The papers of Lee Shippey, writer and journalist for the Los Angeles Times (1923-1958), include correspondence, poetry, published and unpublished manuscripts, lyrics, scrapbooks, and newspaper clippings. The scrapbooks document his Los Angeles Times daily column "Leeside o' L.A.," and his weekly column "The Seymour Family," as well as articles and columns for San Diego area newspapers and from his two years in Mexico.


Lee Shippey was born on February 26, 1884, in Memphis, Tennessee. The start of his career in 1906 coincided with his accidental blinding; he dictated his first humor columns for the Kansas City Star from his bed. Shippey never regained full sight and, unable to enlist, became war correspondent for the newspaper during World War I. His story on the end of the war in Verdun, France, attracted the attention of Los Angeles Times publisher Harry Chandler.

After the war, Shippey edited an English language newspaper for two years in Tampico, Mexico. In the early 1920s, he moved his family to California and contacted Chandler, beginning a long association with the Times. His popular column "Leeside o' L.A.: Personal Glimpses of Famous Southlanders," ran daily from 1927 to 1958. Shippey also wrote the columns "Martian Observer," "Joshua Little," "How It Looks to Mars," and "Needles-Eye View." His weekly column, "The Seymour Family," was a humorous look at American families.

Though Shippey became known as the "dean of Southern California columnists," he had always aspired to be a poet. He published both poetry and prose, and was active in several professional writers organizations on both sides of the Atlantic. His published works include Personal Glimpses of Famous Folks (1929) from "Leeside o' L.A.;" Folks You Should Know (1930); Where Nothing Ever Happens (1935); The Girl Who Wanted Experience (1937); a textbook entitled California Progress (1937) co-authored with Herbert Floercky; The Great American Family (1938); If We Only Had Money (1939); It's an Old California Custom (1948); Los Angeles Book (1950); his autobiography, Luckiest Man Alive (1959); and "The Chivalry of Adolescence" (1964), a chapter from The Great American Family, reprinted in Chucklebait: Funny Stories for Everyone. Two of Shippey's books were adapted into plays by others: The Great American Family ("The Great American Family: A Comedy") and It's an Old California Custom.

Shippey retired to Del Mar, California, and contributed several columns to the San Diego Union and Del Mar Surfcomber: "Surfside o' Del Mar," "Southwest Corner," "Lee Shippey Says," and "Lee Shippey Asks" through the late 1960s. He died in Encinitas, California, on December 30, 1969.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Lee Shippey Papers contain biographical materials, memorabilia, correspondence, published and unpublished manuscripts, and scrapbooks containing clippings of Shippey's columns and articles. The papers date from 1915-1970, occupy 3.2 linear feet and are arranged in five series: 1) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS, 2) CORRESPONDENCE, 3) WRITINGS, 4) SCRAPBOOKS, and 5) NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS.


The BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS series contains memorabilia, articles about Shippey and obituary notices. Additional articles about Shippey can be found in SERIES 5: NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS.


The CORRESPONDENCE series is arranged alphabetically by author. Notable correspondents include Linus Pauling, Adlai Stevenson, and writers James Hilton, Rupert Hughes, Walt Mason, Irving Stone, and Paul I. Wellman. Letters from Harry Chandler, Los Angeles Times publisher, are included in the correspondence of the Times-Mirror Co. Correspondence from Harriet Hinsdale and Irving Stone concerns a proposed Jack London state park in California.


The WRITINGS series is arranged in three subseries: A) Lyrics, B) Poetry and C) Prose.

A) The Lyrics subseries contains two works: "Candle Light" and "Doughboy."

B) The Poetry subseries contains single poems arranged alphabetically by title or first line.

C) The Prose subseries contains drafts of stories and books by Shippey, arranged alphabetically by title. Also included are reviews, galley proofs and page proofs of some works.


The SCRAPBOOKS are arranged chronologically and primarily contain clippings of Shippey's published columns, articles and poetry. One scrapbook documents Shippey's travels in Mexico in the mid-1920s. Articles about Shippey, some correspondence and typescripts of columns are scattered throughout the scrapbooks.


The NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS series documents Shippey's columns and contains "Lee Side o' L.A." galley proofs and "Needle's Eye Views of the World" clippings, as well as undated loose clippings of Shippey's articles and columns arranged by column. The series also contains one folder of blurbs and articles written about Lee Shippey.


Return to Menu
Box Folder Oversize
1 1 Articles and obituaries, 1966 - 1970.
1 2 Memorabilia - Letter and menu/book jacket ( Where Nothing Ever Happens) for a dinner honoring Shippey, 1935.


Return to Menu
Box Folder Oversize
1 3-4 A - B - Miscellaneous.
1 5 Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1925 - 1926.
1 6 C - Miscellaneous.
1 7 Century Co., 1925.
1 8 E - Miscellaneous.
1 9-10 G - H - Miscellaneous.
1 11 Hilton, James, 1950 - 1954.
1 12 Hughes, Rupert, 1935 - 1950.
1 13-17 I - M - Miscellaneous.
1 18 Mason, Walt, ca. 1923 - 1925.
1 19-20 O - P - Miscellaneous.
1 21 Poetry Review, 1924 - 1925.
1 22 Poetry Society, 1923 - 1924.
1 23-25 Q - S - Miscellaneous.
1 26 Stone, Irving, 1956 - 1961.
1 27 T - Miscellaneous.
1 28 Times-Mirror Company, 1922 - 1935.
Includes correspondence from publisher Harry Chandler, Los Angeles Times.
1 29 U - Miscellaneous.
1 30 W - Miscellaneous.
Includes correspondence of Paul I. Wellman.
1 31 Williams, Dan, 1923 - 1925.


Box Folder Oversize
1 32 Candle Light - From Shippey's poem, "Mother," with music by Charles Wakefield Cadman.
See also the Poetry subseries
1 33 Doughboy, music by Norman Soreng Wright, 1944.
Box Folder Oversize
1 34 Miscellaneous - Includes Shippey's poems "Evensong," written on the back of a photograph, and "Mother".
1 35 "Heroes" and "To Other Sinners".
Box Folder Oversize
1 36 America's Most Arrested Man, in Everybody's Magazine, July 1925.
1 37 Chapapote: A Story of Love, Hate, Intrigue and a Little-Known Plot to Change the Map of North America.
2 1-2 Family Grows Up.
2 3 Family Grows Up: A Sequel to The Great American Family.
2 4 Girl Who Wanted Experience - Newspaper announcements and reviews, 1937.
2 5 Great American Family - Book review, 1950.
Great American Family: A Comedy (adaptation).
2 6 A play adapted by Robert Frayne Chapin and Charley King from Shippey's book, The Great American Family.
2 7 Program for the play adapted by Aurania Rouverol from Shippey's book, The Great American Family. The play was held in Hollywood, CA, April 2-3, 1959.
2 8 Great Idea, Slightly Used.
2 9 Guests From Back Home.
2 10-12 Happy Though Retired.
2 13-15 If We Only Had Money.
3 1 It's an Old California Custom - Publishing agreement with Vanguard Press Inc. and book review, 1947.
3 2 It's Great To Be An Actor.
3 3-4 Jeanue.
3 5 Ladies Make News.
3 6-10 Luckiest Man Alive, 1959.
3 11 Miscellaneous prose (untitled) - Typescripts arranged alphabetically by first line.
3 12 Needles-Eye View of the City - Galley proofs, June 1950.
4 1 Scholarship, 1948.
4 2 Seymour Sample Case: the Humorous Record of What Happened to One American Family, Much Like Yours....
4 3 Testing Ground: A Story of the Most American City in the World Outside the United States - Proposal for a novel about Tampico, Mexico in 1922. Includes correspondence from H. H. Howland (The Bobbs Merrill Co.), dated April 1, 1925.
4 4 Think Game: I Challenge YOU.
4 5 Think Game: How to Learn to Think for Yourself: I Challenge YOU.
4 6 Understanding Friends.


Return to Menu
Box Folder Oversize
4 7 FB-207-02 Ca. 1915-1930 - Contains clippings of Shippey's columns, "The Cheeruptimist," "Rhymes and Reasons," "Lee Side o' L.A.," and articles by Shippey and others.
4 8 Ca. 1923-1924 - Includes articles, poetry, and the newspaper columns, "People You Know" and "How It Looks to Mars." Includes correspondence from Walt Mason, dated December 14, 1923, enclosing a memento check.
4 9 Ca. 1925-1933 - Odds and Ends and Poetry. Newspaper clippings of poetry, Shippey's columns "Lee Side o' L.A." and "Joshua Little," and quotations by Tennyson Mabie.
4 10 1926 - Mexico. Shippey's articles with picture postcards.
4 11 1927 - Newspaper clippings including Shippey's poetry, articles, "Lee Side o' L.A." and "Joshua Little".
5 1 Ca. 1937-1939 - "Leeside" and "Leeside o' L.A." newspaper clippings with notes. Includes typescripts of "Essential Education" and "Leeside".
5 2 Ca. 1939-1945 - "Leeside" and "Leeside o' L.A." newspaper clippings with notes.
5 3 Ca. 1951 - "The Seymour Family" newspaper clippings with typed notes.
5 4 Ca. 1953-1956 - Scrapbook "A." Newspaper clippings of "The Seymour Family" with typed and holograph notes.
5 5 Ca. late 1950s - Scrapbook "B." "The Seymour Family," "Leeside," and "Leeside o' L.A." newspaper clippings with some holograph notes. Also includes a galley proof of "Joshua Little," loose prose, poetry and memorabilia.
5 6 Luckiest Man Alive - Correspondence, publication announcements and reviews. Also includes "Surfside o' Del Mar" clippings, 1959 - 1960.
5 7 FB-207-03 Ca. 1960-1964 - "Southwest Corner," "Lee Shippey Asks," "Lee Shippey Says," and "Surfside o' Del Mar" columns from the San Diego Union.
5 8 Us Folk - "Leeside o' L.A.: Personal Glimpses of Famous Southlanders" columns, with typed name index.


Return to Menu
Box Folder Oversize
6 1 Articles & blurbs about Lee Shippey.
Lee Side o' L.A.
MC-22-06-09 Galley proofs.
6 2-3 Clippings.
6 4 Needle's Eye Views of the World.
6 5-6 The Seymour Family.
6 7 Miscellaneous articles.

Finding aid generated: 2013-07-11