Richard C. Hottelet, Government Employee

By David Langbart.

Noted broadcast journalist Richard C. Hottelet died on December 17, 2014.  He was a great journalist and notable presence on television.  I am old enough to remember reports ending with “Richard C. Hottelet, CBS News.”  The obituaries published in the wake of his death have focused on his journalistic career, and rightfully so.  It is worth noting, however, that Hottelet served his country as an employee of the Office of War Information (OWI) between stints as a practicing journalist.  OWI was responsible for formulating and implementing information programs to promote, in the United States and abroad, understanding of the status and progress of the war effort and of war policies, activities, and aims of the U.S. government.

After working for OWI stateside, Hottelet moved to the OWI office in London where he served as an Assistant Representative of the Overseas Operations Branch.  Among the files of the Department of State are a few documents relating to Hottelet’s posting to London.  Included with the initial communication from OWI to the Department, is a brief biographical statement.  Oddly, that document does not mention Hottelet’s imprisonment by Nazi Germany from March to July 1941 on suspicion of spying.  Hottelet left OWI and joined CBS News in time to cover the June 6, 1944, invasion of Normandy.  He became known as one of the “Murrow Boys,” a group of journalists hired by Edward R. Murrow.

Source: File 103.916602/387, July 31, 1942 and subsequent, 1940-44 Central Decimal File (NAID 302021), Record Group 59: General Records of the Department of State, National Archives.