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Jack Mackay papers

Identifier: umja0111

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of newspaper clippings and articles; correspondence and telegrams; pamphlets and awards; a transcript of a radio program; and photo negatives, all dating between 1932 and 1969.


  • 1932-1969


Conditions Governing Access

Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.


This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

Jack Mackay was born in 1900 in St. Paul. He graduated from St. Paul Mechanic Arts High School and later studied at the University of Minnesota, taking night classes. He married Myrtle Nathanson in 1928 with whom he had two children, Harvey and Marjorie; Myrtle passed away in 1955. Mackay later married Ruth Smith in 1961.

Mackay joined the Associated Press in 1918 as a telephone news reader; he became a correspondent of AP in 1937 and remained until his retirement in 1964. During his tenure with AP he wrote many headline stories, including high profile kidnappings of the 1930s like the Bremer kidnapping and the Hamm kidnapping, as well as the escapades of the Dillinger gang. He was instrumental in helping Leonard Hankins win his freedom. Hankins was convicted of murder in connection with the Barker-Karpis gang bank robbery in Minneapolis; after 15 years in prison he was pardoned in 1951. In 1952, Mackay won the Pall Mall "Big Story" award for notable service in the field of journalism for his coverage and assistance with Hankins' release. This was also relayed in a radio program, "The Big Story," which aired on NBC on May 14, 1952.

Mackay was also very involved with various groups throughout the local Jewish community - he was one of the founders of the Hillel Foundation at the University of Minnesota in 1940 and later acted as Hillel president; he was a board member of the St. Paul Jewish Education center, later Jewish Community Center; chairman of the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation League; on the board of the United Jewish Fund; and helped found the Minnesota Defense Council. He was awarded many times for his philanthropic work, including accepting the humanitarian award by Mount Zion Temple in St. Paul in 1958. He passed away in 1969.


0.25 Cubic Feet (1 half Hollinger box)

Language of Materials



This collection consists of the papers of Jack Mackay, a long-time Associated Press writer based in St. Paul, Minnesota, and prominent member of the local Jewish community.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated to the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest in 1989 by Marjorie (Mackay) Resnick, Jack's daughter.

Jack Mackay papers, 1932-1969
Kate Dietrick
July 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Upper Midwest Jewish Archives Collecting Area