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Personal papers of Francis Heller

Call Number: PP 529


Francis H. Heller was a professor of Political Science and law at the University of Kansas from 1948 until 2003. This collection includes correspondence about international programs put on by the University of Kansas, various international publications, and letters to colleagues. Also included is a working draft of his book University of Kansas Faces the World.


  • Creation: 1960 - 2012


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Francis Howard Heller

Francis Heller was born August 24, 1917 to Charles and Lily (Grunwald) Heller in Vienna, Austria. He graduated from Schotten-Gymnasium of Vienna in 1935. He subsequently graduated from the University of Vienna Law School in 1937. He attended the University of Virginia where he received his J.D. in 1941, Masters in German Literature, Masters in political science, and his Ph.D in Political Science in 1948. Heller served in the United States Army during World War II and the Korean War, earning multiple commendations and medals. He became an assistant professor of government at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.

One year later, Heller moved to Lawrence and became an assistant professor of political science at the University of Kansas until 1951. He became director of the Western Civilization program in 1956, holding the position for one year when he became director of the college honors program. He held this post for ten years, until 1967, when he became the Chief Academic Officer for the University and the acting provost for the Lawrence campus. In 1972, he became the Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor of Law and Political Science until 1988, when he became the Distinguished Professor Emeritus until his retirement in 2003. In 1970, he relinquished his post as acting provost of the Lawrence campus and in 1972 the chief academic officer position.

Heller received multiple awards during his 55 years at the University of Kansas, including the Higher Education Service award in 1974, the Chancellor's Club Career Teaching Award in 1986, and the Distinguished Service Citation in 1998, the highest award at the University for a Professor. In 2004, Heller also received the Republic of Austria Cross of Honor for Science and Art.

Heller was active at other institutions around Kansas, including the University Press of Kansas, the United States Army Command, the Benedictine College in Atchison, the General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, and the Harry S. Truman Library. Heller served with Former President Truman and helped him in both research and writing Truman's memoirs. Heller wrote 19 books, 66 articles, and 221 book reviews. He moved to Denver, Colorado in 2008 to be closer to his family. Francis Heller passed away at the age of 95, on January 9, 2013 in Denver, Colorado.


0.75 Linear Feet (2 document cases)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

This collection contains a working draft of Heller's book The University of Kansas Faces West, chronicling the development of international studies at the University of Kansas, and research material for the book. Also included is a copy of his 1941 MA thesis and correspondence with his colleagues, both within the University of Kansas and at other international institutions about international studies and law. Multiple nominations and letters of recommendation to hiring and tenure committees about potential or current colleagues are included.

Physical Location

PP 529

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Lawrence Heller, 2013.

Related Materials

Consult library staff regarding the availability of related photographs, biographical files, and scrapbooks.

Guide to the Francis Heller Collection
Personal papers of Francis Heller
Finding aid prepared by el, 2014. Finding aid encoded by el, 2014. Finding aid revised by mwh, 2021.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Personal papers of Francis Heller, University Archives, PP 529, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States