Don Michel was born in 1931 and moved to Anna, Illinois in 1957 to begin his career in broadcasting. He began work as an engineer, announcer, program director and salesman at the WRAJ radio station while starting a family with his wife Marian. The couple had two children, and lived in Anna during Michel's long career in broadcast radio. As a radio broadcaster he was able to interview many big names, including Walter Cronkite, Bob Hope, Harry Reasoner, and Senator Paul Simon, but also kept a great deal of local color involved in the broadcast, interviewing local politicians and long time residents. He was on the air the day of John F. Kennedy's assassination, and was able to interview the police officer who arrested Lee Harvey Oswald. Don Michel eventually bought the radio station in 1975, later selling it as his children grew up and went on to careers in television. In 1992 Michel was the coordinator of Southern Illinois Citizens for Perot, part of the Illinois Citizens for Perot, which collected petitions to get Ross Perot on the ballot in Illinois for U. S. President.
Scope and Contents: The Don Michel Collection of President John F. Kennedy Assassination materials consists of reel-to-reel audio tapes, 1 cassette tape, 1 2" Quad video tape, LP vinyl sound recordings, news clippings, books and 1 wire service teletype spool. It includes recordings of all of President Kennedy's presidential news conferences; copies of the Zapruder, Nix and Muchmore films; recorded interviews from November 1963 with Zapruder, Detective E. E. Taylor, and others; a full set of the Warren Commission Report volumes; news clippings and other materials regarding the investigations of New Orleans DA Jim Garrison; a spool of UPI wire service teletype bulletins from Nov. 22, 1963 covering the time period from 12:38 PM through midnight.
Note: Papers were processed by Southern Illinois University, Walter Ray, Political Papers Archivist.