Skip to main content

Mort Crim Papers

Mort Crim Headshot

As a son of a Church of God pastor, Mort Crim found himself at Anderson College in the mid 1950s. As a fiery speaker, his goal was to follow in the footsteps of his father, but shortly upon arriving at Anderson College he determined he did not want to practice ministry from the pulpit. As a result, he transferred to the University of Nebraska-Omaha to get a degree in journalism. After getting his masters degree, he became a radio commentator. He broadcasted the funeral of slain presidential candidate Robert Kennedy in 1968, the Apollo voyage to the moon, and the controversial Vietnam War.  In 1978, Crim moved to Detroit to co-anchor WDIV’s Nightbeat at 11 p.m. and their Newsbeat at 5 p.m. During his time co-anchoring WDIV’s Newsbeat, the United Press International named the show the Best Local Newscast in the country. In 1981, the show was awarded an emmy. Because of his success in Detroit Crim served as a vacation replacement for legendary broadcaster Paul Harvey on ABC news between 1980 and 1984. Through all his success, Crim is perhaps most famous for writing and recording the radio program Second Thoughts, a nationally syndicated series of ninety-second motivational essays which ran from 1991 to 2006. Crim is also known as the inspiration for Will Ferrell’s character Ron Burgundy in the movie Anchorman. Because of his conscious decision to share good-news rather than sensational reporting, Mort Crim has been a positive voice in the life of thousands of Americans. 

Even though he only spent one year at Anderson College, Crim has kept his connection. In 1974, Crim received an honorary Doctor of Letters from Anderson College. He also served on the Board of Trustees from 1974 to 1989. Throughout the latter half of the 20th century, Crim spoke at multiple Anderson University events, including the 1975 and 1989 commencement ceremonies. His wife Alice “Irene” Bowman Miller is also an alumnus of Anderson University. For these reasons, it was Crim's firm wish to donate his papers, records, and recordings to the Anderson University archives, where they may be accessed for research.

To access the finding aid for Mort Crim's papers, click here.

References

Lee, Jolie. "Meet Mort Crim: The inspiration for Will Ferrell's Anchorman." USA Today. December 9, 2013. Accessed March 12, 2021. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2013/12/09/mort-crim-ron-burgundy-anchorman-will-ferrell/3889937/

"Mort Crim" Folder, "Anderson University Biography Files", Anderson University and Church of God Archives. Accessed March 8, 2021

"Mort Crim Papers", AC 348 Anderson University and Church of God Archives. Accessed March 10, 2021