- United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Call number
- Sc MG 594
- Physical description
- .84 linear feet (2 boxes)
- Preferred Citation
- [Item], Ralph Bunche FBI file, Sc MG 594, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library
- Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division
- Access to materials
- Advance notice required. Request access to this collection.Restrictions apply
The Ralph Bunche FBI files contain copies of FBI documents related to Ralph Bunche, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. The files include the text of his Nobel Peace Prize address, transcript of his statements to the FBI, and summaries of interviews with former colleagues at Howard University.
Ralph Bunche was an American political scientist, academic, and diplomat who received the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize for his late-1940s mediation in Israel. He was also involved in the formation and administration of the United Nations, and in 1963 he was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President John F. Kennedy. Bunche served as chair of the Department of Political Science at Howard University (1928-1950), as a member of the Board of Overseers of his alma mater, Harvard University (1960-1965), as a member of the board of the Institute of International Education, and as a trustee of Oberlin College, Lincoln University, and New Lincoln School.
Born in 1904 to working class parents in Detroit, Ralph Bunche graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1927 and Harvard Graduate School in 1928. Bunche taught in the Department of Political Science at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and worked with the Carnegie Corporation and the Department of State before joining the Permanent Secretariat of the United Nations in 1948. Investigations of Bunche's activities were conducted under the Hatch Act in 1940-1942 and the Loyalty Act in 1953-1954. During the 1930s and 1940s, he was associated with various organizations on the Attorney General's list of subversive organizations, among them the National Negro Congress (which he co-founded). In 1941 he was designated for custodial detention in the event of a national emergency by the FBI. He was cleared by the International Organizations Employees Loyalty Board in 1954.
Source of acquisition
Donated by Marika Sherwood, 1996.
Compiled by Andre Elizee, 1996.
Finding aid edited and adapted to digital form by Kay Menick in 2016.
Ralph Bunche Letters, Sc MG 290. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library.
- African American college teachers
- African American intellectuals
- African Americans -- Civil rights
- African Americans -- Political activity
- Anti-communist movements -- United States -- History -- 20th century
- Communism and intellectuals -- United States
- Howard University -- Archives
- Internal security -- United States -- History -- 20th century
- Subversive activities -- United States -- History -- 20th century
- United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation -- Archives
Using the collection
LocationSchomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division
515 Malcolm X Boulevard, New York, NY 10037-1801
Access to materialsAdvance notice required. Request access to this collection.
Conditions Governing Use
Information on copyright available from repository.
All reproduction requests subject to limitations noted in divisional policies.