Marion Hargrove Collection

History of Marion Hargrove
Marion Hargrove was born in Mount Olive, North Carolina in 1919. At 10 years of age, he moved to Florence, South Carolina then to Wilson, Raleigh and finally to Charlotte, North Carolina. He attended high school at Central High School in Charlotte and briefly Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, North Carolina. He was feature editor of the Charlotte News until he was drafted into the Army in July 1941. Sent to Fort Bragg, he immediately began sending 2 columns a week about army life back to the Charlotte News. This was at the suggestion of his managing editor, Brodie S. Griffith, who in World War I had been an 18 year old sergeant major in France. After reading the 1st few of these pieces, Griffith changed his mind and asked Hargrove for 3 columns per week instead. These original articles are in the Steele Memorial Library in the original clippings which formed the manuscript of See Here Private Hargrove.

Hargrove & Maxwell Anderson

Early in 1942 the playwright Maxwell Anderson about to begin writing a war play called "The Eve of Street Mark" came to Fort Bragg looking for background and color. The post commander, Brigadier General Edwin P. Parker, sent him to the Replacement Center to be guided around by Private Hargrove, who not only showed him around but also lent him his own Charlotte News scrapbook which turned out to be exactly what Anderson was looking for. To return the favor Anderson got in touch with a neighbor of his, William M. Sloane, III, who was editor of the publishing house Henry Holt and Company, and the ball had already started rolling.

Sloane put the book together, and entitled it See Here Private Hargrove and published it in July 1942. The book was sensationally successful. It was the top non-fiction seller on the New York Times Best Seller list for 3 months and continued on the list for 4 months more.

It was published in several foreign editions including a Danish translation entitled Hos Her Menig Hargrove. All told, the book sold 3 or 4 million copies and is said to be still selling in paper back. In 1992, in the book The number 1 New York Times Best Seller, Hargrove still held the distinction of being the youngest non-fiction author on the list and 2nd youngest in all fields.

Hargrove's Career
The book was the beginning of a prolific writing career for Hargrove. He wrote novels, screen plays (of which his adaption of Meredith Willson's the Music Man is probably the most memorable), teleplays (including scripts for The Waltons, Maverick, I Spy, and many others). He is equally at home with books, magazine reporting, television and the big screen.

Friends of Steele Memorial Library are most fortunate and most appreciative to have Hargrove's collection of writings and working papers here for reference by the general public and for those who wish to study his style.

Collection List
Below is an abbreviated list of what the Hargrove Collection contains:
  1. Books written by Hargrove and relevant to his work such as:
    • See Here Private Hargrove
    • Something's Got to Give
    • The Girl He Left Behind
  2. Scripts: more than 60 screen and teleplays
  3. More than 500 letters including:
    • To and from Hargrove and VIPs such as Harry Truman, Gloria Swanson, Audie Murphy, Tony Curtis
    • Professional peers, friends and acquaintances
    • To and from family, associates and Army friends
  4. Work files or correspondence with various agents, producers and directors
  5. Photos depicting special events in Hargrove career
  6. A collection of information of Hargrove and Jernigan family histories