The photographs in Walter Winchell’s desk

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At some point in the mid-2000s, I bought, from an Ebay dealer, a box supposedly containing everything that was left in the desk of Walter Winchell, perhaps the major American newspaper columnist of the 20th century, when he left his job at the Journal-American newspaper in 1967. The box contained hundreds of letters to Winchell, souvenirs of his career going back to the 1920s, and newspaper or magazine features about him. It also contained a deteriorating album of photographs, seemingly documenting a show business gala, possibly in the early 1960s. A piece of paper accompanying the album notes the presence of Jayne Mansfield and Jimmy Durante.

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