Howard Clifford Rushmore (July 2, 1913 – January 4, 1958) was an American journalist, nationally known for investigative reporting. He worked for The Daily Worker, the New York Journal-American and Confidential magazine.
He was born Howard Rushmore in Mitchell, South Dakota, the only child to Clifford Glen Rushmore (1877–1947) and Rosa Lee Rushmore née Palmer (1882–1955). Rushmore was a 10th-generation American whose father's New England ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War. His mother's ancestors "came to the dark and bloody ground" of the Great Plains "with Daniel Boone from the East." Ancestors of both parents were among the first American settlers of Missouri Territory. One of Rushmore's grandfathers fought for the Confederate Army.
Howard Rushmore described his own inauspicious beginnings: "When I was eight, my father lost his job in the railroad yards of Sheridan, Wyoming and took advantage of the government homestead offers to 'prove up' a 320-acre claim. We had no irrigation, no modern machinery; a flat-bed wagon was our only means of transportation." Howard worked from dusk to dawn, seven days a week, while his mother milked the cows and slopped the hogs and tended a large garden. His father, now "a fifteen-hour-a-day farmer pitted two hundred pounds of muscle and bone against the black gumbo (local soil) finally lost." His parents worked hard for very little in return. "They grew old before my eyes," Rushmore would write.
The family returned to Rosa Rushmore's hometown of Mexico, Missouri sometime during 1925–26, where they settled temporarily at her nearby family's house. Clifford Rushmore found work as a brickyard worker but the family was hit hard economically by the Great Depression, which started Rushmore's lifelong interest in politics. Rushmore grew up in poverty in Mexico, where the family would be constantly moving from house to house. A defeated man, Clifford Rushmore was apolitical, but his wife was an optimistic Democrat and strong supporter of President Franklin Roosevelt, which influenced her son's early political outlook. In appearance, Rushmore was usually described as an gangly, 6'5" teenager. Political columnist and friend George Sokolsky would later describe Rushmore as "at heart a hillbilly, proud of his colonial ancestry ... he himself was an enormous disappointment to himself ... a sad mountain boy, morose, looking for something he could never find." As a result of his appearance and manner, he was held in ridicule by his peers in high school. The social pariah wanted to make his mark as a progressive journalist and at the age of 16 wrote for two newspapers—the Mexico High School Yellow Yap and The Mexico Ledger. During his junior year of high school, he was expelled for publishing several exposés in the Ledger that the school administration regarded as defamatory about themselves and the teaching staff. His parents then enrolled him in St. Brendan's Catholic School, despite the family being Methodists. There Rushmore was even further ostracized, resulting in his quitting school. Thus began a pattern of behavior that would repeat itself to the end of Rushmore's life.
Rushmore continued as a reporter for the Mexico Intelligencer. On January 12, 1931, Rushmore witnessed the lynching of Raymond Gunn in Maryville, Missouri. The African American suspect was seized from the local sheriff and doused with gasoline atop a roof and set aflame, while several thousands watched. The event made an indelible mark on the 17-year-old, who, even at the height of his anti-communist career, would maintain Gunn's complete innocence. The Communist Party USA in Kansas City organized an anti-lynch committee led by Abner Berry, a party organizer in Harlem during the 1940s. Rushmore was impressed by the bravery and anti-racist stance of the communists. Through the committee, Rushmore met Jack Conroy, editor of The Anvil, a communist literary magazine. Conroy encouraged Rushmore's literary ambitions by suggesting he submit short stories. By April 1935 Rushmore had become an associate editor of the magazine. Later that year, Rushmore joined the Young Communist League USA in St Louis, despite having neither a technical knowledge of Marxist philosophy nor its history. This lifelong ignorance would hamper his authority as a professional communist and anti-communist as critics would question his qualifications on the subject. He organized farmers in the Dakotas and Iowa, then Conroy sent him to New York City in May 1935, where he attended the American Writers Congress. There he was asked to join the editorial staff of the Young Worker, the organ of the Young Communist League. Taking advantage of his perceived all-American background, the CPUSA rapidly promoted Rushmore. All staff members of the Young Worker were assigned to a political unit of the Young Communist League. Rushmore belonged to the Harlem unit, where he met Ruby Bates, a recent recruit to the League. Bates was one of the two plaintiffs of the Scottsboro Boys case, who later tried to recant her original testimony during the Patterson trial.
He graduated to The Daily Worker as "a $25-a-week writer." After a series of girl-friends, he began dating Ruth Garvin, who wrote the women's column for the Sunday Worker Progressive Weekly. They married on October 12, 1936. Rushmore was 23 years old. By 1939 he was the paper's official film critic. But in December he was fired for giving an ambivalent review of Gone with the Wind (1939). Rushmore was impressed by the film's technical aspects. But despite describing the film as a "magnificent bore" and holding to the standard communist party line that the film was "racist," this was regarded as insufficiently negative by the editorial board. The chief editor of the Worker, Ben Davis, who personally fired Rushmore, was particularly incensed at Rushmore's refusal to rewrite the review. But the sacking backfired as it made the front-page of all the major New York newspapers, such as the New York Journal-American, New York Post and New York Times, as well as mainstream papers across the country, which were supportive of Rushmore. The resulting publicity made the 26-year-old an instant celebrity in anti-communist circles. One of the most prominent columnists of the era, Westbrook Pegler, gave Rushmore rousing support in his December 29, 1939 column.
Rise to fame
After the firing, Rushmore joined the anti-communist New York Journal-American. On December 22, 1939, the day most papers published news of the firing, the Worker published a notice that Rushmore was officially fired and gave an itinerary of the reasons. The next day, the Journal-American published "Red Paper's Lies Bared by Ex-Critic, in which Rushmore defended his review. At the Hearst paper, the former communist reinvented himself—he began investigating the very industry that produced the films he once reviewed. In 1943 his wife gave birth to one daughter, Barbara. In 1940 Rushmore began to write anti-communist articles for the American Mercury, continuing up to the mid-1950s with his Heard on the Party Line column. As his celebrity increased, he hired a Broadway press agent to manage his career. Columnist Walter Winchell began mentoring him.
Leaving behind his old communist comrades, Rushmore also separated from his leftist wife and daughter. During 1944–45, Rushmore met a new staff writer on the Journal-American—Marjorie Frances McCoy née Everitt, a widow with two young daughters, Jean and Lynn. A strawberry-blonde, beauty contest winner from Charlotte, North Carolina, she would succeed as a Powers model-cover girl and later as an editor at Woman's Day. After the death of her first husband, she returned to New York City, where at the Journal she would become the fashion editor. In the years to come, her prominence would overshadow Rushmore's shrinking repute, her success a cause of envy that would result in unending domestic friction. But in 1945, Rushmore was still at the peak of his career. Later that year, after obtaining a Mexican divorce from Ruth Rushmore, he married McCoy in a Bridgeport, Connecticut ceremony. Ruth Rushmore tried to have Howard arrested—her lawyer would later maintain that the Mexican divorce was invalid and that Howard Rushmore was a bigamist.
In 1947, Rushmore became a key witness in the House Un-American Activities Committee's hearings in Washington, D.C., the first of two investigations of the film industry, the purpose being to assess communist infiltration of Hollywood through groups like the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League and labor unions and the extent of communist propaganda that made it into films. The investigations were motivated by the domestic activities of the brothers Gerhart and Hanns Eisler, both communist refugees from Europe living in America during the Second World War.
At the hearings, Rushmore testified against Edward G. Robinson, Charles Chaplin, Clifford Odets and Dalton Trumbo as potential or real communists: "the Daily Worker regarded Charles Chaplin and Edward G. Robinson as what we call in the newspaper business 'sacred cows,' people you trust favorably. I don't know whether or not [Robinson] is a Communist, but for ten years he has been joining front organizations and is still doing it." Unknown to the public at large, since 1943 the US Army Signal Intelligence Service was decrypting Soviet intelligence traffic through the Venona project, which revealed that most Soviet agents operated east of the Mississippi. While Soviet agents like Otto Katz operated propaganda fronts like the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League in the 1930s, Venona failed to reveal any Soviet agent working in Hollywood directly involved with espionage or sabotage, though members and former members of the CPUSA did work in the film industry, many of whom would be blacklisted by the major studios. The public's unawareness of Venona enabled Rushmore to exaggerate the threat of communists in Hollywood. But at the HUAC hearings, Rushmore did correctly identify Gerhart Eisler, ostensibly an anti-Nazi refugee from Germany, as the probable Soviet leader of the CPUSA. The opening of the Soviet archives decades later showed that Eisler, a Comintern agent, used his political authority to make Earl Browder the American "leader" of the CPUSA during a mid-1930s leadership dispute.
As a professional anti-communist, even unknowns were targeted by Rushmore beyond the HUAC hearings. At least two suicides resulted from his exposés, including a New York City elementary teacher, Minnie Gutride, a 40-year-old Russian-American widow, who killed herself by putting her head inside a gas oven in her Manhattan apartment after being fired by William Jansen, the NYC school superintendent. The teachers' union complained that Jansen was influence by allegations from the Journal-American, which said that Gutride was a secret communist organizer for the longshoremen unions. Rushmore would later boast about causing Gutride's suicide, much to the consternation of his friends. But incidents as Gutride's death only increased his fame and notoriety. Eventually, he would be seen dining with William F. Buckley at the Stork Club and even inside the club's inner sanctum, the Cub Room, where Rushmore would dine with "his wife (Frances), Roy Cohn and his girl-friend."
On November 27, 1949, Rushmore published in the Journal-American allegations of communist infiltration of US naval vessels. Though the facts of the article were invented by Rushmore, by coincidence the FBI was conducting its own investigation on the same matter. Initially, J. Edgar Hoover thought that Rushmore had access to genuine intelligence. Hoover then had Rushmore's telephone tapped. Later in Olympia, Washington, Rushmore testified before the Canwell Committee, a state committee to investigate subversive activities at the University of Washington. Rushmore switched the subject to Washington, D.C. He waved a piece of paper that he claimed was an FBI report that named 150 federal employees that were members of a Soviet spy ring. When FBI agents intercepted him in a hotel lobby and asked about the document, he showed them a four-page letter that he typed himself. Then in the spring of 1953, Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy asked Hoover about Rushmore's bonafides. The FBI's reply warned against relying on Rushmore's veracity. "[His] writings have proved unreliable, due to his tendency to sensationalize and blow up fragments of information." Though the FBI regarded Rushmore as a publicity seeker, McCarthy hired Rushmore anyway.
During the late 1940s–early 1950s a group of State Department employees complained about "left-wingers" and "pro-Reds" working at the Voice of America facilities at 57th Street, New York City. They managed to get the interest of Senator McCarthy, who assumed chairmanship of the Subcommittee on Investigations in 1953. After clearing the VOA hearings with the Republican senate leaders, McCarthy hired Rushmore as director of research that spring. The 1953 televised hearings would be held in New York City. Chief counsel Roy Cohn set up headquarters at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where witnesses would be questioned and evidence collected. During the hearings, McCarthy himself would repeat the Rushmorean flourish of waving a suspect list. But before the hearings were over, Rushmore resigned from the subcommittee for a brief return at the Journal-American. As director of research, Rushmore channelled all pre-hearing testimony through his office, which he would use as raw material for sensational newspaper articles. The public would read about the subcommittee's plan of attack before it could be presented at the hearings, thus sabotaging the entire purpose of the proceedings. As chief counsel, Roy Cohn could have fired Rushmore and initiated felony charges against him for leaking evidence, but Cohn instructed the staff not to release information to Rushmore unless it was cleared with him. Despite Cohn's restraint, Rushmore quit in outrage. After criticizing his estranged friend in print, Rushmore was fired from the paper. Then old his mentor, Walter Winchell, got him a new editorial job.
Under Winchell's sponsorship, Howard Rushmore became the chief editor of a New York scandal magazine, Confidential. Its publisher, Robert Harrison, began as an office boy and later writer for Bernarr McFadden's New York Graphic during the 1920s, an ancestor of the supermarket tabloids that would emerge in the 1960s. It was at the Graphic where the young Harrison first met Walter Winchell. As an adult Harrison was on the editorial staff of the Motion Picture Herald, a trade publication whose conservative Catholic owner, Martin Quigley, Sr., had close ties to the Hays Office. Having learned from Quigley what he could get away with legally, Harrison struck out on his own with a series of non-pornographic "cheesecake" magazines. Supposedly inspired by the Kefauver Committee hearings, Harrison later launched a tabloid-style gossip magazine. It concentrated on exposing the substance abuse habits, criminal records and hidden political and sexual preferences of celebrities. Film historian Mary Desjardins described Confidential's editorial style as using "research methods and writing techniques that recycled old stories or created 'composite' facts as the basis of new ones." Robert Harrison himself described it thus: "Once we establish the star in the hay and that's documented, we can say anything we want and I think we make them a hell of a lot more interesting than they really are. What's a guy gonna do, sue us and admit he was in the hay with the dame, but claim he didn't do all the other things we dress the story with?" Before Rushmore's tenure at Confidential, Harrison published stories like “Is It True What They Say About Johnnie Ray?" and "Why Joe DiMaggio Is Striking Out with Marilyn Monroe!" With "Winchell Was Right About Josephine Baker!", Harrison came out in support of his childhood mentor at the Graphic during the Stork Club controversy. Though Harrison would publish non-show business stories involving "racketeering, consumer scams and politicians' peccadilloes," "exposés of star secrets" became Confidential's prime focus.
From his headquarters in New York City, Harrison developed a Hollywood network of informants—prostitutes, hotel employees, down-on-their-luck actors and vengeful celebrities—working with local detective agencies like the Fred Otash Detective Bureau and H. L. Von Wittenburg's Hollywood Detective Agency. Among the informants were minor actresses like Francesca De Scaffa (ex-wife of Bruce Cabot) and Ronnie Quillan (ex-wife of screenwriter Joseph Quillan). According to Harrison, Barbara Payton would stop by Confidential's Hollywood office and sell a story whenever she was short of cash. However, the informants could rise to the level of prominent Hollywood columnists like Florabel Muir and in some cases, all the way up to a producer like Mike Todd or even a studio head like Harry Cohn. Money, publicity, revenge or blackmail was the lure.
Rushmore, having earned the enmity of McCarthyite papers like those of the Hearst chain, found himself cut off from his usual employment. Rushmore hoped to use Confidential as a new venue to expose communists, though he often had to settle for suspected Hollywood "fellow travellers," whom were implied in stories to be sexual "deviates." While his anti-communist hit pieces were bylined under his own name, he used a host of pseudonyms for Hollywood exposés, such as "Juan Morales" for "The Lavender Skeletons in TV's Closet" and "Hollywood—Where Men Are Men, and Women, Too!", or "Brooks Martin" for the Zsa Zsa Gabor story "Don't Be Fooled by the Glamour Pusses." Beside Rushmore-authored pieces unmasking communists and homosexuals in Washington and Hollywood, he also wrote how-to articles on divorce and conducting extra-marital affairs, echoing his past relationships with his two wives. Rushmore did spare his mentor from Missouri, Jack Conroy, from the pages of Confidential.
In January 1955, Rushmore flew to Los Angeles to confer with old Harrison informants like De Scaffa and Quillan. He also recruited new ones like Mike Connolly of the Hollywood Reporter and Agnes Underwood of the Los Angeles Herald Express. One of Rushmore's most prolific discoveries was United Press columnist Aline Mosby. Despite his high salary, Rushmore was repelled by the informants and Harrison. Rushmore considered his employer a "pornographer," though Rushmore himself was a collector of erotica. Contrary to the popular legend that the magazine double-checked its facts before publishing its articles, as well as being vetted by Confidential's lawyers as "suit-proof," the later 1957 court case would show otherwise. Harrison communicated with his West Coast network by telegram and phone. But in the rising face of legal threats from the film industry, Harrison would make his boldest move yet.
Hollywood Research Inc. was the new intelligence-gathering front of Confidential, run by Marjorie Meade, Robert Harrison's 26-year-old niece. Despite her youth and red-headed beauty, she was the one of the most feared persons in Hollywood since her arrival in January 1955. The Harrison enterprise had evolved into a "quasi-blackmail operation." Once a proposed story was assembled, it could be published outright. Or more typically, either Meade or an agent would visit the subject and present a copy as a "buy-back" proposal, or the story be held back for in exchange for information on other celebrities. But instead of paying the magazine not to publish an article about themselves or implicating others, two actors, Lizabeth Scott and Robert Mitchum, sued. Their attorney was Jerry Giesler, who also represented heiress Doris Duke.
On July 8, 1955, Rushmore appeared on The Tom Duggan Show in Chicago. He claimed on air that he was on a secret mission to uncover the communist assassins of former Secretary of Defense James Forrestal. Rushmore told the viewers that the leader of the "Chicago Communist Party," whose name was given as "Lazarovich," was in hiding and that Rushmore needed their help in locating him. Rushmore later disappeared from his hotel room, leading to a nationwide manhunt by the FBI. As the nation speculated that Rushmore was either kidnapped or murdered by communists, he was discovered hiding under the name "H. Roberts" at the Hotel Finlen in Butte, Montana. Meanwhile, news reporters found "Lazarovich" living in Manhattan under his real name of William Lazar. Lazar said "It's a simple fact that I live quite normally in Manhattan and that any green cub reporter would not have the slightest difficulty in locating me if he honestly wanted to." Associate Director of the FBI, Clyde Tolson, wrote in the margin of a report on the disappearance: "Rushmore must be a 'nut.' We should have nothing to do with him." J. Edgar Hoover added: "I certainly agree."
The Rushmore marriage was deteriorating. In addition to Rushmore's amphetamine habit, he became an alcoholic as did his wife. On Monday, September 5, 1955, Frances Rushmore jumped into the East River in a suicide attempt, but was rescued by an air terminal worker. After admitting to the police that she jumped into the water on her own volition, she was taken to Bellevue for observation. Having quit the Journal-American after 11 years, she became an account executive for Klingman & Spencer, a prominent Manhattan public relations firm. Meanwhile, Rushmore tried to get Harrison to publish a story about former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt having an alleged affair with her African American chauffeur. When Harrison refused, Rushmore quit. By early February 1956, Rushmore was reportedly an editor at the National Police Gazette.
The next spring, despite Giesler's reassurances to the press, the legal effort against Confidential would go nowhere. Since the magazine was domiciled in New York State, and the plaintiffs were California residents who initiated the suits in their own state, the suits were stopped. On March 7, 1956, Los Angeles Supreme Court judge Leon T. David quashed Lizabeth Scott's suit on grounds that the magazine was not published in California. Despite this setback, in addition to Scott's suit, "Giesler said he also would refile in New York a $2 million suit by actor Robert Mitchum against the magazine if it also is quashed here." Though Giesler's initial attack failed, lawsuits from other actors continued to pile up. Back in New York, Rushmore used his severance pay from Confidential to buy an air ticket to California, where he contacted Giesler's office. Rushmore offered to become a witness in exchange for a job in Hollywood, but Giesler refused. Then Rushmore became a witness for California Attorney General Edmund "Pat" Brown. Since Confidential was ensconced in New York state, and New York refused to let Brown extradite Harrison to California, Brown instead put Hollywood Research and Harrison's niece on trial.
On August 7, 1957, The People of the State of California v. Robert Harrison et al. trial began. It would eventually involve over 200 actors, most of whom fled California to avoid defense subpoenas. Rushmore, now the state's star witness, testified that the magazine knowingly published unverified allegations, despite the magazine's reputation for double-checking facts: "Some of the stories are true and some have nothing to back them up at all. Harrison many times overruled his libel attorneys and went ahead on something." According to Rushmore, Harrison told the attorneys, "I'd go out of business if I printed the kind of stuff you guys want." Rushmore even fingered Aline Mosby, who was in the press galleries covering the trial for United Press. It was revealed that Mosby wrote upward to 24 stories for Confidential—UP had to replace the disgraced Mosby with another reporter. But a mistrial was declared on October 1, 1957 when the jury could not agree on a verdict after two weeks of deliberations. But Edmund Brown preempted Confidential's win by calling for a retrial. Harrison was rattled. To spare his niece another ordeal, Harrison promised the Attorney General to publish only positive stories.
Final years and death
Though Rushmore thought himself a hero for exposing Confidential, he became a pariah in the publishing world. He was no longer an editor at the Police Gazette, though he would stop by to scrounge up work. By 1957, he was reduced to writing occasional articles on hunting for outdoors magazines. His last known assignments were for True War magazine. In December 1957, Rushmore chased his wife and teenaged step-daughter Lynn out of their Manhattan home with a shotgun. Two days before Christmas, Frances and her daughter left their home on the advice of her psychiatrist and stayed with Frances' eldest daughter, 20-year-old Jean Dobbins of Greenwich Village. Mother and daughter later took over a friend's apartment. While Frances was under psychiatric care since the East River incident, Howard himself was now under psychiatric care.
On January 3, 1958, at 6:15 pm, a few days before Frances was scheduled to lead a junket of editors to Brazil, the Rushmores met inside the lobby of their apartment building in a final attempt at reconciliation. Frances was due to have dinner at the Dobbins' at 8 pm. When an argument broke out between the couple, Frances left to hail a taxi. Taxi driver Edward Pearlman picked her up at Madison Avenue and 97th Street. Simultaneously, Howard entered the cab. As the two continued arguing, Pearlman ordered him out of the cab to which he replied, “I’m her husband, don’t worry about it.” “Where do you want to go?” Pearlman asked. “Take me to a police station,” Frances said. As the cab raced to the 23rd Precinct at Third and 104th, they were only two blocks away when Frances screamed, “Oh my God!” Suddenly, three gunshots fired inside the cab. Rushmore had shot his wife in the right side of the head and neck then put the pistol to his temple and shot himself. At the police station, an unregistered .32 Colt revolver was found in Rushmore's hand and a seven-inch commando knife inside the waistband of his trousers. Jean Dobbins speculated that her mother's refusal to take Rushmore to Brazil might have started the argument that ended in the shooting. Contrary to general expectations, Dobbs said her parents quarreled "over personal things, not Rushmore's controversial public life ... 'He was very possessive, very jealous, and wanted to go everywhere with her." Frances Rushmore's father, Louis Everitt, the owner of a women's shoe store in Charlotte, brought his daughter's body back to North Carolina.
A police search of the Rushmore apartment at 16th East, 93rd Street revealed "a valuable gun collection ... along with an extensive collection of pornographic pictures." Jean Dobbins was initially hesitant to claim her stepfather's body, though willing to do so if no blood-relation was willing. She did not want him to be buried in New York City's "potter's field." After Rushmore's body lay unclaimed at Bellevue for five days, Ruth Rushmore, now a secretary, took custody. She held a private service at an undisclosed location, had the body cremated and sent the ashes back to be buried in Mexico, Missouri, "back to the 'dark and bloody ground.'"
-  FamilySearch (accessed May 3, 2014), "Howard C Rushmore, 'South Dakota, State Census, 1915,'" FamilySearch. Most history books and Rushmore himself give a birth year of 1912.
-  State Board of Health of Missouri (August 27, 1947; accessed May 2, 2014), Standard Certificate of Death, Clifford Glen Rushmore
- R. Fred Houts (R.F. Houts, 1991), Seventeen generations of Lawrences: Being primarily a genealogical record of the family and descendants of Oliver and Patty Ann (Wait) Lawrence, p. 200
- Sam Kashner, Jennifer MacNair (W. W. Norton & Company, May 17, 2003), The Bad & the Beautiful: Hollywood in the Fifties, p. 24
- Anonymous (Newsweek, Incorporated, January 1, 1940), "Notice to Our Readers," Newsweek, New York City, p. 27
- Howard Rushmore (Reader's Digest Association, January 1940), "Rebirth of an American," Reader's Digest, p. 57
- Howard Rushmore (May 11, 1937), "Back to the Soil: Returning to the gumbo land of South Dakota, the author finds farming and farmers greatly changed," New Masses, p. 6
- Henry E. Scott (Pantheon, 1st reprint edition, January 19, 2010), Shocking True Story: The Rise and Fall of Confidential, "America's Most Scandalous Scandal Magazine, pp. 47–48
- Theo Wilson (Thursday, January 9, 1958), "Mixed Epitaphs for Rushmore—The Ex-Missourian, Who Killed His Wife and Himself, Had Often Turned on Those Who Were His Friends," The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Missouri), p. 8
- Sam Kashner, Jennifer MacNair (W. W. Norton & Company, May 17, 2003), The Bad & the Beautiful: Hollywood in the Fifties, p. 25
- George Sokolsky (January 9, 1958), George Sokolsky, The Plain Speaker (Hazleton, Pennsylvania), p. 6
- Sam Kashner, Jennifer MacNair (W. W. Norton & Company, May 17, 2003), The Bad & the Beautiful: Hollywood in the Fifties, pp. 24–25
- Henry E. Scott (Pantheon, 1st reprint edition, January 19, 2010), Shocking True Story: The Rise and Fall of Confidential, "America's Most Scandalous Scandal Magazine, p. 48
- Douglas C. Wixson (University of Illinois Press, October 1, 1998), Worker-Writer in America: Jack Conroy and the Tradition of Midwestern Literary Radicalism, 1898-1990, p. 368
- Lawrence O. Christensen, William E. Foley, Gary Kremer (University of Missouri, October 7, 1999) , Dictionary of Missouri Biography, pp. 359–361
-  Albert F. Canwell, et al. (The Committee, 1948), Second Report, Un-American activities in Washington State, 1948, p. 145
- Anonymous (Tuesday, April 9, 1935), "Jack Conroy Speaker Before Mexico Club," Moberly Monitor-Index (Moberly, Missouri), p. 1
- Douglas C. Wixson (University of Illinois Press, October 1, 1998), Worker-Writer in America: Jack Conroy and the Tradition of Midwestern Literary Radicalism, 1898-1990, p. 445
- Murray Kempton (NYRB Classics, reprint edition, May 31, 2004), Part of Our Time: Some Ruins and Monuments of the Thirties, p. 173
-  Albert F. Canwell, et al. (The Committee, 1948), Second Report, Un-American activities in Washington State, 1948, p. 150
- Loren Ghiglione (Columbia University Press, reprint edition, April 12, 2011), CBS's Don Hollenbeck: An Honest Reporter in the Age of McCarthyism, p. 176
- Henry E. Scott (Pantheon, 1st reprint edition, January 19, 2010), Shocking True Story: The Rise and Fall of Confidential, "America's Most Scandalous Scandal Magazine, p. 51
-  Jay Maeder (February 26, 2001; accessed May 3, 2014), Turncoat: The Estrangements of Howard Rushmore, January 1958, Chapter 282," New York Daily News (New York City, New York)
- Henry E. Scott (Pantheon, 1st reprint edition, January 19, 2010), Shocking True Story: The Rise and Fall of Confidential, "America's Most Scandalous Scandal Magazine, p. 49
- Carlton Jackson (Madison Books, April 14, 1993), Hattie: The Life of Hattie McDaniel, p. 49. In Jackson's account, Rushmore quit the Daily Worker in protest, rather than being fired.
- Jay Maeder (Sports Publications, January 1, 1999) Big Town, Big Time: A New York Epic : 1898-1998, p. 114
- AP (Friday, December 22, 1939), "Communist Film Critic Lose Job Rather Than Rap 'Gone With Wind'," Panama City Pilot (Panama City, Florida), p. 1
- AP (Friday, December 22, 1939), "Red Critic Quits Because He Wouldn't Blast 'Gone' Movie," Pampa Daily News (Pampa, Texas), p. 1
- AP (Friday, December 22, 1939), "Too Cool For Reds—Film Critic's Job's Gone When He Fails To 'Blister' Movie In Communist Paper," The Iola Register (Iola, Kansas), p. 1
- Anonymous (Saturday, December 30, 1939), "Red Critic Fired For Not Rapping 'Gone With The Wind," The Pittsburgh Courier (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), p. 1
- Henry E. Scott (Pantheon, 1st reprint edition, January 19, 2010), Shocking True Story: The Rise and Fall of Confidential, "America's Most Scandalous Scandal Magazine, pp. 51–53
- Westbrook Pegler (Friday, December 29, 1939), "Fair Enough! Daily Worker Puts Itself In Same Class With Those It Hates By Firing Critic," News-Journal (Mansfield, Ohio), p. 2
- David M. Oshinsky (Oxford University Press, USA, September 29, 2005), A Conspiracy So Immense: The World of Joe McCarthy, p. 252
- Earl Wilson (Monday, January 13, 1958), "Gleason Losing 70 Pounds; 'At's What The Man Said," It Happened Last Night, The Terre Haute Star (Terre Haute, Indiana), p. 4
- Howard Rushmore (June 1940), "Life on The Daily Worker, The American Mercury, pp. 215–221
- Howard Rushmore (May 1955), Heard on the Party Line, p. 50
- Anonymous (November 11, 1946), "Should a Mother Continue to Model?" Life (New York City, New York), p. 1. Ad for Ipana Tooth Paste.
- AP (Saturday, January 4, 1958), "N.C.-Born Wife, Self Killed By Former Editor," The Daily Times-News (Burlington, North Carolina), p. 1. AP article says Frances Rushmore was born in Greensboro, but grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia.
- R. Fred Houts (R.F. Houts, 1991), Seventeen generations of Lawrences: Being primarily a genealogical record of the family and descendants of Oliver and Patty Ann (Wait) Lawrence, p. 200. "Frances (Everitt) McCoy who was born 20 Aug 1920 at Huntsville, Madison Co., Ala., a daughter of Louis Hubert and Ora Mae Everitt. She had been previously married in 1935 at Atlanta, Ca. to James Henry McCoy, Jr."
-  FamilySearch (accessed May 10, 2014), "Marjorie F Everitt, 'North Carolina, Birth Index, 1800-2000,'" FamilySearch. Birth Index says Marjorie F. Everitt was born on August 15, 1920 in Guilford, North Carolina. Father is L.H. Everitt.
- Clearfield Company (Genealogical Publishing Company, 1981), Genealogies of Virginia families: from the Virginia magazine of history and biography, Volume 1, p. 205. McCoy's first husband was James Henry McCoy Jr. (b. 1912, m. June 6, 1936)
- R. Fred Houts (R.F. Houts, 1991), Seventeen generations of Lawrences: Being primarily a genealogical record of the family and descendants of Oliver and Patty Ann (Wait) Lawrence, p. 141
- Jack D Meeks (ProQuest, UMI Dissertation Publishing, September 11, 2011), From the Belly of the HUAC: The HUAC Investigations of Hollywood, 1947–1952, pp. 169–245
- Jay Maeder (February 26, 2001; accessed May 3, 2014), Turncoat: The Estrangements of Howard Rushmore, January 1958, Chapter 282," New York Daily News (New York City, New York)
- Alan L. Gansberg (Scarecrow Press, May 18, 2004), Little Caesar: A Biography of Edward G. Robinson, p. xii
- Jack D Meeks (ProQuest, UMI Dissertation Publishing, September 11, 2011), From the Belly of the HUAC: The HUAC Investigations of Hollywood, 1947–1952, pp. 240–242
- Larry Ceplair (University of Illinois Press, July 17, 2003), The Inquisition in Hollywood: Politics in the Film Community, 1930–60, pp. xiii–xiv
- Diana West (St. Martin's Press, May 28, 2013), American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character, pp. 88–89. Before the Cold War, communists working in the film industry on their own initiative (without directives from Moscow) would censor screenplays hostile to the Soviet Union.
- Peter C. Rollins (Columbia University Press, March 24, 2004), The Columbia Companion to American History on Film, pp. 29–31
- Jack D Meeks (ProQuest, UMI Dissertation Publishing, September 11, 2011), From the Belly of the HUAC: The HUAC Investigations of Hollywood, 1947–1952, pp. 194–195, 239
- Clarence Taylor (Columbia University Press, April 22, 2011), Reds at the Blackboard: Communism, Civil Rights, and the New York City Teachers Union, pp. 126–129
- INS (Tuesday, December 28, 1948), "School Teachers Are Reported For Red Activities," New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania), p. 10
- Henry E. Scott (Pantheon, 1st reprint edition, January 19, 2010), Shocking True Story: The Rise and Fall of Confidential, "America's Most Scandalous Scandal Magazine, p. 53
- Harvey Matusow (Nabu Press, August 27, 2011), False Witness, p.128
- Sam Kashner, Jennifer MacNair (W. W. Norton & Company, May 17, 2003), The Bad & the Beautiful: Hollywood in the Fifties, p. 27
- Sam Kashner, Jennifer MacNair (W. W. Norton & Company, May 17, 2003), The Bad & the Beautiful: Hollywood in the Fifties, p. 28
- David F. Krugler (University of Missouri, November 1, 2000), The Voice of America and the Domestic Propaganda Battles, 1945-1953, pp. 185–186
- Sam Kashner, Jennifer MacNair (W. W. Norton & Company, May 17, 2003), The Bad & the Beautiful: Hollywood in the Fifties, p. 29
- David M. Oshinsky (Oxford University Press, USA, September 29, 2005), A Conspiracy So Immense: The World of Joe McCarthy, p. 318
- Anonymous, (September 1955), table of contents, Confidential, (New York City, New York), p. 4
- Darden Asbury Pyron (University Of Chicago Press, June 1, 2001), Liberace: An American Boy, p. 216
- Henry E. Scott (Pantheon, 1st reprint edition, January 19, 2010), Shocking True Story: The Rise and Fall of Confidential, "America's Most Scandalous Scandal Magazine, pp. 13–15
- Anthony Slide (University Press of Mississippi, February 26, 2010), Inside the Hollywood Fan Magazine: A History of Star Makers, Fabricators, and Gossip Mongers, p. 180
- Samantha Barbas (University of California Press, October 24, 2005), The First Lady of Hollywood: A Biography of Louella Parsons, p. 328. Most historians doubt the Kefauver hearings being the origin of Confidential, since Harrison worked for tabloid-style publications since childhood.
- Adrienne L. McLean, David A. Cook, editors (Rutgers University Press, January 1, 2001), Mary Desjardins, "Systemizing Scandal: Confidential Magazine, Stardom, and the State of California," Headline Hollywood: A Century of Film Scandal (Communications, Media, and Culture), p. 184
- Harold Conrad (Stein & Day Publishers, April 1982), Dear Muffo: 35 Years in the Fast Lane, p. 99
- Michael S. Sherry (The University of North Carolina Press, September 10, 2007), Gay Artists in Modern American Culture: An Imagined Conspiracy, pp. 29–30
- Henry E. Scott (Pantheon, 1st reprint edition, January 19, 2010), Shocking True Story: The Rise and Fall of Confidential, "America's Most Scandalous Scandal Magazine, pp. 20–23
- Janet Thumin (I. B. Tauris, March 20, 2002), Small Screens, Big Ideas: Television in the 1950s, p. 122
- Henry E. Scott (Pantheon, 1st reprint edition, January 19, 2010), Shocking True Story: The Rise and Fall of Confidential, "America's Most Scandalous Scandal Magazine, p. 125
- Henry E. Scott (Pantheon, 1st reprint edition, January 19, 2010), Shocking True Story: The Rise and Fall of Confidential, "America's Most Scandalous Scandal Magazine, pp. 37, 184
- Henry E. Scott (Pantheon, 1st reprint edition, January 19, 2010), Shocking True Story: The Rise and Fall of Confidential, "America's Most Scandalous Scandal Magazine, pp. 36, 55
- Val Holley (Mcfarland & Company, June 12, 2003), Mike Connolly and the Manly Art of Hollywood Gossip, p. 35. Muir was exposed as an informant during the 1957 Harrison trial.
- Harold Conrad (Stein & Day Publishers, April 1982), Dear Muffo: 35 Years in the Fast Lane, pp. 95–96. Mike Todd wanted Harrison to publish a hit-piece on Columbia's Harry Cohn.
- Ezra Goodman (MacFadden Books, 1962), The Fifty Year Decline and Fall of Hollywood, p. 58. Harry Cohn allegedly suppressed the Confidential story about himself in exchange for rumors regarding Columbia contractee Kim Novak.
- Henry E. Scott (Pantheon, 1st reprint edition, January 19, 2010), Shocking True Story: The Rise and Fall of Confidential, "America's Most Scandalous Scandal Magazine, p. 10
- Tab Hunter (Algonquin Books, September 8, 2006), Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star, p. 117
- Kenneth G. McLain (July 1955), "The Untold Story of Marlene Dietrich," Confidential (New York City, New York), pp. 22–25, 56, 58
- Matt Williams (September 1955), "Lizabeth Scott in the Call Girls' Call Book," Confidential (New York City, New York), p. 32–33, 50
- Sam Kashner, Jennifer MacNair (W. W. Norton & Company, May 17, 2003), The Bad & the Beautiful: Hollywood in the Fifties, p. 32
- Douglas C. Wixson (University of Illinois Press, October 1, 1998), Worker-Writer in America: Jack Conroy and the Tradition of Midwestern Literary Radicalism, 1898-1990, p. 367
- Henry E. Scott (Pantheon, 1st reprint edition, January 19, 2010), Shocking True Story: The Rise and Fall of Confidential, "America's Most Scandalous Scandal Magazine, pp. 63–64
- Val Holley (Mcfarland & Company, June 12, 2003), Mike Connolly and the Manly Art of Hollywood Gossip, p. 29. Mosby was nationally known at the time for doing a story at a nudist camp, naked. Later she covered the "Kitchen Debate" between Nikita Khrushchev and Richard Nixon and was the first American journalist to interview Lee Harvey Oswald in Moscow.
- Claire Cox (Sunday, January 5, 1958), "Former 'Confidential' Editor Cracks; Kills Wife And Self," The Delta Democrat-Times (Greenville, Mississippi), p. 5
- Henry E. Scott (Pantheon, 1st reprint edition, January 19, 2010), Shocking True Story: The Rise and Fall of Confidential, "America's Most Scandalous Scandal Magazine, pp. 125–126
- Neal Gabler (April 2003), "The Scandalmonger: Confidential's Reign of Terror," Vanity Fair (New York City, New York), p. 200
- David Ehrenstein (Harper Perennial, May 16, 2000), Open Secret: Gay Hollywood—1928–2000, p. 99
- James Robert Parish (Arlington House, 1972), The Paramount Pretties, p. 530
- UP (Saturday, July 9, 1955), "Red-Hunting Editor Disappears In Chicago," The Escanaba Daily Press (Escanaba, Michigan), p. 1
- UP (Monday, July 11, 1955), "Former Red Editor Turns Up Unharmed," The Daily Telegram (Eau Claire, Wisconsin), p. 1
- Henry E. Scott (Pantheon, 1st reprint edition, January 19, 2010), Shocking True Story: The Rise and Fall of Confidential, "America's Most Scandalous Scandal Magazine, p. 130
- William J. Mann (Faber & Faber, July 1, 2011), How to Be a Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood 1941-1981, p. 154
- New York News Service (Tuesday, September 6, 1955), "Wife Of Editor Rescued. Leap Into East River Made by Mrs. Howard Rushmore," The Kansas City Times (Kansas City, Missouri), p. 2
- Sam Kashner, Jennifer MacNair (W. W. Norton & Company, May 17, 2003), The Bad & the Beautiful: Hollywood in the Fifties, pp. 36–37
- AP (Saturday, January 4, 1958), "Former Editor of 'Confidential' Kills Wife and Himself," The Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune (Chillicothe, Missouri), p. 1
- Neal Gabler (April 2003), "The Scandalmonger: Confidential's Reign of Terror," Vanity Fair (New York City, New York), p. 202
- Walter Winchell (February 3, 1956), Walter Winchell, Daytona Beach Morning Journal, p. 4
- UP (Thursday, March 8, 1956), "Court Quashes Actress' Suit," Idaho State Journal (Pocatello, Idaho), p. 9
- Sam Kashner, Jennifer MacNair (W. W. Norton & Company, May 17, 2003), The Bad & the Beautiful: Hollywood in the Fifties, pp. 40–41
- INS (Wednesday, August 7, 1957), "Lawyer Opens Trial Of Two Magazines," Anderson Daily Bulletin (Anderson, Indiana), p. 3
-  Douglas O. Linder (2010; accessed April 27, 2014)
- Bob Houser, (Saturday, August 10, 1957), "Actress 'Offered to Have Affair' to Get Hot Story: Tells Role of Cabot's Ex-Wife," Independent (Long Beach, California), pp. 1–2
- Val Holley (Mcfarland & Company, June 12, 2003), Mike Connolly and the Manly Art of Hollywood Gossip, p. 29.
-  James P. O'Connell (September 26, 1958; accessed December 14, 2015), "Subject: Mosby, Aline," Federal Bureau of Investigation, Security Support Division. FBI memo notes that United Press fired Mosby for the Confidential leaks.
- Darden Asbury Pyron (University Of Chicago Press, June 1, 2001), Liberace: An American Boy, p. 223. Maureen O'Hara settled out-of-court on July 2, 1958. Errol Flynn settled July 8, 1958. Liberace settled on July 16, 1958. O'Hara, Flynn and Liberace were only witnesses for the prosecution and not plaintiffs in the California trial. None of the other lawsuits—from Lizabeth Scott's to Maureen O'Hara's—ever went to trial.
- Henry E. Scott (Pantheon, 1st reprint edition, January 19, 2010), Shocking True Story: The Rise and Fall of Confidential, "America's Most Scandalous Scandal Magazine, p. 187
- AP (Saturday, January 4, 1958), "Former Editor Confidential Kills Wife—Rushmore Then Shoots Himself," The Bee (Danville, Virginia), p. 13
- UP (Sunday, January 5, 1958), "Psychiatrist Foresaw Possibility Of Murder, Suicide By Rushmore," The Daily Plainsman (Huron, South Dakota), p. 1
-  David J. Krajicek (Saturday, April 23, 2016; accessed July 29, 2016), "Madman New York journalist went out in front-page fashion with murder-suicide," New York Daily News (New York City, New York)
- AP (Saturday, January 4, 1958), "Howard Rushmore Commits Suicide After Slaying Wife," Reading Eagle (Reading, Pennsylvania), p. 10
- Sam Kashner, Jennifer MacNair (W. W. Norton & Company, May 17, 2003), The Bad & the Beautiful: Hollywood in the Fifties, pp. 43–46
- Anonymous (Sunday, January 5, 1958), "Rushmore Marital Discord Recalled," Buffalo Courier Express (Buffalo, New York), p. 10A
- INS (Saturday, January 4, 1958), "Editor Kills Wife, Self In N.Y. Taxicab," The Times Record (Troy, New York), p. 3
- UP (Tuesday, January 7, 1958), "Delay Claiming Rushmore Body," The Sandusky Register (Sandusky, Ohio), p. 3
- UP (Tuesday, January 7, 1958), "Rushmore Body Still Unclaimed," The Levittown Times (Levittown, Pennsylvania), p. 3
- Sam Kashner, Jennifer MacNair (W. W. Norton & Company, May 17, 2003), The Bad & the Beautiful: Hollywood in the Fifties, pp. 45–46