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James R. Ashlock collection

Identifier: L2009-10

Scope and Content of the Collection

The James R. (Jim) Ashlock Collection, 1938-1991, undated, consists of newsclippings, correspondence, annual reports, briefing notes, memoranda, and audiovisual materials. This collection provides broad insight into day-to-day operations, internal communication, history, and media relations at Eastern Airlines, Inc. The collection was accumulated by Jim Ashlock, who worked primarily in the Public Relations Department of Eastern's Operational Headquarters in Miami from 1966 until 1991. The documents in the collection include information about Ashlock's work with Eastern and also issues faced by the airline. The collection is divided into two series: Eastern Air Lines and Other Sources.

The Eastern Air Lines series contains correspondence and memoranda (1973, 1987-1991), briefing notes (1989-1990), employee codacoms (daily news bulletins) (1989-1990), a Suspension of Service Plan (1991), articles and editorials authored by Jim Ashlock (1972, 1974-1984, 1988-1990, undated), a report entitled "Eastern Safety Backgrounder", airline industry salary growth and comparison charts for select positions, retirement information (1987-1989, 1991), and a corporate telephone directory (1990) provide information about the daily operations, promotions, and public relations of the airline. Annual reports (1938-1985) and an annual financial statement (1990) provide information about company earnings and growth. Audio-visual materials include VHS cassettes, which include interviews, news coverage of Eastern Air Lines' dissolution, and flight training.

The Other Sources series contains newspaper and magazine clippings (1948, 1966, 1978-1983), a strike manual from the AFL-CIO entitled, "The Inside Game: Winning with Workplace Strategies" (1986), International Association of Machinists memorandum (1987, undated), Texas Air Annual Reports (1987-1991). All documentation provides insight to the operations of Eastern Airlines but was not created by the company.

The oral history interview with Jim Ashlock, conducted by Traci JoLeigh Drummond, provides background on Ashlock's early life and education, his professional career as a reporter and public relations specialist. Ashlock also provides his opinion on Eastern's management, labor relations, bankruptcy, and eventual closure.


  • 1938-1991


Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the Worldwide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult the reference archivist to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.

Biography of James R. Ashlock

James R. (Jim) Ashlock was born December 3, 1932 in Baird, Texas. He graduated from Baird schools in 1950 and Texas A&M in 1954. In 1957, he received his M.A. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York. After graduating from Columbia University, Ashlock held public relations positions at Trans World Airlines in New York; covered local politics for the Kansas City Times (morning edition of the Kansas City Star), and held reporter/editor posts at the San Angelo Standard-Times (Texas) and Pecos Enterprise (Texas). Ashlock also worked as the transport editor for Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine, the premier journal of the aerospace industry, covering the international commercial and military transport scene.

Ashlock worked for Eastern Air Lines, Inc., from August 19, 1966, to August 1, 1991, when the airline shut down. This covered most of the post-Rickenbacker era under the administration of two chief executives: Floyd D. Hall and Frank Borman. Ashlock joined Eastern Air Lines in its Washington, D.C., office as public relations manager for the airline's federal affairs staff.

In 1968, Ashlock was transferred to Miami, Eastern's operating headquarters. Ashlock held various public relations titles over the next 14 years, focusing on media relations, promotion of new routes and aircraft, crisis response (crashes, hijackings, labor disruptions), employee communications, speechwriting and public affairs. In 1984, he was transferred to Tallahassee, Florida, to lobby against state taxation of airline operations, ultimately rising to Staff Vice President of Government Affairs.

Following the shutdown of Eastern, Ashlock worked as Public Affairs Director for Palm Beach County, Florida; President of the Tallahassee Area Chamber of Commerce; Director of University Relations for Texas A&M University, and was Special Advisor to the VP and CEO of Texas A&M University at Galveston, after which he retired.

Ashlock lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife, Elizabeth.


3.25 Linear Feet (in 6 boxes)

Language of Materials



The James R. (Jim) Ashlock Collection, 1938-1991, undated, consists of newsclippings, correspondence, annual reports, briefing notes, memoranda, and audiovisual materials. This collection provides broad insight into day-to-day operations, internal communication, history, and media relations at Eastern Airlines, Inc.

Acquisition Information

Collection donated by James R. Ashlock, 2009 (L2009-10) and 2010 (L2010-02). Oral history created in October 2016.

Related Archival Materials

Related Materials in This Repository

  1. W. J. Usery, Jr. papers, 1940; 1952-2004 (L1985-12)
  2. Carolyn Lee Wills collection of Eastern Airlines' Southern Region Public Relations Office records, 1927-2008 (L1986-27)
  3. John Chaknis Eastern Airlines strike collection, 1986-1990 (L2000-09)
  4. Francis Q. Vogtner Eastern Airlines collection, 1964-1989 (L2012-26)
  5. John Sugg collection, 1985-1991 (L2005-14)
  6. Martha Hamilton collection, 1988-1991 (L2013-01)
  7. International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers records, 1891-2002 (L1992-14)
  8. Frank Borman papers, 1961-1989 (L2005-16)

Separated Materials

During processing, materials were separated to other Southern Labor Archives Collections. For periodicals, see the Southern Labor Archives Periodicals Collection finding aid or catalog.

Separated to the Southern Labor Archives Periodicals Collection

  1. Air Shuttle (1967)
  2. Carribbean Wings (1973)
  3. Duckhawk (1968-1970)
  4. Falcon (1967-1988)
  5. Peachline (1969-1973)
  6. West Coast Roadrunners (1971)
  7. Whisperjet (1970-1973)
  8. Whisperlines (1973)

Processing Information

Processed by Robert Bexley at the file level, spring 2010.
James R. Ashlock:
A Guide to His Collection at Georgia State University Library
Georgia State University Library
Spring 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • July 2010: EAD created by Traci JoLeigh Drummond.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

100 Decatur St., S.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
404-413-2881 (Fax)