Warren Lerude Papers
Scope and Contents
The Warren Lerude Papers contain materials and information collected by Lerude over the course of his career as a journalist, professor, author, and media consultant. These papers offer insight into Lerude’s professional career, including his career as the author of two books (American Commander in Spain, 1986, and Robert Laxalt: The Story of a Storyteller, 2013), text of Robert Cameron’s book Above Tahoe and Reno, as well as other professional and journalistic achievements.
Materials in this collection are divided into three series and further divided into subseries: Series 1) Professional Career; Series 2) Robert Laxalt: The Story of a Storyteller; and Series 3) American Commander in Spain. Series 1 consists of materials accumulated by Lerude during his time as a journalist, professor, and media consultant. This includes his work as a Pulitzer Prize recipient and juror, articles written by Lerude, work with the University of Nevada, Reno’s Reynolds School of Journalism, presentations and speeches made during his career, as well as a copy of Robert Cameron’s book Above Tahoe and Reno (1995) for which he wrote the text. Series 1 is divided into two subseries: Subseries 1) Journalism and the Reynolds School of Journalism; and Subseries 2) Media Consulting.
Series 2: Robert Laxalt: The Story of a Storyteller, consists of materials collected by Lerude while in the process of writing and publishing his book Robert Laxalt: The Story of a Storyteller, which was released by the University of Nevada, Reno’s Center for Basque Studies in 2013. The bulk of Series 2 contains correspondence with individuals who knew Robert Laxalt and copies of materials held by the Special Collections Department in the Robert Laxalt Papers (manuscript collection 85-09). Series 2 is divided into two subseries: Subseries 1) Research; and Subseries 2) Publication.
Series 3: American Commander in Spain, contains materials gathered by Lerude during the research and publication of his book American Commander in Spain, published by the University of Nevada Press in 1986. Much of this series is comprised of cassette tapes of interviews conducted by Lerude and Marion Wachtel during the course of research. In addition, drafts of American Commander in Spain, which were originally donated to University Archives in 1991 and given collection number AC 0201, were transferred from the University Archives collection and integrated into this collection. Series 3 is divided into two subseries: Subseries 1) Research; and Subseries 2) Publication.
- Lerude, Warren, 1937- (Creator, Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.
Warren Leslie Lerude was born October 29, 1937 in Reno, Nevada. In 1955, Lerude began his pursuit of journalism as a 17-year-old freshman in the University of Nevada’s Department of Journalism. Upon graduation in 1961, Lerude began work as a reporter, editor, and correspondent for the Associate Press (AP). In 1963, Lerude began his long career with Speidel Newspapers, Inc./Gannett Company, where he served as reporter, editor, publisher, and eventually president of Reno Newspapers Inc. and publisher of the Reno Evening Gazette and the Nevada State Journal. His second career as a university professor began in 1981 when he began teaching at his alma mater in the Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism, a position he held until he retired in 2009 at which time he was named emeritus professor.
During his time with Gannett, Lerude, along with Norman F. Cardoza of the Reno Evening Gazette and Foster Church of the Nevada State Journal, wrote a series of editorials covering the career of Joe Conforte, notorious owner of the Mustang Ranch Brothel. This editorial series earned Lerude, Cardoza, and Church the distinct honor of the 1977 Pulitzer Prize in Editorial Writing. Lerude also had a long standing relationship with the Pulitzer Prize, serving as a juror on seven occasions: 1973, 1974, 1976, 1980, 1981, 1993, and 1994.
Outside of teaching and journalism, Lerude has also served as a consultant and is a published author. Lerude has worked with newspapers and organizations such as the USA Today, The Oakland Tribune, and NBC News, and has served as a board member of Innovation International Media Group. Lerude is also the author of three books. The first, American Commander in Spain, was coauthored by Marion Stone Merriman Wachtel and details the life of Robert Hale Merriman, an American who fought in the Spanish Civil War as commander of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. The second book, Robert Laxalt: The Story of a Storyteller, was written in honor of Lerude’s close friend, Robert Laxalt, renowned Nevada author. Finally, Lerude authored the text portion of Robert W. Cameron’s celebrated book, Above Tahoe and Reno, a book of aerial landscape photography.
Lerude has been exceptionally active with the University of Nevada, Reno and its Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism over the years. Lerude and Reno newspaper colleague Rollan Melton approached former University President Joe Crowley with a proposal to reestablish the existing College of Arts and Sciences journalism department with a full and independent school of journalism with its own dean. Crowley agreed, and he and Lerude proposed the concept to Donald W. Reynolds, owner of the DonRey media organization and its senior executive Fred Smith, which led to major Reynolds Foundation funding over several years for the development of the school that was supported by alumni and friends of the school. In addition to his work in establishing the Reynolds School of Journalism, Lerude also regularly taught courses and served as the coordinator of the professional internship program; acted as the founding chairman of the Professional Advisory Board for the Reynolds School of Journalism; is a major donor to the Reynolds School of Journalism; served as the Chairman of the Executive Committee for the University of Nevada, Reno Foundation; and is an emeritus member of the Dean’s Council of the Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism.
Lerude has also received many awards and achievements both within the University of Nevada, Reno, in journalism, and in the community. He is a member of Kappa Tau Alpha journalism honor society, past president of the Nevada Professional Chapter for Sigma Delta Chi (a professional journalist’s society), and recipient of the Legion of Honor from the Delta Xi Chapter of the Sigma Nu Fraternity at UNR. He has been a director of the Reno Chamber of Commerce and former director of the United Way of Northern Nevada. Lerude was an Inaugural Editorial Board Member of USA Today, past president of the Nevada State Press Association and was named to the Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame in 1998. He is a recipient of the Nevada Sagebrush Alumni Chapter’s Frank McCulloch Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015.
Lerude is married to Janet (Lagomarsino) and they have three children: Eric, Christopher, and Leslie.
Warren Leslie Lerude was born in Reno, Nevada. He graduated from the University of Nevada School of Journalism in 1961 and began a career in journalism and teaching that spanned over 50 years.
11.25 Linear Feet (13 boxes)
Language of Materials
Warren Leslie Lerude was born in Reno, Nevada. He graduated from the University of Nevada School of Journalism in 1961 and began a career in journalism and teaching that spanned over 50 years. Collection includes research materials, correspondence, files, interviews, reviews, and photos relating to Lerude's books American Commander in Spain and Robert Laxalt: The Story of a Storyteller as well as materials about the University of Nevada, Reno Reynolds School of Journalism, Lerude's teaching career in journalism, and his work as a media and management consultant.
Arranged in the following series: 1) Professional Career; 2) Robert Laxalt: The Story of a Storyteller; and 3) American Commander in Spain
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated by Warren L. Lerude, 2013-2015.
Photographs, excluding those that were made as duplications for research, have been separated and placed in the Special Collections photo archive as collection number UNRS-P2016-14.
- Lerude, Warren, 1937- (Creator, Person)
- Guide to the Warren Lerude Papers
- Jessica Maddox and Jacquelyn Sundstrand
- October 2016
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department Repository
Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA