Honoring Raymond Clapper

Raymond Clapper’s storied journalism career started in 1916, when he began work as a cub reporter for The Kansas City Star while still in college. Soon after, he joined the United Press wire service in Chicago and was eventually transferred to Washington, D.C. to cover politics. By 1929, he was the UP’s Washington bureau chief. Clapper was hired in 1934 by The Washington Post and soon began his column ‘Between You and Me,’ which he took to Scripps-Howard for syndication later that year.

Starting in the mid-1930s, Clapper was a radio newscaster for the Mutual Broadcasting System and NBC. After the U.S. entered World War II, he focused his efforts on war reporting in the South Pacific. On Feb. 1, 1944, while covering the invasion of the Marshall Islands, Raymond Clapper was killed aboard a U.S. Navy bomber which collided with another Navy airplane.

Clapper was one of the preeminent and esteemed reporters and commentators of his day. He was president of the Gridiron Club in 1939. The White House Correspondents Association named its highest award after him in 1945, and he was a longtime member of the National Press Club.

Watch a documentary commemorating Clapper’s legacy:

On Dec. 3, 2021, the National Press Club Journalism Institute, Knight Kiplinger, and Gail Clapper hosted a celebration of the columnist and correspondent, which included the dedication of a statuette of Raymond Clapper sculpted by Max Kalish and commissioned by Mr. Kiplinger’s grandfather. Watch here:

Clapper statuette available for viewing at the National Press Club

National Press Club members who visit the Eric Friedheim National Journalism Library on Fridays in December will see a new exhibit honoring Raymond Clapper.

The Clapper display combines important papers donated by his granddaughter Gail Clapper, with special materials on loan from Knight Kiplinger, whose grandfather commissioned the statuette of Raymond Clapper now on display in the lobby outside the library. 

View the gallery of sculptor Max Kalish‘s work.

For more information on Kalish’s “Living Hall” collection, visit here.

To see a list of the Raymond Clapper Memorial Award winners from 1944 through 2011, click here.

The Library is overseen by the National Press Club Journalism Institute, the nonprofit affiliate of the National Press Club. 

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