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Warren Phillips Papers

Identifier: SCA-0066

Scope and Content note

The contents of this collection cover the entire extent of Warren Phillips’ life from 1926 onward. Materials relating to Dow Jones & Company and The Wall Street Journal are mostly confined to the period during which Mr. Phillips was employed there, from 1947-1991. A few materials fall outside of these boundaries, such as family photographs and letters, and collected articles on changes at the Journal following his retirement.


  • 1914-2013, bulk 1950-1991



English, with some Chinese, Japanese, German, French, Russian, Spanish and Serbian


Collection is open for research. Staff may restrict access at its discretion on the basis of physical condition.


The Warren Phillips Collection is physically owned by the Queens College Libraries. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assignees. The collection is subject to all copyright laws. Queens College assumes no responsibility for the infringement of copyrights held by the original authors, creators, or producers of materials.

Biographical & Historical note

Warren Phillips was born on June 28, 1926 and raised in Forest Hills, New York. Early on, he demonstrated an affinity for reporting – at the age of twelve, he collected news items and created a home newspaper, “The Snoopy Scoop.” He attended Queens College from 1942-1947, which was briefly interrupted by his enlistment in the armed forces after American entry into World War II. The war ended before he could be deployed, and upon his return, he began to devote himself to a career as a “newspaperman”, as journalists were then called.

Although he had difficulty gaining admittance to graduate journalism programs, he was able to secure a position as a proofreader at The Wall Street Journal. In 1949, he briefly left the Journal to work for the United States Army newspaper Stars and Stripes, stationed in Germany. He continued to submit freelance pieces to the Journal during this time, and soon returned as its official German correspondent. He covered events there as well as in Greece and Turkey. In 1950, he was transferred to London, where he became London Bureau Chief and met Barbara Thomas, whom he married in 1951.

Also in 1951, he was promoted to Foreign Editor, working out of New York. In 1954, the year his first child, Lisa, was born, he was appointed the second Managing Editor of the Journal’s Midwest Edition in Chicago. His second child, Leslie, was born two years later, followed by a third daughter, Nina, in 1962. In 1957 he was promoted to Managing Editor at the paper’s New York headquarters. Events at the time such as the onset of the space race and the Civil Rights era urged Phillips and the Journal to take on news coverage of sociopolitical events in addition to its largely financial perspective, a decision that proved instrumental to the paper’s expansion.

He became Executive Editor in 1965 and subsequently led Dow Jones’ expansion into global markets, including Asian and European editions of The Wall Street Journal, a partnership with the Associated Press to create an international news service, and agreements with various publishing companies in Japan, China, Singapore, and Malaysia. Phillips went on to become Vice President and Editorial Director in 1970, and finally President and CEO of Dow Jones two years later. In the early 70s, he also became involved in outside organizations such as the American Council on Education for Journalism (president 1971-73), the American Society of Newspaper Editors (president 1975-76) and the Pulitzer Prize Board (1977-1987).

In 1972, he was part of a press delegation to the People’s Republic of China, the first since diplomatic relations were established following President Richard Nixon’s visit in February of that year. He met with Premier Zhou Enlai and regular Chinese citizens, producing some of the first articles on culture and policy to come from Western sources inside the PRC. Other international visits in the 1980s included trips to the Soviet Union and the Middle East. At home, he continued to promote the company’s growth and led efforts to promote equal opportunity for women, minorities and other marginalized groups at the Journal. Dow Jones became an early adopter of digital technologies, ranging from electronic news delivery to online editions.

Warren Phillips retired from his duties at Dow Jones in 1991, to be succeeded by longtime colleague Peter Kann. He and his wife Barbara went on to found a publishing house, Bridge Works Publishing. In 2011, at the age of 85, he completed and published his autobiography, Newspaperman: Inside the News Business at The Wall Street Journal.


12 Linear Feet (20 boxes)


Warren Phillips worked for The Wall Street Journal for the majority of his professional life, rising from a reporter and editor to the role of Publisher, and finally Chief Executive Officer of its parent organization, Dow Jones & Company. (1975-1991). Over the term of his career, he played a significant role in the Journal's development from a small financial publication into one of the country’s premier daily papers, and also served as President of the American Society of Newspaper Editors (1975-76) and as a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board (1977-1987). He advocated for freedom of the press and was among the first western journalists to be allowed access to the People’s Republic of China during the establishment of diplomatic relations with the United States in 1972.

Arrangement note

Materials are separated broadly into items that document Warren Phillips’ personal life and career. Published writings have their own series, with two smaller series for photographs and special materials. For the most part, Items are arranged in boxes according to their sequence in the container list, with the exception of oversize and fragile materials.

Series I: Personal

Subseries A. Correspondence

Subseries B. General Personal

Subseries C. Calendars and Notebooks

Series II: Career

Subseries A. Correspondence

Subseries B. Career Development

Subseries C. Dow Jones, The Wall Street Journal

Subseries D. China

Series III: Articles and Other Writings

Subseries A. Writings by Warren Phillips and Family

Subseries B. Newspaperman (Autobiography)

Subseries C. Writings on Warren Phillips and Family

Subseries D. Writings on Dow Jones, The Wall Street Journal and Assorted Topics

Series IV: Photographs

Series V: Ephemera

Subseries A. Typewriter

Subseries B. Audiovisual Materials


Donated by Warren Phillips in 2014.

Warren Phillips Papers
Processed by Mark Sacha, Alexandra Dolan-Mescal, Dan Brenner, 2014, Finding Aid prepared by Mark Sacha, Fall 2014, and edited by Thomas Cleary, Fall 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Queens College (New York, N.Y.) Special Collections and Archives Repository

Queens College Library, CUNY
Benjamin Rosenthal Library RO317
65-30 Kissena Boulevard
Flushing 11367 USA us