. 1933?]-1939 (Box 1a)
no. 10 (folder): 1936 Summer Olympics (Berlin), 1936 July-Aug (Oversize Box 1).
no. 11 (folder): 1936 Olympics reunions, 1982-1986 (Box 1a)
no. 12 (folder): Post-1936 Olympics, 1936-1940 (Box 1a, Oversize Box 1)
no. 13 (folder): Post-retirement, 1941-1988 (Box 1a)


Series 4: EMPLOYMENT, 1938-1941. 2 folders (Box 1a)

folder 1: University of Kansas (Lawrence), 1938 July-1939 Jan.
folder 2: Cornell College (Mount Vernon, Iowa), 1940 Apr.-1941 Feb.


Series 5: MILITARY SERVICE (U.S. NAVY), [1944 Oct. 17?]. 1 folder : 1 item (2 leaves) (Box 1a)


Series 6: LETTERS RECEIVED (GENERAL), 1934-1987. 2 folders (Box 1a)

folder 1: General, 1934-1987
folder 2: Genie movie,* 1964 June 10


Series 7: TELEGRAMS RECEIVED (GENERAL), 1937-1954. 1 folder (7 items) (Box 1a)


Series 8: CASH BOOK, 1939-1953. 1 folder : 1 v. (200 p.) (Box 1a)


Series 9: PRESS COVERAGE (GENERAL), 1933-2001. 0.4 ft. (12 folders and envelopes) (Boxes 1a-1b, Oversize Box 1)

:
no. 1 (folder): General, 1933-2001 (Oversize Box 1)
no. 2 (envelope): 1939* [i.e. 1934-1940] (Box 1a)
no. 3 (envelope): 1939* [i.e. 1938 Aug.-1939 June] (Box 1a)
no. 4 (envelope): 1940* [i.e. 1939-1941] (Box 1a)
no. 5 (envelope): 1941* [i.e. 1940-1941] (Box 1a)
no. 6 (folder): 1960-69* [i.e. 1941?-1976] (Box 1a)
no. 7 (folder): Glenn,* 1979-1981 (Box 1b)
no. 8 (folder): Misc. publicity, 1967-1988 (Box 1b)
no. 9 (folder): Things sent to Paul Kiell,* 1958-[not before 1979] (Box 1b)
no. 10 (folder): Magazine reprints, 1966-1968 (Box 1b)
no. 11 (folder): Radio interviews,* 1933 Mar. 2 (Box 1b)
no. 12 (folder): Glenn’s life,* [not before 1930]-1979 (Box 1b)

Series 10: HONORS AND AWARDS (GENERAL), [1930]-2003. 0.1 ft. (2 folders + 1 envelope) (Box 1b)

folder 1: General, [1930]-2003 (Box 1b)
folder 2: Madison Square Garden top track athlete,* 1979 Jan.20 (Box 1b)
envelope: National Collegiate Athletic Association. [Memorial certificate,] 1989 Jan. 8 (Box 1b)


Series 11. BINDERS AND NOTEBOOKS, [1916]-2004. 3 ft. (24 items) (Boxes 2-4)

1932* (Box 2)
Olympics ‘32, ‘36; European tour* (Box 2)
1933* (Box 2)
1934 : summer, Orient* (Box 2)
Glenn Cunningham, 1934* (Box 2)
1935* (Box 2)
1936* (Box 2)
1937-1938* (Box 3a)
1938* (Box 3a)
1938 April-December* (Box 3a)
1939* (Box 3a)
1939 book no. 2* ; 1939, [book no.] 3* ; 1940 book 1* (Box 3a)
1940* (Box 3a)
1970* (Box 3a)
Keep,* [1916]-2004 (Box 3b)
Glenn,* [ca. 1930-ca. 1989] (Box 3b)
[maroon notebook] 1931-1988* (Box 3b)
[light blue notebook] 1936-[ca. 1969]* (Box 3b)
Publicity : articles,* 1965-1974 (Box 3b)
[dark blue notebook] 1965-1988* (Box 3b)
[blue notebook] 1975-1986* (Box 4)
[blue notebook, ca. 1980-ca. 1989*] (Box 4)
Glenn’s memorial,* [not before 1931]-1990 (bulk 1988) (Box 4)
Memorial,* 1986-1988 (bulk 1988) (Box 4)


Series 12: AUDIO-VISUAL ITEMS, 1935-1964. 7 in. + 5 motion pictures (5 film reels), 1 sound cassette (30 minutes) : analog (Boxes 5-6, Oversize Box 2)

Photographs (Box 5, Oversize Box 2)

Films

  • “A King From Kansas,” British-Pathe newsreel, 1935, 35mm motion picture film, black/white, optical sound, 550 feet, 15 minutes

  • “Master Miler,” British-Pathe newsreel, 1935, 35mm motion picture film, black/white, optical sound, 150 feet, 4 minutes

  • “Disputed Mile Run,” British-Pathe newsreel, 1935, 35mm motion picture film, black/white, optical sound, 150 feet, 4 minutes

  • “Glenn Cunningham Day,” 20 April 1940, 16mm motion picture film, color, silent, 220 feet, 6 minutes

  • “The Boy Who Couldn’t Walk,” Genie Productions for the series “The Undefeated,” 1964, 16mm motion picture film, black/white, optical sound, 350 feet, 19 minutes


Audio tapes

Audio cassettes
  • “My Race With Life,” inspirational presentation by Glenn Cunningham, c. 1960, cassette audiotape, 30 minutes


Computer disk (CD) (Box 6).


Series 13: PERSONAL, FRIENDS, AND FAMILY, 1993-2003. 0.2 ft. (3 folders) (Box 6)

folder 1: General, 1933-2003
folder 2: Bill Chisholm,* 1970-1993
folder 3: Jesse P. Abramson, sportswriter, death* [published 1979 June 12]


Series 14: YOUTH RANCH, 1960-1988. 0.1 ft. (3 folders) (Box 6)

folder 1: General, 1966-1988
folder 2: Kansas, 1960-1971
folder 3: Arkansas, 1972-1986


Series 15: SPEECHES, MOTIVATIONAL WORK, AND PUBLIC APPEARANCES, 1888-1988 (bulk 1960-1987). 0.1 ft. (3 folders) (Box 6)

folder 1: General, 1937-1987 (bulk 1960-1987)
folder 2: Mobil Grand Prix,* 1888-1988
folder 3: Source material, 1957-[not before 1972]


Series 16: DEATH AND LEGACY, [not before 1932]-1988 (bulk 1988). 2 folders (Box 6)

folder 1: Obituaries, 1988 Mar. 11
folder 2: Tributes and related items, [not before 1932]-1988

Space Required/Quantity:
Textual records: 5 ft.
Audio-visual records: 5 motion pictures (5 film reels), 1 sound cassette (30 minutes) : analog.

Title (Main title): Glenn Cunningham collection : [sec. 1] Papers of Glenn Cunningham

Titles (Other):

  • Glenn Cunningham papers

Part of: Glenn Cunningham collection.

Language note: Text is mostly in English; in part German, Swedish, Czech, Japanese, and Hungarian.

Biography

Biog. Sketch (Full):

1909 Aug. 4: Born in Atlanta, Kans., to Henry Clinton Cunningham (1877-1956) & Rosa Agnes Moore Cunningham (1882-1961); siblings: Margerie (Marjorie) B. (Chamberlin) (1901-2004), Floyd (1903-1917), Letha M. (Morgan) (1905-1992), Raymond (1907-1935), Melvin (April-May 1913), Melva (Sitton) (1913-1930), John William (1914-1993)
1909 autumn: Family moved to a farm outside Atlanta, later to other farms in the area
1914 spring: Family moved to Kingman County, Kans., near Cunningham for summer work
1914 fall: Family moved to Comanche County, Kans., near Protection
1915 fall: Family moved to Stevens County, Kans., near Rolla
1917 Feb. 9: Glenn and Floyd badly burned in Sunflower School explosion and fire, Floyd died 10 days later
1920 Apr. or May: Family moved to Elkhart, Kans.
1921 spring: Family moved to Otero County, Colo., between La Junta and Rocky Ford
1921 fall: Family moved to Smith Canyon in Colorado, near the community of Hoop-up, about 50 miles south of La Junta
1922 May: Family returned to Elkhart
1922–1930: Worked a variety of farm jobs
1927–1930: Student at Elkhart High School, where he was on the football, basketball, & track teams and active in Glee Club & the orchestra (violin); finished in 3 years
1929 spring: Competed in National Interscholastic Track Meet in Chicago
1930 spring: Ran the mile in 4:28.3 at the state high school meet and a record 4:24.7 at the National Interscholastic Track Meet in Chicago, his last high school race; his medley relay team also set a record
1930–1934: Student at the University of Kansas (Lawrence) (KU). While a student at KU ran the NCAA mile (4:09.8) and the 880 (1:50.9), won 6 Big 6 Conference running titles, and 21 NCAA titles
1932: Set Big 6 Conference indoor mile record (4:21.8), Bankers Mile (Chicago) champion (4:19.4), ran the half mile in 1:53.5 and mile in 4:21.9 at the Big 6 Outdoor Meet, set American record in the mile (4:11.1) at the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Meet in Chicago
1932 July: Placed 3rd in Olympic tryouts at Palo Alto, Calif.
1932 July 30–Aug. 14: Ran on U.S. Olympic team in Los Angeles placing 4th in the 1500 meter race (highest finish for an U.S. contestant)
1932 autumn: Won Big 6 2 mile team race (9:32.4)
1933: Won the Big 6 indoor mile (4:21.8)
1933: Captain of the U.S. Track Team that toured Europe
1933: Won Sullivan Award for being the nation's top amateur athlete
1933: Won the 2 mile race at the University of Toronto (Ont.) (9:39) and the 800 yard race at Hamilton, Ont. (1:58)
1933, 1935, 1937–1939: Won annual New York Athletic Club Mile (4:14.6 in 1933), won 800 meter race (1:56)
1933—1935, 1937–1939: Won annual Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games, Madison Square Garden, New York City (4:13 in 1933)
1933–1938: Won annual Knights of Columbus Mile (4:12 in 1933)
1933–1939: Won 10 AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) national titles (800 meters in 1:51.8, 1500 meters in 3:52.3 in 1933; 1500 meters indoors in 3:55.4 in 1934; 1500 meters indoors in 3:50.5, 3:52.1 outdoors in 1935; 1500 meters in 3:54.2 in 1936; 1500 meters in 3:54.2 in 1937; 1500 meters in 3:52.5 in 1938; 1500 meters in 3:54.6 in 1939)
1934: Graduated from KU with a bachelor or arts degree; named Honor Man at graduation
1934: Set world records for the mile (4:08.4 and 4:06.7), set world record for 1500 meters (3:52.2) at AAU Meet, New York City
1934: Captain of the U.S. track team that toured the Orient
1934, 1937–1939: Won Boston Hunter Mile
1935: Set world record for 1500 meters (3:50.5) at AAU Meet in New York City
1935: Set world record for 1000 meters (2:10.1) at Knights of Columbus Meet in New York City
1935–1938: Best mile record in the U.S.
1936: Graduated from the University of Iowa (Iowa City) with a master of arts degree
1936: Set world record for 800 meters (1:49.7), beat world record for 1500 meters at the AAU, New York City, but came in 2nd (3:49.9)
1936 [July?]: Married Margaret E. Speir (1912-1999)
1936 August: Runner on U.S. Olympic team in Berlin; won silver medal in 1500 meter race (3:48.4); voted most popular member of the team
1936–1939: Won annual Massachusetts Knights of Columbus Mile
1937: Daughter, Sara (Worley Sible) born (d. 1994)
1937: Ran the mile in 4:08.7
1938: Worked part-time for a stock brokerage firm on Wall Street while running for the New York Curb Exchange and studying for his doctorate
1938: Graduated with a doctor of philosophy degree from New York University
1938: Set 1500 meter world record at AAU, New York City (3:48.4), 600 meter world record (1:11.1) and indoor mile world records of 4:07.4 at New York City Knights of Columbus and 4:04.4 at Dartmouth
1938: Won Chicago Daily News Bankers Mile
1938: Purchased Cedar Creek Ranch in Chase County, Kans.
1939: Won Pennsylvania Athletic Club Mile; beat world record in 1000 meters at Knights of Columbus, New York City, but came in 2nd (2:08.8)
1939: Daughter, Sandra, born
ca. 1940: Appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to a commission on youth physical education
1939–1940: Worked for KU Extension Dept. primarily giving talks to groups
1940: Ran his fastest time in 1500 meter race (3:48.4), tied mile world record (4:07.4) at Millrose and New York Athletic Club meets but placed 2nd and 4th respectively.
1941–1944: Established health clinic; taught biology; and was director of health, physical education, & athletics at Cornell College (Mount Vernon, Ia.)
1944–1946: Joined the U.S. Navy and attended boot camp at the U.S. Naval Training Station (Great Lakes, Ill.) and officer training at the Naval Training Schools, Princeton University (N.J.) Served as a Navy physical training officer at the Naval Station San Diego (Calif.) and Great Lakes
1946 August: Margaret & Glenn divorced
1946–1949: Glenn lived on the outskirts of Emporia, Kans., and raised horses
1947 June 29: Married Ruth Maxine Sheffield (1923-2008) in Storm Lake, Ia.
1948: Son, Glenn Drury, also known as "Glenn Jr.," born
1949: Son, Lynn Sheffield, born
1950 spring: Moved to the Cedar Creek Ranch and began farming & ranching; gave inspirational talks to groups throughout the country; soon afterward began taking troubled children for rehabilitation which grew to a well-known “youth ranch”
1950: Son, Gene Alan, born
1953: Daughter, Sue Ann (Wethli), born
1955: Daughter, Cindy Ruth (Garcia Andrade), born
1956: Daughter, Cathy Lee (Lee), born
1958: Daughter, Sharon Kay (Jones), born
1959: Daughter, Nancy Jo (Howard), born
1960: Moved home and youth ranch from Chase to Butler County east of Augusta near Pickrell Corner
1960: Opened exotic animal display to the public
1961: Son, John Clint, born
1961: Charter inductee into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame
1963: Daughter, Cheryl Louise (Watkins), born
1963: Biographical film, "The Boy Who Could Not Walk," part of "The Undefeated" series, filmed with family members as cast members; released 1965-66 (copy in this collection, Series 12)
1963–1964: Kansas March of Dimes chairman
1964: Sports chairman for the national Easter Seal campaign
ca. 1963–1968: Participant in University of Kansas Medical Center Cardiacs Anonymous project
1964: Glenn Cunningham Christian Youth Ranch incorporated in Kansas
1968: Considered as a possible nominee for special consultant to President Lyndon B. Johnson on physical fitness
1968: Envisioned a larger Ranch on 6800 acres near Fredonia, Kans.; Youth Ranch investigated by Kansas attorney general over facilities and funding
1969: Youth Ranch denied a license by Kansas Secretary of State Elwill Shanahan to solicit funds outside Butler County
1970: Awarded honorary doctorate by Culver-Stockton College (Canton, Mo.)
ca. 1971: Fined $100 for housing children without a license
1973 October: Moved family and Youth Ranch to Hidden Valley Ranch near Plainview, Ark.
1974: Inducted into the initial class of the National Track and Field Hall of Fame
1976: Forced to close the Ranch in Arkansas for financial reasons; moved to Conway, Ark.
1978: Named outstanding track athlete in the history of Madison Square Garden
1979: Revealed that he ran a 3:58.9 minute mile in practice as a high school athlete in 1930
1980: Suffered major injuries from being hit by a postal truck which ended his running ability
1983: Inducted into the Kansas State High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame
1985: Glenhaven Ministries established by Jody & Cindy Brown on former Youth Ranch property near Plainview to continue Glenn Cunningham’s work with troubled children; facility moved to Conway in 2015.
1988 Mar. 10: Died on his ranch near Menifee, Ark.; buried in Crestlake Memorial Park in Conway

In his many public speaking engagements, many of them sponsored by health, temperance, religious, and educational organizations, he usually emphasized abstention from tobacco, alcohol, drugs, and other injurious substances. He was also active in the American Heart and American Lung Associations.

American Miler: The Life and Times of Glenn Cunningham, by Paul J. Kiell (Halcottsville, N.Y.: Breakaway Books, 2006), on which he and Ruth Cunningham collaborated, is the most complete biographical work on Glenn Cunningham; it is available in the Kansas Historical Society (KHS) library (call no. K B C917k). An autobiography written for young adults with George X. Sand is Never Quit (Lincoln, Va.: Chosen Books, 1981), also in the KHS library (call no. K B C917).

Scope and Content

Contents:

Series 1: HOME TOWNS, EARLY LIFE (GENERAL), 1917-1988. 2 folders (Box 1a)
Series 2: SCHOOLING AND ALUMNI ACTIVITIES, 1906-2004. 0.2 ft. (6 folders) (Box 1a)
Series 3: TRACK AND FIELD, 1930-2003. 0.5 ft. (13 folders & envelopes) (Box 1a, Oversize Box 1)
Series 4: EMPLOYMENT, 1938-1941. 2 folders (Box 1a)
Series 5: MILITARY SERVICE (U.S. NAVY), [1944 Oct. 17?]. 1 folder : 1 item (2 leaves) (Box 1a)
Series 6: LETTERS RECEIVED (GENERAL), 1934-1987. 2 folders (Box 1a)
Series 7: TELEGRAMS RECEIVED (GENERAL), 1937-1954. 1 folder (7 items) (Box 1a)
Series 8: CASH BOOK, 1939-1953. 1 folder : 1 v. (200 p.) (Box 1a)
Series 9: PRESS COVERAGE (GENERAL), 1933-2001. 0.4 ft. (12 folders and envelopes) (Boxes 1a-1b, Oversize Box 1)
Series 10: HONORS AND AWARDS (GENERAL), [1930]-2003. 0.1 ft. (2 folders + 1 envelope) (Box 1b)
Series 11. BINDERS AND NOTEBOOKS, [1916]-2004. 3 ft. (24 items) (Boxes 2-4)
Series 12: AUDIO-VISUAL ITEMS, 1935-1964. 7 in. + 5 motion pictures (5 film reels), 1 sound cassette (30 minutes) : analog (Boxes 5-6)
Series 13: PERSONAL, FRIENDS, AND FAMILY, 1993-2003. 0.2 ft. (3 folders) (Box 6)
Series 14: YOUTH RANCH, 1960-1988. 0.1 ft. (3 folders) (Box 6)
Series 15: SPEECHES, MOTIVATIONAL WORK, AND PUBLIC APPEARANCES, 1888-1988 (bulk 1960-1987). 0.1 ft. (3 folders) (Box 6)
Series 16: DEATH AND LEGACY, [not before 1932]-1988 (bulk 1988). 2 folders (Box 6)

Locators:

Locator Contents
000-00-00-00   

Index Terms

Subjects

    Olympic Games (10th : 1932 : Los Angeles, Calif.)
    Olympic Games (11th : 1936 : Berlin, Germany)
    Glenn Cunningham Christian Youth Ranch
    Berlin (Germany)
    Butler County (Kan.)
    Chase County (Kan.)
    Conway (Ark.)
    Elkhart (Kan.)
    Kansas
    Los Angeles (Calif.)
    New York (N.Y.)
    Perry County (Ark.)
    United States
    Cunningham, Glenn, 1909-1988
    Lecturers -- United States
    Philanthropists -- Arkansas -- Perry County
    Philanthropists -- Kansas -- Butler County
    Philanthropists -- Kansas -- Chase County
    Runners (Sports) -- Kansas -- Elkhart
    Runners (Sports) -- New York (State) -- New York
    Runners (Sports) -- United States
    Track and field athletes -- Kansas -- Elkhart
    Track and field athletes -- New York (State) -- New York
    Track and field athletes -- United States
    Olympics
    Problem children -- Behavior modification -- Arkansas -- Perry County
    Problem children -- Behavior modification -- Kansas -- Butler County
    Problem children -- Behavior modification -- Kansas -- Chase County
    Track and field

Creators and Contributors