The Bruce Herschensohn Collection features the personal papers of this important politician, scholar, and filmmaker, including his notes, correspondence, media clippings, and other ephemera. The collection documents his professional life, particularly with the U.S. Information Agency during the 1960s, and also includes his documentary films. Mr. Herschensohn's long and varied career also includes roles in the Nixon and Reagan administrations, a political commentator for television and radio, and a senior fellow with Pepperdine University's School of Public Policy.
Born in 1932, Bruce Herschensohn began his career as a box-boy at Ralphs Grocery, then to RKO Radio Pictures as a messenger boy, and then RKO’s Art Department. After service in the U.S. Air Force, he began his own motion picture company. One of the films he wrote, directed, edited, and scored was the feature-length documentary "John F. Kennedy: Years of Lightning, Day of Drums" for the United States Information Agency (USIA). He was then appointed Director of Motion Pictures and Television for the USIA. During his tenure the USIA received numerous awards for film and television productions, including an Oscar from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. In 1969, Herschensohn was selected as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men in the Federal Government. He also received the second highest civilian award, the Distinguished Service Medal, and then became Deputy Special Assistant to President Richard Nixon. From 1978 through 1991 he was a political commentator on KABC-TV and KABC-Radio. In 1980 he was appointed a member of the Reagan Transition Team and was himself the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in California in 1992. A world traveller, Herschensohn taught "The U.S. Image Abroad" at the University of Maryland, occupied the Nixon Chair at Whittier College teaching "U.S. Foreign and Domestic Policies", worked with Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in Zurich, Switzerland and Cavendish, Vermont, and was Chairman of the Board of Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, also receiving an Honorary Doctor of Law degree from Pepperdine. From 1993 to 2001 he was Distinguished Fellow at the Claremont Institute and, in 1996, a Fellow at the John F. Kennedy Institute of Politics at Harvard University. He taught at Pepperdine University's School of Public Policy from 1998 to 2006, and is currently a Senior Fellow of this institution. Herschensohn is also an Associate Fellow of the Nixon Foundation and serves on the Board of Directors of the Center for Individual Freedom. His books include The Gods of Antenna, Lost Trumpets, Hawks Without Wings, Doves Without Conscience, The Last Time I Saw Hong Kong, Hong Kong at the Handover, Across the Taiwan Strait, Passport: An Historical Novel of the Cold War, Millennium’s Edge, Taiwan: The Threatened Democracy, Above Empyrean, and An American Amnesia.