The Gordon Schendel Papers

Finding Aid | PDF

Gordon Schendel, a native of Minnesota, graduated from the University of Minnesota and began a career in writing and journalism starting in 1946. While working in New York City, he met a magazine artist named Margaret Waltz. The couple married and had 5 children: Cynthia, William, Eric, Amy, and Jenny.

After living on the east coast for several years, the Schendel family moved to Mexico where they remained for 11 years. During that time, Gordon worked for “The Medical Tribune” and “The Medical World News.” It was during their stay in Mexico that the Schendels became engrossed with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Gordon and Margaret, who often served as a fellow researcher and editor for her husband, accumulated clippings and books on the Kennedy assassination, the bulk of which now shapes the collection here at Poage Library. Despite his intentions, Gordon was never able to use his research and complete a book on the topic.

Gordon Schendel did, however, write several books during his career including “Jungle Wife,” — which recounted the life of an Estonian jaguar hunter and his American wife during their stay in Brazil; “The Higher They Go,” — a biography of former New York City mayor William O’Dwyer; and “Medicine in Mexico: From Aztec Herbs to Betatrons.”

In 1965, the Schendels moved to McAllen, Texas, where Gordon joined the editorial staff of the local newspaper, the “Valley Evening Monitor.” After the passing of her parents, the Schendels’ daughter, Cynthia, donated the collection in August 2013.

The Collection

The Gordon Schendel papers range in chronology from 1964 to 1990 with several undated documents. The bulk of the materials date from the late 1960's since they concern the assassination of President John F. Kennedy which took place on November 22, 1963.

Most of the materials are notes, both typed and handwritten, produced by Gordon Schendel in connection to the investigation of John F. Kennedy's assassination. The Notes series is arranged alphabetically by topic and addresses several of the major characters surrounding the case including Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby, and the Warren Commission.

In addition to Schendel's research notes, there are also three folders of clippings that contain more information on John F. Kennedy, an article written by Gordon Schendel on his experiences living in Mexico, and an article written about Gordon Schendel when he joined the staff of McAllen, Texas's newspaper, the "Valley Evening Monitor." Overall, the materials in the collection range from average to good condition.

This collection is comprised of one box of papers and bulk materials.