William and Sandra McGee Papers

Identifier: 2015-12

Scope and Contents

The William and Sandra McGee Papers contains material used as research for the book The Divorce Seekers: A Photo Memoir of a Nevada Dude Wrangler, including interviews the couple conducted.


  • 1953-2003


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.

Biographical Note

William L. “Bill” McGee’s (1925– ) writing career has spanned six decades. He has written 22 books, including five World War II military histories.

Bill was born in 1925 in Livingston, Montana, and raised in the small cattle town of Malta, on the Montana Hi-Line. At 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in the Pacific theater 1942–1946. After the war, he returned to cowboyin’ 1947–1950. He worked as a horse wrangler in Yellowstone National Park, a trail and deer hunting guide at Lake Tahoe, and was the head dude wrangler on the Flying M.E., an exclusive Nevada dude and divorce ranch 21 miles south of Reno that catered to wealthy Eastern socialites and Hollywood celebrities, most seeking a six-week divorce.

In 1950, Bill turned in his Levis and boots for Brooks Brothers suits, and made a successful transition into the business world. In eight years, he rose to a top-level position as an executive in the worldwide import/export business. In 1958, he made the move into the broadcasting industry and enjoyed a successful 32-career.

In 1971, inspired by Henry J. Kaiser’s sayings “Find a need and fill it” and “Problems are only opportunities in work clothes,” Bill launched Broadcast Marketing Company (BMC), a nationwide retail sales training and development program designed specifically for the broadcast industry. He authored ten “how-to” broadcast sales guidebooks, plus the best-selling encyclopedic, “Changes, Challenges and Opportunities in the New Electronic Media”. He produced two sales presentation films for radio and television. Fourteen years later, BMC had 1,000+ radio and television station clients nationwide. In 1984, Bill sold BMC’s profitable subscription service, CO-OPPORTUNITIES, to a client group broadcaster and he retired comfortably at age 59.

However, retirement was not in the cards. Inspired by his insatiable interest in history, Bill researched and wrote ten more books, including the acclaimed Pacific war trilogy, Amphibious Operations in the South Pacific in World War II. The third volume, Pacific Express, was selected by the Marine Corps Commandant as required reading on logistics for all officer and enlisted Marines.

Sandra V. McGee is a former publicist for the performing arts. She has co-authored nine books with her husband, including The Divorce Seekers: A Photo Memoir of a Nevada Dude Wrangler, which garnered critical praise from the Nevada Historical Society as “the best book yet about Nevada’s famous dude-divorce ranch business.” When not trying to edit her husband’s copy, Sandra’s passions are black-and-white movies from the 1930s and ’40s, and ballet.

Bill and Sandra are members of the Naval Order of the United States (NOUS), Military Writers Society of America (MWSA), National Association of Atomic Veterans (NAAV), San Francisco Bay Area Broadcast Legends, Western Writers of America (WWA), and Bay Area Independent Publishers Association (BAIPA).

[Biographical notes taken from the McGee's webpage, https://williammcgeebooks.com/, accessed December 5, 2018]


0.79 Linear Feet (2 boxes, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials



William L. "Bill" and Sandra McGee are authors who have published extensively on a variety of subjects, including the Nevada divorce industry. The collection contains research and other materials related to the writing of The Divorce Seekers: A Photo Memoir of a Nevada Dude Wrangler, published in 2004.


Arranged without hierarchy.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by William and Sandra McGee in March 2015.



Guide to the William and Sandra McGee Papers
Jessica Maddox
December 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department Repository

Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5724 (Fax)