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Eric Breindel Papers

Identifier: P-896

Scope and Content Note

This collection has been divided into four series for ease in access. Series I, Research and Writings, documents the work of Eric Breindel. This series has been further organized into three sub-series. The first, appropriately titled, Sub-series 1 - Writings, documents the singular and collaborative output of Eric Breindel. This includes his senior thesis from Harvard titled, A Study in Terrorism: The Origin, Ideology, and Tactics of the Stern Group; his work, which he coauthored with Herbert Romerstein, on the Venona papers, titled The Venona Secrets; and a collection of his essays that appeared in Commentary magazine and were posthumously edited by John Podhoretz titled, A Passion for Truth: The Selected Writings of Eric Breindel. Along with these works are copies of the original Venona papers used in the writing of The Venona Secrets. Then, Sub-series 2 - Research, includes documents that have no immediate or obvious relationship to the writings of Eric Breindel that were deemed appropriate enough by the donor to be included in the collection. These include a manuscript and selections of David Horowitz’s Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey, Nicholas Eberstadt’s The End of North Korea, and a manuscript of Bernard Fergusson’s The Trumpet in the Hall, 1930-1958. While the connection to Breindel’s work in vague these documents lend insight into his interests. Finally, Sub-series 3 – Assorted, this contains an assortment of papers of a personal and professional nature. These include the haftarah of his sister Monique, various award letters from his time at Harvard, and an assortment of writings of indeterminable origin and authorship.

Series II, titled, Memorial, documents the events following Eric Breindel’s death, including his funeral and subsequent memorials and tributes. These include numerous condolence letter, obituaries, and tributes. Some of those who attended the funeral and send letters of condolences to the family include, author Elie Wiesel, journalists Peter Jennings, Barbara Walters, Brit Hume and John Podhoretz, designer Oscar De La Renta, actor Ron Silver, and many politicians.

Photographs can be found in Series III. These visually document the life of Eric Breindel. Individuals of note within this series include, Senators Bob Dole and Chris Dodd, media mogul Rupert Murdoch, New York Governors Mario Cuomo and George Pataki, U.S. Presidents Richard M. Nixon and George H.W. Bush, New York Mayors Ed Koch and Rudy Giuliani, Israeli Prime Minister and President Shimon Peres, political activist and author Natan Saransky, and many other politicians and pundits. This series also contains a flyer for the 1948 Presidential Campaign of Progressive Party candidate Henry Wallace and a painting of a young unknown girl.

The many awards, medals and plaques Eric Breindel received can be found in, Series IV – Awards and Honors.


  • undated, 1943-2007
  • Majority of material found within 1988-1998


Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers, except items that may be restricted due to their fragility, or privacy.

Use Restrictions

No permission is required to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection, as long as the usage is scholarly, educational, and non-commercial. For inquiries about other usage, please contact the Director of Collections and Engagement at

For reference questions, please email:

Biographical Note

Eric Breindel, political commentator and columnist, was born in 1955 to Dr. Joseph H. and Sonia of New York City. Eric attended and graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire. He would go on to graduate magna cum laude from Harvard College. While at Harvard, he had the distinction of being elected to Phi Beta Kappa and served as the editorial chair of the Harvard Crimson newspaper. He sought to advance his education by pursuing graduate work at the London School of Economics, and Harvard Law, where he earned his J.D. in 1982.

Breindel worked as an aide to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s (D-N.Y.) Senate Intelligence Committee. He then went on to work for the Public Broadcasting Corporation as a correspondent. In 1986, he was made Editorial Page Editor of the New York Post. He wrote on a variety of topics and was noted for his conservative perspective. During his time at the helm of the New York Post's editorial page his convivial personality allowed him befriend many of the city’s leaders, not only in politics but in other areas as well, regardless of political persuasion or affiliation. In 1997, nearly ten years later he was appointed to the position of Senior Vice President of News Corporation and made host of Fox News Channels’ Fox News Watch.

Suffering from a variety of ailments, he died in 1998 at the age of 42. At the time of his death, Senator Moynihan of New York paid tribute to Eric in the Congressional Record for March 12, 1998. His memorial service was held at the Park Avenue Synagogue on March 9, and attended by many of the city’s most influential citizens. He was survived by his father Joseph H., then chief of obstetrics and gynecology at New York's Beth Israel Medical Center and Sonia Breindel of New York and his sister, Monique.

Although he wrote numerous editorials in the New York Post, below is provided some of his lengthier authorial efforts. In 1998, John Podhoretz, editor of Commentary magazine, compiled a collection of Breindel’s writings, titled A Passion for Truth: The Selected Writings of Eric Breindel that had appeared in that magazine.


LeDuff, Charlie "Eric Breindel, 42, Commentator and New York Post Columnist." New York Times, March 8, 1998, Obituaries.

"Journalist Breindel Dies at 42: Eric M. Breindel '77 was New York Post editor, Jewish community leader." Harvard Crimson, March 20, 1998.


  1. Romerstein, Herbet and Eric Breindel. The Venona Secrets: Exposing Soviet Espionage and America’s Traitors. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, 2000.
  2. Breindel, Eric. A Passion for Truth: The Selected Writings of Eric Breindel. Edited by John Podhoretz. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1999.
  3. Eberstadt, Nick and Eric Breindel. Realities behind Camp David: Demographic aspects of the Politics of Peace in the Middle East Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, Center for Population Studies, 1978.


12.5 Linear Feet (8 manuscript boxes and 5 OS1 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Eric Breindel Papers (1955-1998) provides a glimpse into the life and untimely passing of New York Post editor and columnist Eric Breindel. The bulk of this collection documents the many awards and honors he received for his contributions to the Jewish community, and the community at large. The collection also includes many photographs of Breindel with friends, colleagues, and notable individuals. Some samples of his writing and research can also be found in the collection. Other interesting material documents the grief of his early death and the sentiments expressed by many about his loss.


The documents in this collection have been organized according to topic and document type. The collection has been broken up into series. Series 1 has been further organized into sub-series. These sub-series have been arranged by topic. All files have been organized within their respective series and sub-series first alphabetically, then chronologically.

Acquisition Information

This collection was received in three accessions. The first accession dates from June 3, 1999 and was received as a gift from Eric’s parents Joseph and Sonia Breindel. The second accession dates from June 6, 2001 as a gift from Sonia Breindel, Eric Breindel’s mother. The third accession is dated from December 23, 2008 and was received as a gift from Elizabeth (Lally) Weymouth, a close friend.

Related Material

National Security Agency and Central Security Service’s website on the U.S. Army's Signal Intelligence Service’s VENONA program to uncover Soviet spies operating in the United States can be found at:

Eric Breindel was a student of U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and served under him as an advisor. Senator Moynihan's papers may be found at the Library of Congress. A finding aid is available at:

Guide to the Eric Breindel Papers (1955-1998), undated, 1943-2007 P-896
Processed by Michael D. Montalbano
© 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Processed as part of the Leon Levy Archival Processing Initiative, made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation
Edition statement
[This version was derived from Breindel.xml]

Revision Statements

  • November 2020: RJohnstone: post-ASpace migration cleanup.

Repository Details

Part of the American Jewish Historical Society Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States