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Cooper, Merian C.



  • Existence: 1893 - 1973

Biographical History

Merian C. Cooper (1893-1973) was an aviator, air force officer, screenwriter, film director, and producer in the United States. He is best known for writing and directing King Kong.

Merian Caldwell Cooper was an American aviator, United States Air Force and Polish Air Force officer, adventurer, screenwriter, film director, and producer. He was a notable movie producer, and got his start with film traveling the world and working on documentaries, most famously Grass and Chang, together with Ernest B. Schoedsack. He was a member of the board of directors of Pan American Airways, but focused on film. During his film career, he worked for several Hollywood studios. He is considered co-inventor of the Cinerama film projection process. Cooper's most famous film was the 1933 movie King Kong. He was awarded an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement in 1952 and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960.

Wikipedia, Nov. 16, 2010 (Merian C. Cooper; Merian Caldwell Cooper; b. Oct. 24, 1893 in Jacksonville, Fla.; d. Apr. 21, 1973 in San Diego, Calif.; director of King Kong). Mar. 21, 2017 (aviator, United States Air Force and Polish Air Force officer, adventurer, screenwriter, film director; notable movie producer; got his start with film traveling the world and working on documentaries Grass and Chang together with Ernest B. Schoedsack; member of the board of directors of Pan American Airways; co-inventor of Cinerama; most famous film King Kong (1933); honorary lifetime achievement Oscar in 1952, Hollywood Walk of Fame star in 1960.)

Kozlinski, Marcin, "Biography of Merian C. Cooper", International Movie Database, accessed March 21, 2012,

Found in 184 Collections and/or Records:

Advanced Projects Corporation records, 1966-1972

Identifier: MSS 2008 Series 12
Scope and Contents

Contains records of the Advanced Projects Corporation. Includes correspondence and financial records documenting work on the development of three-dimensional television and other technologies. Materials date from 1966 to 1972.

Dates: Other: 1966-1972

Argosy Pictures Corporation business records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 1849
Scope and Contents

The records provide insight into legal and tax aspects of film production, as well as documenting the search for suitable story material and researching aspects of a film before production. Includes correspondence; legal, financial, and personnel records; story ideas; a scrapbook; photographs; and other documentation.

Dates: 1939-1958

Claire Lee Chennault writings, 1935-1958

Identifier: MSS 2008 Series 6 Sub-Series B Sub-Series 5
Scope and Contents

Subseries contains articles and other works written by Chennault, and associated materials. Items date from between 1935 and 1958.

Dates: Other: 1935-1958

Cooper family certificates, passports, and other material, 1924-1980

Identifier: MSS 2008 Series 1
Scope and Contents

Contains certificates, awards, assports, photographs, and other materials related to Merian C. Cooper and his family, dating from 1924 to 1980. Includes original documents and photocopies.

Dates: 1924-1980

Cooper family genealogy records, approximately 1944-1977

Identifier: MSS 2008 Series 1 Sub-Series A Sub-Series 1
Scope and Contents

Subseries contains genealogical information about the Cooper and Woodson families, including correspondence and lists. Materials date from approximately 1944 to 1972.

Dates: approximately 1944-1977

Cooper family records, 1924-1972

Identifier: MSS 2008 Series 1 Sub-Series A
Scope and Contents

Contains correspondence, clippings, and photographs related to Cooper's family. Includes genealogical information, as well as materials on his wife and children. Materials date from 1924 to 1972.

Dates: 1924-1972

Cooper family records, approximately 1922-1967

Identifier: MSS 2008 Series 1 Sub-Series A Sub-Series 2
Scope and Contents

Contains correspondence, articles, clippings, and an obituary related to the Cooper family. Materials date from 1922 to 1967.

Dates: approximately 1922-1967

Merian C. Cooper address

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS SC 3255
Scope and Contents

Cd of an address by Merian C. Cooper about his film "King Kong."

Dates: 1964

Merian C. Cooper correspondence and interview

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 2024
Scope and Contents

Includes photocopies of correspondence between Behlmer, Merian C. Cooper, and others. Also includes recording and transcript of interview recorded by Behlmer with Cooper in 1965 concerning Cooper's service in World War I and the Russo-Polish War (1919-1920); and his films with Ernest B. Schoedsack: "Grass" and "Chang." Some correspondence relates to David O. Selznick and the film, "King Kong."

Dates: 1929-1972

Merian C. Cooper papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 2008
Overview The Merian C. Cooper papers cover virtually every aspect of Cooper's life and his varied careers. The papers provide valuable information on documentary and feature motion picture production in the United States from the mid-1920s through the early 1950s, as well as information on world exploration, the United States Air Force (particularly during World War II), and early television. Several Cooper projects that never came to fruition are also documented, especially his unproduced film...
Dates: 1921-1977

Additional filters:

Archival Record 172
Collection 12
Motion picture industry -- United States 135
Letters 80
Photographs 59
Motion pictures 54
Motion pictures -- Production and direction 50
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Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences 42
Performing Arts 40
World War, 1939-1945 38
Discoveries in geography 32
Television programs -- Production and direction 32
Motion picture plays 25
Articles 21
United States -- Motion pictures 21
Videocassettes 21
Research (Documents) 16
Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.) 13
Drafts (Documents) 13
King Kong (Motion picture : 1933) 13
Sound recordings 9
Publications 7
Advertisements -- Motion pictures 6
Wells, H. G. (Herbert George), 1866-1946. Food of the Gods 6
Awards 5
DVDs 5
Discovery in geography 5
Medals 5
Mighty Joe Young (Motion picture : 1949) 5
Porpoises -- Drama 5
Russo-Polish War, 1919-1920 5
Insignia 4
Printed ephemera 4
Sketches 4
Video tapes 4
World War, 1914-1918 4
Business records 3
Certificates 3
Four feathers (Motion picture : 1929) 3
Fugitive (Motion picture : 1947) 3
Notes 3
Personal papers 3
Photocopies 3
Retired military personnel -- United States 3
She (Motion picture : 1935) 3
Art 2
Best of Cinerama (Motion picture) 2
Biography 2
Chāng (Motion picture) 2
China 2
Compact discs 2
Contracts 2
Financial records 2
Genealogies 2
Grass (Motion picture) 2
Last days of Pompeii (Motion picture : 1935) 2
Legal instruments 2
Media and Communication 2
Military 2
Motion picture industry 2
Obituaries 2
One man's journey (Motion picture) 2
Personnel records 2
Plaques, plaquettes 2
Programs 2
Reports 2
Scrapbooks 2
Searchers (Motion picture) 2
She wore a yellow ribbon (Motion picture) 2
Son of Kong (Motion picture) 2
Space flight 2
Stingaree (Motion picture) 2
3-D television 1
Account books 1
Aeronautics 1
Aeronautics, commercial -- United States 1
Air warfare 1
American literature 1
Arabian Peninsula -- Discovery and exploration 1
Archivists -- Interviews 1
Artifacts 1
Audiobooks 1
Audiocassettes 1
Authors, American -- 21st century -- Interviews 1
Becky Sharp (Motion picture) 1
Broadsides 1
Colorado City (Colo.) 1
Colorado Springs (Colo.) 1
Correspondence 1
Creation (Motion picture) 1
Culver City (Calif.) 1
Double harness (Motion picture) 1
East Asia -- Discovery and exploration 1
Etchings (Prints) 1
Ethiopia -- Discovery and exploration 1
Film posters 1
Fine Arts 1
Fort Apache (Motion picture) 1
Immortalism -- Drama 1
Informer (Motion picture : 1935) 1
Interviews 1
Iran -- Photographs 1
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