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John H. Rich, Jr. papers

Identifier: COU:4245

Scope and Contents

This collection is the accumulation of business and personal material from NBC war correspondent John H. Rich, Jr. It contains an abundance of radio broadcast scripts, reporter journals spanning 30 years, reporting correspondence from individuals such as Robert Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev, official United Nations documents, sound recordings, and original moving image films. The content of the material is broad, covering events from around the world during the 20th century such as the Korean War, French Indochina War, Vietnam War, the Argentine Revolution, the topic of Korean Democracy, the International War Crimes Tribunal, the Canadian DEW line, the Gulf War, communist China, and more. The content of the collection is by no means limited to only US foreign relations and perspective. The collection also includes memorabilia from the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan, of which John H. Rich Jr. was a President and longtime member, Fourth Marine Division commemorations and reunions, and finally memorabilia and material from the University of Colorado/U.S. Navy Japanese Language School in Boulder.

Please note: This collection contains some graphic and sensitive material as a result of its time of creation and intensity of material topics. It includes the use of racial slurs in regard to Canadian First Nations including Inuit people, sensitive commentary on Japanese who speak English, as well as photographs of human brutality during the Gulf War. The presence of this material is noted in the scope and content notes in the respective folders and at the series level. In addition, most of the sensitive material was collected by John H. Rich Jr. during the course of his career, but was not created by him. Finally, the majority of sensitive material are the photographs of graphic content which is concentrated in the Gulf War subseries.


  • 1941-1999

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to research.

Research access to original moving image films in this collection is restricted, due to preservation concerns. Contact with a list of desired items and a statement of intended use, which will be evaluated by the Moving Image Archivist based on preservation condition of the desired items and staff availability; please note that access may not be guaranteed for all items.

All analog sound recordings, video formats, and badly deteriorated film held by the Archives must be digitized for research access, due to preservation concerns. If these materials have not previously been digitized, the researcher is responsible for the cost of digitization. Researchers may request access to previously-digitized audiovisual materials that are not online on the CU Digital Library by contacting

Copyright Statement

The University Libraries may not own the copyright to all materials in this collection. Researchers are responsible for contacting the copyright holder(s) for this material and obtaining permission to publish or broadcast. The University Libraries will not grant permission to publish or broadcast this material and are not responsible for copyright violations resulting from such use.

Biographical / Historical

Journalist John Hubbard Rich Jr. was a war correspondent for NBC News. Born in Maine in 1917, Rich graduated from Bowdoin College in 1939 as an active student before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps. He attended the Japanese Navy Language School at the University of Colorado Boulder, and served as Second Lieutenant with the Fourth Marine Division in amphibious battle landings at Kwajalein, Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima during World War II– earning a Bronze Star for his service. After World War II, Rich worked in Japan as a correspondent for the International News Service during the Chinese Civil War and the International War Crimes Tribunal in Tokyo. Weeks after a narrow escape from covering the Chinese Civil War, Rich went on to cover the Korean War for NBC. His unique color photographs of the Korean War, an unprecedented form of historical war documentation, are now exhibited in the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History in Seoul. Rich went on to cover the French war in Indochina, the Argentine revolution, uprisings in the Belgian Congo, and the rise of the Berlin Wall before returning to Tokyo in the 1960s to serve as NBC's Senior Correspondent in Asia through the Vietnam War. After the Vietnam War, he returned to China in 1971 as one of the first reporters to be allowed into communist China to report on the "Ping-Pong Delegation." A year later, he accompanied Nixon's administration on an official trip to China. For his reporting, Rich received a Peabody Award, an Overseas Press Club Award, and an honorary degree from Bowdoin College.

Rich married Doris Lee, a secretary with the State Department, whom he met in Seoul, North Korea. Their four children were born in France and Berlin in the 1950s and raised in Tokyo. Rich died at age 96 in 2014, five weeks after the death of his wife.


28.18 linear feet

Language of Materials









This collection is the accumulation of business and personal material from NBC war correspondent John H. Rich, Jr. Rich was also a graduate of the University of Colorado/U.S. Navy Japanese Language School.


The collection has been divided into nine main series to aid in navigating the collection. The seven series include: War and Conflict Reporting, Political Reporting by Nation or Event, NBC Business Records, Correspondence, Reporter Journals, News Specials and Drafts, Associations, Rich Personal Papers and Items, and AV Material.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was donated from the estate of John H. Rich, Jr. by John H. Rich III in 2016.

Permanent URL

Processing Information

This collection was processed by student assistant, Casey Ringer, under the supervision of Ashlyn Velte, Senior Processing Archivist. The collection is arranged by topics covered during John H. Rich's career which also corresponded to periods during his career covering world events. The collection is arranged intellectually, but remains physically in the original order which it was recieved. Oversized material was seperated in order to properly house.

This finding aid was authored by Casey Ringer, student assistant, under the supervision of Ashlyn Velte.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, Rare and Distinctive Collections Repository

1720 Pleasant Street
184 UCB
Boulder Colorado 80503 United States