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The Honorable Michael A. Musmanno Posthumous Collection: A Sub-group of the Honorable Michael A. Musmanno Collection

Identifier: MSS 022

Scope and Contents

This collection is a part of a greater collection entitled The Honorable Michael A. Musmanno Papers. This collection deals with the time after the passing of Judge Musmanno. The Posthumous Collection consists of 7 boxes, about 10 cubic feet of material. The records date from 1968-1987 with the bulk dates ranging from 1968-1972. The collection contains newspapers, photographs, speeches, personal writings, correspondence legal documents and invoices/receipts.


  • 1968 - 1996
  • Majority of material found within 1968 - 1972

Biographical / Historical

Michael A. Musmanno was born on April 7, 1897, in Stowe Township, Allegheny County, PA. In 1923, he was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar and worked several years as an attorney. He served 4 years in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and, in 1932; he began his lifelong career as a jurist. In 1951, he became a Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. During the World War II, Captain Musmanno served as naval aide to General Mark Clark, Fifth Army, during the Italian invasion. Musmanno led the U.S. investigation to determine if Adolf Hitler died at the end of the war. He served as a presiding judge at the Nuremberg War Crime trials and retired from active duty as a rear admiral. During his postwar career he was elected as a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Judge, a position he held until his death. In 1964 Musmanno ran an unsuccessful campaign for United States Senate. Aside from his political career he was a prolific writer, publishing sixteen books, including Across the Street From the Courthouse, The Story of Italians in America, and Columbus Was First as well as a number of short stories and articles. Judge Musmanno passed away at the age of 71 on Columbus Day, October 12, 1968.


10 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



This series deals specifically with the death of Michael A. Musmanno on October 12, 1968. It is mostly composed of condolences and tributes that people sent to the family after Musmanno had passed away and of documents arranging the funerals. It does include as well a large amount of newspapers clippings dedicated to the passing of Judge Musmanno.


This series is composed of several inventories of the belongings found in Michael A. Musmanno's office after his death. Of special note is the extensive list of public speeches given by Musmanno throughout his life as well as his list of photographs.


This series compiles information about dinners and events held in honor of Michael A. Musmanno after his death and about awards he received posthumously.


This series deals with the donation of material to the Duquesne University Archives. It also includes documents related to the use of the collection by Duquesne students and researchers.


This series is composed of several folders compiling clippings and inventories assembled by Musmanno's family.


The personal papers and library of the former Pennsylvania State Supreme Court justice, congressman, and author Michael A. Musmanno are located in the University Archives at Duquesne University. Documents include papers from Musmanno’s time as a defense attorney in the Sacco & Vanzetti trial, judge in the Nuremberg Trials, witness in the case against Adolf Eichmann, and interviews with Hitler’s associates. The collection also covers papers related to campaigns to end the Sunday Blue Laws, illegalize the Communist Party and to disband the Coal and Iron Police. This particular collection is an extension of these holdings, containing the papers of Judge Musmanno just prior to and directly after his passing on October 12, 1968. Included are burial honors, letters and cards of condolence and publications about the Judge after his passing. The largest parts of the collection contain correspondence between his nephews Judge William Cercone and Neal Musmanno in the affairs of his estate, including the donation to Duquesne University.

Processing Information

Processed by Lindsay Davenport and Gina DelGreco, November-December 2015, Reprocessed by Anaïs Grateau, April-June 2017

The Honorable Michael A. Musmanno Posthumous Collection
Duquesne University Archives and Special Collections
Anaïs Grateau
April-June 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Language of description note
Edition statement
Processed by Lindsay Davenport and Gina DelGreco, November-December 2015, Reprocessed by Anaïs Grateau, April-June 2017

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository