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The Papers of J. Wilson Newman

Identifier: MSS-85-12

Scope and Contents

J. Wilson Newman, who moved to Charlottesville with his wife in 1981, was president of Dun and Bradstreet, Inc., from 1952 to 1960. In the late 1960's and early 1970's, the Nixon administration appointed him to serve on the Bankruptcy Commission, the Price Commission, and the President's Task Force on Improving the Prospects of Small Business. Newman donated his personal records of this work to the Law Library in the summer of 1985. The files were in good order, and the folder headings reflect the labels on original folders or notebooks. There are 24 boxes (10.4 linear ft.) arranged by commission.

Scope and Contents

This collection was given to the Law School by J. Wilson Newman on June 24, 1985.


  • Creation: 1955-1978


Biographical / Historical

J. Wilson Newman graduated from Clemson College in Clemson, South Carolina, in 1931, and received a law degree from New York University in 1937.

He joined the R. G. Dun Company as a credit reporter in 1931. Dun merged with its major competitor, the John M. Bradstreet Company, in 1933, and the combined company began operating under the new name in 1939.

Mr. Newman was named a vice president in 1946, president in 1952, and chairman and chief executive in 1960. He joined Dun's finance committee when he retired in 1968, and remained a member for 12 years.

During Mr. Newman's tenure, Dun acquired several companies, including R. H. Donnelley, a publisher of the Yellow Pages and trade magazines, and Moody's Investors Service. Dun has since spun off both companies. Mr. Newman also oversaw the computerization of Dun's business databases in the early 1960's. In 1963, each company in the database was assigned an identifying number in Dun's Data Universal Numbering System. The nine-digit D.U.N.S. numbers are still used today.

Mr. Newman was a member of the United States Price Commission, which addressed price gouging, in 1971 and 1972, and of the Commission on Bankruptcy Laws from 1970 to 1973.

He died on July 8, 2003.

"J. Wilson Newman, Ex-Chief of Dun & Bradstreet Company, Dies at 93," New York Times, (accessed December 8, 2015)


10.4 Linear Feet (24 boxes)

Language of Materials



Records that include correspondence, memoranda, reports, reviews, legislation, speeches, public hearings, created by J. Wilson Newman when he served on the Commission on the Bankruptcy Laws of the United States (1970-1973), the Price Commission (1971-1973) and the President’s Task Force on Improving the Prospects of Small Businesses.

The Papers of J. Wilson Newman1955-1978 MSS 85-12
The Papers of J. Wilson Newman,MSS 85-12
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Script of description
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Language of description note
Description is inEnglish
Web version of the finding aid funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Repository Details

Part of the Arthur J. Morris Law Library Special Collections Repository

Arthur J. Morris Law Library
580 Massie Road
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22903 United States