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John Gunn Sports Collection

Identifier: SC-MS-316

Scope and Contents

The John Gunn Sports Collection primarily consists of media guides and game day programs collected by John Gunn for professional and college sports teams and military sports teams. Gunn's research and correspondence, as well as his personal collection of sports programs, statistics, information on teams and individual players, and photographs are also included. Materials date from 1901-2011 with the bulk dating in the mid 20th century. There are over 8,000 items in the collection, including approximately 200 sports related books and periodicals that are cataloged and housed in Special Collections.


  • Creation: 1901-2011


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Copyright Statement

Copyright retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Biographical Note

John Gunn, born May 17, 1931, was raised in Chicago, Illinois and graduated from Morgan Park High School. He received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Monmouth College in Illinois. Gunn was a 40-year career newspaperman, with 26 years in news and 14 years in sports with newspapers in Monmouth and Galesburg, Illinois, Wilmington, North Carolina, Richmond, Virginia, Costa Mesa, California, and Pensacola, Florida. He retired as an assistant sports editor of The Orange County, CA Register in Santa Ana, California in 1994.

Gunn was the co-author of the Virginia 1968 Freedom of Information Act and received the George Mason Award from the Richmond Sigma Delta Chi. He was the only editor on duty at The Richmond News Leader the day JFK was assassinated and had the duty of yelling "stop the presses" and helped crank out an updated edition hours later. Through the years, he interviewed politicians, sports legends, celebrities, and military heroes.

A retired Marine Corps Reserve colonel, he served two years on active duty at Quantico, Virgina, Cherry Point, and New River, North Carolina. He spent 28 years in the Reserves with units in Illinois, Virginia, and California.

When Gunn retired to Gulf Breeze in 1995, the he continued to write stories for the Pensacola News Journal, the Gulf Breeze Sentinel, the Pensacola Beach Islander, and published the monthly newsletter of the Military Officers Association of America. He served as chairman of the Gulf Breeze Development Review Board and was a volunteer for the American Red Cross.

Over decades, Gunn collected and saved professional, college, and military sporting news. He combined his love of sports and the Marine Corps by authoring two books on Marine Corps football: (Quite) a Few Good Men and The Old Corps.

John Gunn married Joan Hermann and the couple had four children. He passed away on June 24, 2013 and is bured in Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola, Florida.


445 Containers (Contains 437 document boxes, 7 oversize boxes, and 1 map case folder)

Language of Materials


Acquisition Information

This collection was donated by Laura Catterton, Victoria Street, Rebecca Gunn and Bruce Gunn (children of John Gunn) on January 24, 2009.

John Gunn Sports Collection Website

A website for the John Gunn Sports Collection was created in 2011 after processing of the initial donation was complete. This site does not include container lists for correspondence, photography and additional donations which have since been processed; please refer to the collection's formal finding aid for this information.

John Gunn Sport Collection

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Special Collections staff Debbie Edwards, Mervin Hogg, Christine Ingram, and Jerry Parnell; graduate assistants Kawan Allen and Colleen Griffiths; student workers Erin Boyle, Lauren Jackson, and Alyssa Stafford.

John Gunn Sports Collection
Special Collections Staff
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Randall Library Special Collections Repository