Roi Ottley Collection  

St. Bonaventure University




The Ottley Family

   Biographical bibliography

   Quotes by and about Ottley

Ottley's Works

   Laurel and Bona Venture articles

   Select bibliography

   "My Talk with Talmadge"

   Black Odyssey

   The Lonely Warrior

   The Negro in New York

   New World A-Coming

   No Green Pastures

    White Marble Lady

   Roi Ottley's World War II 

Archival Holdings

   Roi Ottley was a student at St. Bonaventure University from 1926-1928.  Although he came to St. Bonaventure on a track and field scholarship, Ottley turned out to be much more than a great runner.  In his two years at St. Bonaventure, the young Ottley was able to display his academic, athletic and artistic abilities in a variety of ways.  

One of the first blacks ever to attend St. Bonaventure, Ottley was an exceptional student.  He also worked as a writer and cartoonist for the The Bona Venture and The Laurel.  His time at St. Bonaventure was cut short however, when he decided to transfer to the University of Michigan to pursue a career in journalism.  Ottley stayed at Michigan for only one year though, before returning home to New York City.

As a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, war-correspondent, and author of several best-selling books, Roi Ottley was, in the words of Ernest Hemingway, "One of the outstanding Negro writers of America."  His 1943 book, New World A-Coming won the coveted Peabody Award as well as the Life in America Award.   His other books, Black Odyssey, No Green Pastures, White Marble Lady, The Lonely Warrior, and The Negro in New York all examined issues concerning race.  In 1944, Ottley traveled to Europe where he became known as "the first Negro war correspondent to write for a major paper."  He covered the events of World War II on a day to basis for several major newspapers.

The Roi Ottley Collection at St. Bonaventure University has a significant amount of Ottley's original work including the first drafts of his books, and a 194 page journal that he kept while he was overseas covering World War II which was finally published in 2011.  This website is devoted to the life and achievements of Roi Ottley.     

Biography Works Archival Holdings

This web site was created by Kevin MacMaster as part of an internship for the History Department of Saint Bonaventure University during the Spring 2004 semester. 
Any changes, other than minor editing, are noted at the bottom of the affected pages.

For information about the Archives'  collections contact:

Dennis Frank 
telephone: 716.375.2322
Archives Home Page

Friedsam Memorial Library
St. Bonaventure University
St. Bonaventure, NY  14778  USA
(716) 375-2323 (general number)
(716) 375-2389  (fax)

Navigation added by D. Frank, 3/6/2004
"Works" page added by D. Frank, 3/6/2004
WWII page added by D. Frank, 11/17/2011
Last updated: 05 December 2011

Biography Works Archival Holdings