Skip to main content

Jerry West Papers

 Collection
Collection Number: A&M.3884

Scope and Contents

Papers of basketball icon Jerry West and research papers of author Jonathan Coleman for his biography of West. Jerry West (born 1938), born in Cheylan, West Virginia, played basketball for West Virginia University (WVU) and rose to fame as a player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA) before turning to basketball coaching and management. The collection includes materials that West loaned to Coleman for use in co-authoring the book West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life, as well as Coleman's book drafts, various materials he collected for background research, interviews he conducted for the book, and his research notes.

Formats include correspondence, ephemera, typescript and printed book draft manuscripts, clippings, printed material, photographs, video and audio recordings on various media, artifacts, scrapbooks, and digital files, among other materials.

Subjects include West's time at East Bank High School; his college recruitment and basketball career at WVU; his employment with the Lakers; the West by West book; West's career as a basketball coach for the Lakers and manager for the Memphis Grizzlies; his family life; events honoring West; various individuals, including Chick Hearn, Rodney "Hot Rod" Hundley, Ann Dinardi, Jerry's brother David West, and the West and Creasey families; and other subjects.

For more information on Jerry West, see the Historical Note.

Dates

  • 1938-2016, undated
  • Majority of material found within 1950-2011

Creator

Language of Materials

English

Conditions Governing Access

Requires signed form, since special access restriction applies.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. For more information, please contact the West Virginia and Regional History Center.

Biographical / Historical

Jerry Alan West (born May 28, 1938) is a retired basketball player who played his entire professional career for the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA before turning to coaching and management. He was born in Cheylan, WV to Cecil Sue West and Howard Stewart West. His brother David died in the Korean War.

West played basketball at East Bank High School, excelling enough to be invited to an all-star game in 1956. He then attended WVU, where he boarded in the house of Ann Dinardi and played for the basketball team under Coach Fred Schaus, earning a number of honors and awards.

After graduating in 1960, he began a very successful 14-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, and co-captained the 1960 U.S. Olympic gold medal team in Rome. His nicknames include "Mr. Clutch," for his ability to make big plays in clutch situations; "The Logo," in reference to his silhouette being used in the NBA logo; and "Zeke from Cabin Creek," for the creek near his birthplace of Chelyan, West Virginia. West married his college sweetheart, Martha Jane Kane, in 1960. They had three sons, David, Michael, and Mark, before divorcing in 1976 or 1977. He married Karen Christine Bua in 1978, and they had two sons, Ryan and Jonnie.

After his playing career, West was head coach of the Lakers from 1976-1979. He then worked as a player-scout for three years, and was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980. He became general manager of the Lakers in 1982, and served as general manager of the Memphis Grizzlies from 2002-2007.

Extent

19.1 Linear Feet (19 feet 1/2 in. (6 document cases, 2 1/2 in. each); (18 document cases, 5 in. each); (4 large flat storage boxes, 4 in. each); (6 large flat storage boxes, 1 1/2 in. each); (1 large flat storage box; 2 in.); (1 large flat storage box; 3 in.); (3 large flat storage boxes, 5 in. each); (4 large flat storage boxes, 3 1/2 in. each); (1 artifact box, 4 1/2 in.); (4 records cartons, 15 in. each))

74.7 Gigabytes (1450 digital files)

Overview

Papers of basketball icon Jerry West and research papers of author Jonathan Coleman for his biography of West. Jerry West, born in Cheylan, West Virginia in 1938, played basketball for West Virginia University (WVU) and rose to fame as a player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA) before turning to basketball coaching and management. The collection includes materials that West loaned to Coleman for use in co-authoring the book West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life, as well as Coleman's book drafts, various materials he collected for background research, interviews he conducted for the book, and his research notes. Formats include correspondence, ephemera, typescript and printed book draft manuscripts, clippings, printed material, photographs, video and audio recordings on various media, artifacts, scrapbooks, and digital files, among other materials. Subjects include West's time at East Bank High School; his college recruitment and basketball career at WVU; his employment with the Lakers; the West by West book; West's career as a basketball coach for the Lakers and manager for the Memphis Grizzlies; his family life; events honoring West; various individuals, including Chick Hearn, Rodney "Hot Rod" Hundley, Ann Dinardi, Jerry's brother David West, and the West and Creasey families; and other subjects. See the Scope and Content Note for more details. For more information on Jerry West, see the Historical Note.

Physical Location

West Virginia and Regional History Center / West Virginia University / 1549 University Avenue / P.O. Box 6069 / Morgantown, WV 26506-6069 / Phone: 304-293-3536 / Fax: 304-293-3981 / URL: https://wvrhc.lib.wvu.edu/

Separated Materials

Two letters separated to A&M 435, Rare Signatures: one from Ronald Reagan to West, 1987; one from Earvin "Magic" Johnson to West, 1991.

Creator

Title
A&M 3884, Jerry West Papers
Status
Completed
Author
Jane LaBarbara; Laureen Wilson
Date
2015
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the West Virginia and Regional History Center Repository

Contact:
1549 University Ave.
P.O. Box 6069
Morgantown WV 26506-6069 US
304-293-3536