The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Merton's Correspondence with:

Charles L. Van Doren; Charles Van Doren; Charlie Van Doren; Van Doren Charlie

Van Doren, Charles Lincoln, 1926-  printer


Descriptive Summary

Record Group: Section A - Correspondence
Dates of materials: 1959
Volume: 1 item(s); 2 pg(s)

Scope and Content

Merton writes Charles Van Doren a letter in response to a statement of apology made after Van Doren admitted he was involved in a game show television cheating scandal. Merton is critical of a society that first put Charles Van Doren on a pedestal and has now delighted in his downfall.


Charles Lincoln Van Doren was the son of famed poet Mark Van Doren, Mark having been one of Merton's professors at Columbia University. Charles became an scholar and professor at Columbia University, as well, but his legacy was later overshadowed by scandal. He was a long-term contestant on the game show Twenty-One. His winning streak was later revealed as a fraud.

Usage Guidelines and Restrictions

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Related Information and Links

Page 35 of The Road to Joy states that "Merton's letter to Charles Van Doren is included in the final section of this book"; however, the letter was not published there.

Series List

This Record Sub-Group is not divided into Series and is arranged chronologically.

Container List

#DateFrom/ToFirst LinesPub ✓Notes
 y/m/dMerton Scan ✉ 
1. 1959/11/07 TL[c] from Merton It was very good of you to send me a copy of your statement and I am grateful to you for taking «detailed view»

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