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McDonald, Dora E.

b. 1925 - d. 2007

Dora Edith McDonald attended South Carolina State College. After graduation she worked as secretary for Benjamin Mays, president of Morehouse College. In 1960 Dr. King hired her as his personal secretary, a position she held until his death. Working from Ebenezer Baptist Church and then the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) office, McDonald typed King’s manuscripts and sermons, took telephone calls, organized his speaking engagements and often traveled with him. She was his confidante, sounding board and close family friend. McDonald traveled with the Kings to Oslo for the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony and informed Mrs. King of her husband’s assassination. From 1972 to 1977 she worked for Andrew Young in his congressional office, taking a job with IBM when Young was appointed United Nations ambassador. Her memoir Sharing the Dream: Martin Luther King, Jr., the Movement, and Me was published in 2007.

Associated Archive Content : 454 results

Bob Fitch Passes Letter to MLK Through Secretary McDonald

Bob Fitch makes mention of a letter that he feels would be of interest to Dr. King.

D. McDonald's Response to Melvin Arnold's Letter Dated 11/7/62

In this correspondence to Mr. Melvin Arnold, Miss Dora McDonald, at the request of Dr. King, informed Mr. Arnold that Dr. King was still working on his sermons for publication. She also regretted that Dr. King and Mrs. King would not be available for dinner Sunday, November 18, 1962.

Flight Schedule Proposal for MLK and Party

Henderson Travel Service, Inc. created this suggested flight schedule for Dr. King, Ralph D. Abernathy, Andrew Young, Bernard Lee, and Dora McDonald.

Grand Hotel Reservation for MLK

This reservation request was sent to Grand Hotel to establish accommodations for Dr. King and his associates during the Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies. One of the drafts of Dr. King's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech was scripted on Grand Hotel stationary.

Handwritten Note from Harry Wachtel to Dora McDonald

Harry Wachtel, confidant and legal counsel to Dr. King, writes a note to Dora McDonald referencing an enclosure intended for Dr. King.

Inter-Office Telephone Extensions

Documented are the telephone extensions for the SCLC office staff.

Interview of MLK to Appear in PLAYBOY

On behalf of Dr. King, Secretary Dora McDonald responds to Thomas A. Johnson of The New York Times. She goes on to say that Dr. King accepts the invitation for an interview, that would appear in an upcoming issue of PLAYBOY Magazine.

Invitation from the Negro American Labor Council to MLK

On behalf of the Negro American Labor Council, August Hill invites Dr. King to visit Racine, Wisconsin. He tells Dr. King that they are suffering from problems regarding employment in addition to all of the other inequalities. He also says that their community is not involved and that they need to be concerned about the issues in their society.

Letter Dated 10/15/62 from D. McDonald to Mel Arnold

Miss. Dora McDonald, at the request of Dr. King, sent a letter to Mr. Mel Arnold acknowledging the enclosure of a sermon by Dr. King. The sermon was entitled, "How Should a Christian View Communism?"

Letter Dated 11/14/62 from D. McDonald to Mel Arnold

Per Dr. King's request, Ms. Dora McDonald forwards the sermon "The Man Was A Fool," to Mr. Mel Arnold of Harper and Row Publishing. The sermon is to be included in a forthcoming book of Dr. King's sermons.

Letter Dated 12/4/62 from MLK's Secretary to Melvin Arnold

In this correspondence to Mr. Melvin Arnold, Miss Dora McDonald, at the request of Dr. King, informed Mr. Arnold that Dr. King was still working on his sermons for publication. She also stated that Dr. King had a meeting later that afternoon on December 12, 1962 and would like to scheduled a meeting with Rev. Wallis for earlier that day.

Letter from Alan J. Rankin to Miss Dora McDonald

Dr. King informs Alan J. Rankin to communicate to Dora McDonald about his availability to speak at the University Christian Council of McMaster University. The theme of the discussion for the "Teach-In" is going to be "The Religious Dilemma of Twentieth Century Man." Mr. Rankin expects over 2,000 students in attendance and church people from Canada. Furthermore, Mr. Rankin asserts that there will be news coverage on this event.

Letter from Arthur R. Mann to Dora McDonald

Arthur Mann thanks Dora McDonald for her hospitality during a recent visit to Atlanta by New York Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller.

Letter from August Schou to MLK

August Schou of the Nobel Committee responds to Dr. King's secretary, Dora McDonald, regarding Dr. King's arrival in Norway for the Nobel Peace Prize Award. Schou explains the importance of Dr. King arriving at the recommended date as well as the proper attire and a short list of other individuals invited to join Dr. King.

Letter from Bea Lazar to Dora McDonald

Bea Lazar thanks Miss McDonald for sending a copy of a recent speech given by Dr. King. She praises the speech as a lesson that Americans "sorely need." She also encloses a contribution to the SCLC as a Christmas present.

Letter from Bengt Bjerke to Dora McDonald

Bengt Bjerke from the Legal Counsel of the Nobel Foundation informs Dora McDonald that a signature is needed for Dr. King's copyright assignment form for his Nobel Lecture.

Letter from Benjamin E. Mays to Miss Dora McDonald

In this document, President of Morehouse College, Benjamin E. Mays writes to Dora McDonald regarding receipt of a check. Mays also discusses the role he played in bringing McDonald to Atlanta.

Letter from Benjamin Mays to Dora McDonald Regarding Board Meeting

In this letter, Dr.Mays informs Ms.McDonald that it is imperative that Dr. King attends the annual board meeting,"since this is his first time being with us".

Letter from Bent Ostergaard to MLK

Mr. Ostergaard, a representative of the Danish section of Amnesty International, invites Dr. King to speak publically at a Copenhagen Cathedral. He also invites Dr. King to participate in a local tour to bear witness schools and various social institutions. The document concludes with an additional letter addressed to Dr. King's assistant Miss D. McDonald.

Letter from Bill Daniels to Dora McDonald

Bill Daniels, the editorial cartoonist for WSB Radio and Television, responded to a letter he received from Ms. Dora McDonald concerning a cartoon. He suggested that she have her television adjusted, as the cartoon is "by no means a negro."

Letter from Brown University Chaplain Julius S. Scott Jr. to MLK Regarding a Visit

Julius Scott, Acting Chaplain at Brown University, acknowledges Dr. King's tentative acceptance of an invitation to preach at the university. Scott expresses his satisfaction with the response and his hopes that Dr. King will be available to visit during the time period specified.

Letter from Cantor Solomon Mendelson to Dora McDonald

Cantor Mendelson of Congregation Beth Sholom writes to Miss McDonald requesting some of Dr. King's biographical material. Cantor Mendelson also informs her that he has met with Dr. King's attorney, Clarence Jones, to discuss the "I Have A Dream" as a "basis of a musical work."

Letter from Carey McWilliams to Dora McDonald

Carey McWilliams writes Dora McDonald acknowledging confirmation of Dr. King's commitment to speak for "The Nation's" conference in Los Angeles.

Letter from Carey Preston to Dora McDonald

Mrs. Carey B. Preston confirms the details of Dr. King's trip to Philadelphia to speak at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Convention.

Letter from Carey Preston to Dora McDonald

Mrs. Preston acknowledges receipt of letter from Dora McDonald regarding the possibility of Dr. King speaking at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Convention. Due to the Sorority's intense desire to have Dr. King as the speaker, Ms. Preston is willing to wait for the confirmation.

Letter from Charles H. Walter to Dora McDonald

Charles Walters notifies Dora McDonald that he is sending a copy of the current edition of Labor Today. Walters requests an 1100 word article and photo from Dr. King for the forthcoming issue.

Letter from Clarence B. Jones to Dora McDonald

Clarence B. Jones writes Dora McDonald to inform her of his travel plans to Los Angeles, California.

Letter from Corinne B. Hill and Harold Stassen to Dora McDonald

Harold Stassen correspond with Dora McDonald expressing gratitude for a letter sent a few days earlier. The letter involves a book to be written by Dr. King.

Letter from D. McDonald to Prafulla Chandra Das

In this response letter regarding a request for a prefatory message from Dr. King, Miss Dora McDonald, Dr. King's personal secretary, cites his extensive obligations in conveying regrets. It became increasingly common for Dr. King to decline such requests as his work and mission progressed.

Letter from David J. Walker to MLK

David Walker, Chairman of the Speakers Committee for Toronto Junior Board of Trade writes Dr. King inviting him to speak at their Tuesday night dinner meeting. Walker continues with his own personal adulation on the Reverend receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

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