John Holliman papers

John Holliman papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Manuscripts
Creator: Holliman, John, 1948-1998
Title: John Holliman papers
Dates: 1981-1998
Quantity: 8.2 Linear feet (20 document boxes, 1 half box)
Abstract:The collection consists of notes and research papers of John Holliman, written in his capacity as journalist and reporter for CNN. Some of the topics covered are NASA, asteroids, Ronald Reagan, and Three Mile Island.
Coll. Number: ms3131

Biographical/Historical Note

Journalist John Holliman was born in Thomaston, Georgia on October 23, 1948. After earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Georgia, Holliman worked for WGAU-AM in Athens, Georgia and later the Associated Press Radio Network. In 1976, he received a Peabody Award for his documentary, “The Garden Plot – Food as a Weapon in International Diplomacy.” CNN hired Holliman as part of the network’s original reporting team in 1980, and he was the first correspondent in its Washington, D.C. bureau. He began by covering agricultural stories for the station, but also covered the White House, the student protests at Tiananmen Square, and most consistently the U.S. Space Program. Holliman gained national attention as one of only three reporters in Baghdad to cover the allied attack on the Iraqi capital during the Gulf War in 1991. The group famously became known as the “Boys of Baghdad.” The three (Holliman, Peter Arnett, and Bernard Shaw) won a Peabody Award for their wartime reporting. Holliman spent eighteen years with CNN before dying in a car wreck near his home in Snellville, Georgia on September 12, 1998.

Scope and Content Note

The John Holliman papers are comprised of his research files, written and compiled in his capacity as a reporter for CNN, spanning the years 1981-1998. The collection is divided into two series: professional files (subdivided into subject files and working files) and photographs. The vast majority of the professional files series are alphabetically arranged subject-based research files that include news report scripts, press releases, hearing transcripts, wire report printouts, press kits, memos, news clippings, and occasional correspondence. The strength of the subject files deal with NASA and the U.S. Space program, including the Challenger disaster in 1986. Other topics covered include Three Mile Island, Ronald Reagan’s first administration, and health issues. There is very little documentation of his involvement in the coverage of the Gulf War, for which he gained national attention. The photograph series includes promotional images of Holliman, along with photographs separated from the subject files.


Arranged into 2 series; subject files in alphabetical order.

Index Terms

Asteroids--Press coverage.
Cable News Network.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Health--Press coverage
Presidents--Press coverage.
Reagan, Ronald
Reporters and reporting--United States.
Research notes.
Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant (Pa.).
Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant (Pa.). -- Accidents
United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. -- Press coverage

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

John Holliman papers, ms 3131. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.


Conditions Governing Use note

Papers may be used for educational or background research only. Publication in print or any other media format requires the written permission of a representative of CNN.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing


1. Professional files, 1981-1998

1.1 Subject files, 1981-1998

11Airline Safety, 1995-1996
2Alcohol/Youth, 1991
3Amtrak Conrail Wreck, 1987
4-5APEC, 1993
6Astronaut Biographies, 1996
7Auto Safety, 1991
8Aviation, 1996
9Blindness and Aging, 1985
10-11Challenger Accident, 1986
21-2Challenger Accident, March 1986
3Challenger Accident Commission Presentation, February 1986
4-6Challenger Accident Commission Proceedings, February 1986
31-2Challenger Accident Commission Proceedings, February 1986
3-4Challenger Accident Commission Proceedings, March 1986
5Challenger Accident Commission Proceedings, April 1986
6Challenger Accident Commission Proceedings, May 1986
7Challenger Accident Commission Report, 1986
41Challenger Accident Commission Report, 1986
2Child Health, 1985
3Child Support, 1993
4China, 1989
5Credit Cards, 1991
6Cuban Drug Trade, 1989
7Cyclamate, 1985
8Dietary Guidelines, 1985
9Diets, 1990-1991
51Drugs, 1989
2-3Education, December 1989
4Education, 1990
5Elderly Home Care, 1987
6Electroshock, 1985
7EPA, 1989
8EPA, January-March 1989
61EPA, April-December 1990
2-3Environmental Tobacco Smoke, 1986
4FEMA, 1985
5FEMA, May 1993
6-7Handgun Control, 1994-1995
8Hong Kong, 1989
9Iraq-Kuwait, 1990-1991
71Labor Disputes, 1993
2Meat Inspection, 1989
3Medical Malpractice, 1985
4Mentally Disabled, 1985
5Mine Safety, 1987
6-7NASA, February 1986
81-5NASA, March 1986
6NASA, April 1986
7NASA, April-June 1986
91NASA, May 1986
2-3NASA, May-June 1986
4-5NASA, June 1986
6NASA, July 1986
7NASA, July-September 1986
101NASA, August 1986
2-3NASA, October-December 1986
4NASA, March-April 1990
5NASA, May 1990
6NASA, June 1990
7NASA, 2 July 1990-19 July 1990
8NASA, 23 July 1990-23 January 1991
111NASA, January-February 1992
2NASA, March 1992
3NASA, April-May 1992
4NASA, June 1992
5NASA, July-September 1992
6NASA, November 1992
7NASA, December 1992-January 1993
8NASA, January 1993
9NASA, January 1994
121NASA, February 1994
2NASA, March-May 1994
3-4NASA, 1995
5NASA Budget, 1986
6NASA Budget Problems, 1995-1996
7NASA Shuttle - General, 1996
8NASA Shuttle Missions, 1995
9National Association of Partners in Education, 1992
10National Resources Defense Council, 1987
131National Security - Spies, 1985
2-3National Space Symposium, 1989
4-5National Transportation Safety Board, 1987
6NATO, 1994
7Northwest Airlines Crash, 1987
8Nuclear Waste, 1985
141Nutrition, 1985
2Ozone, 1987
3-4Pentagon Year Ender, 1985
5-6Plane Crashes, 1985
7Plane Crashes, 1986
8Plane Crashes, 1991-1992
9Plastics/Firefighters, 1985
151Pollution, 1989
2Press Freedom, 1993
3Puppy Mills, 1991
4Ronald Reagan, January 1981-February 1982
5Ronald Reagan, March 1982-April 1983
6Ronald Reagan, May-June 1983
7Ronald Reagan, July-December 1983
8Ronald Reagan, 1984
161Safe Drinking Water, 1996
2Satellite Imagery, 1997-1998
3Seabrook Nuclear Plant, 1990
4Smokeless Tobacco, 1986
5Space Shuttle Manifest, 17 January 1984
6Space Station, 1991
7Speed Limit, 1989
8Spies, 1994
171Spy Satellites, 1993
2Steroids, 1989
3Suicide and Teen Pregnancy, 1985
4Telecommunications - BellSouth Video Programming, 1995
5Telecommunications Reform, 1995
6Telecommunications Reform, 1997
7Three Mile Island, 1985-1989
8Three Mile Island, 1986
9Three Mile Island, 1987
181Three Mile Island, 1987-1988
2Three Mile Island, 1988-1989
3Three Mile Island, 1989
4Tornadoes, 1998
5Trains, 1993
6-7Transportation Policy, 1990
8Trident Submarine Program, 1986
191TWA Flight 800 Crash, 1996
2U.N., U.S., and the World, June 1993
3U.S. Customs, 1988-1989
4U.S. Department of Transportation, 1989-1990
5Vietnam, 1991
6War, 1998
7Washington, D.C. Crime, 1989
8Weather, 1991
201-2Year-Round Schools, 1992

1.2 Administrative Files, 1983-1990, 1995

203-4Logs of Hearing Tapes, 1987
5Loose Papers, 1986
211Reference Materials/Phone Lists, 1983-1986
2Scripts, 1990
3Story Ideas, 1995

2. Photographs

2142. Photographs