Graham, Wallace H. Papers

Dates: 1918-1996

White House Physician, 1945-1953; Personal Physician to Harry S. Truman, 1945-1972

The papers of Wallace H. Graham consist of clippings, correspondence, financial records, handwritten notes, invitations, medical records, memorabilia, memoranda, photographs, printed materials, reports, scrapbooks, speeches, telegrams, sound recordings, motion pictures, handwritten notes and drafts of his memoirs related to his personal life, military career, medical career and role as a physician to Harry S. Truman.

[Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List]

ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: 12 linear feet, 8 linear inches (about 23,200 pages).
Access: Open, with the exception of documents that are closed for reasons of national security.
Copyright: Velma Graham and Heather Foote donated to the U.S. government their copyright interest in all unpublished writings in this collection. Documents created by U.S. government employees in the course of their official duties are also in the public domain. Copyright interest in other documents presumably belongs to the creators of those documents, or their heirs.
Processed by: Jan Davis, Sharie Simon, Kamera Moore, Amy Crossley, and David Clark (2010).


[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

1910 (October 9)

 

Born, Highland, Kansas

1928-1930

 

Attended University of Missouri

1932

 

A.B., Central Missouri State College

1936

 

Graduated, Creighton University School of Medicine

1936 (June 4)

 

Appointed First Lieutenant, Army Medical Reserve Corps

1937-1938

 

University of Vienna General Hospital

1938-1939

 

Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, Scotland

1939

 

University of Budapest, Hungary

1940

 

Cook County General Hospital, Chicago, Illinois

1941

 

Chief Pathologist & Ward Surgeon, Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri

1941 (December 24)

 

Promoted to Captain

1942-1945

 

Chief of Surgical Service, 24th Evacuation Hospital

1943 (January 30)

 

Promoted to Major

1944 (January 10)

 

Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel

1945 (August 14)

 

Promoted to Colonel

1945-1953

 

White House Physician; Chief of Surgical Section, Walter Reed Army Hospital

1945-1972

 

Personal Physician to Harry S. Truman

1951

 

Promoted to Major General

1953

 

Returned to private practice

1972-1982

 

Personal Physician to Bess W. Truman

1996 (January 4)

 

Died, Kansas City, Missouri

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The papers of Wallace H. Graham consist of clippings, correspondence, financial records, handwritten notes, invitations, medical records, memorabilia, memoranda, photographs, printed materials, reports, scrapbooks, speeches, telegrams, sound recordings, motion pictures, handwritten notes and drafts of his memoirs related to his personal life, military career, medical career and role as a physician to Harry S. Truman. The collection is arranged in two series, a Subject File, arranged alphabetically, and a Memoirs File, arranged chronologically.

The Subject File contains clippings, correspondence, financial records, invitations, medical records, memorabilia, memoranda, photographs, printed materials, reports, scrapbooks, speeches, telegrams, sound recordings, and motion pictures, which primarily relate to Wallace Graham’s work as the White House Physician and as Harry S. Truman and Bess Truman’s personal physician. The series also contains correspondence, clippings and photographs related to Wallace Graham’s family.

In addition to materials relating to Wallace Graham’s service as Harry S. Truman’s physician, the series contains clippings, correspondence, memoranda, printed materials and reports pertaining to various individuals and organizations, including the American College of Surgeons, American Medical Association, Richard Bolling, Clark Clifford, Central Missouri State, Creighton University, Thomas Eagleton, Robert Ferrell, Alonzo Hamby, Harry S. Truman Birthday Celebration, Harry S. Truman Good Neighbor Award, Harry S. Truman Library, William Hassett, Herbert May, Missouri State Medical Association, Charles Murphy, New York Academy of Sciences, Monte Poen, Harry Vaughan, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and Westminster College.

The series also includes medical records that consist of correspondence, operation reports, physical examination reports, patient histories, electrocardiograms, lab reports, insurance claims, hospitalization records and a prescription log book. Most of the medical records relate to Harry and Bess Truman from 1945 until their deaths. Harry Truman's medical records have been digitized. Other medical records relate to Truman administration members, their families and other individuals treated by Dr. Graham during his service as the White House Physician or as a private practice doctor. Additional materials include medical records related to Heads of State or individuals from foreign countries. At the request of President Truman, Wallace Graham treated individuals in other countries, such as King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia. The series also includes documents relating to medical trips Wallace Graham took to Antigua, Mexico, and Peru.

The Memoirs File contains handwritten notes, handwritten and typed drafts with annotations and a final draft. The memoirs relate experiences during Wallace Graham’s youth, college and medical school days, and service in World War II and the Truman administration. There is little information in the memoirs after 1953, when Wallace Graham returned to Missouri and worked as a private practice physician.

Books have been transferred to the book collection; photos, audio recordings and motion pictures have been transferred to the audiovisual collection; and memorabilia transferred to the museum collections. The museum collection also has Wallace Graham’s medical bag, which contains medical instruments and medication.

Related collections at the Truman Library include the President’s Secretary’s Files, Official File and Post-Presidential Papers. The Truman Library also has an oral history with Wallace Graham.

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]

Series Descriptions

Container Nos. Series Description
1-22 SUBJECT FILE, 1918-1996

Clippings, correspondence, financial records, handwritten notes, invitations, medical records, memorabilia, memoranda, photographs, printed materials, reports, scrapbooks, speeches, telegrams, sound recordings, and motion pictures. Arranged alphabetically.

23-29 MEMOIRS FILE, ca. 1980-1996

Handwritten notes and drafts, typed drafts with annotations, and final drafts. Arranged chronologically.

Folder Title List

Box 1

SUBJECT FILE, 1918-1996

Air Force
American College of Surgeons
American Medical Association
Antiqua Medical Mission
Army
Audio Recordings
Battle Report, Washington
Belgium
Biographical Information
Bolling, Richard
Books
Brazil
Canada
Cancer Research
Cards (Business, Place, Membership...)
Central Missouri State College
Certificates
Clifford, Clark
Box 2

SUBJECT FILE, 1918-1996

Clippings, 1931
Clippings, 1936
Clippings, 1938
Clippings, 1941
Clippings, 1943
Clippings, 1945
Clippings, 1946
Clippings, 194