'LONGEST DAY' AUTHOR USED JOURNALISTIC ACCURACY
FOR WORLD WAR II HISTORY

Contact: Dublin Writers Museum: Fiona McKiernan, 353-1-872 2077 Ohio University: Bryan McNulty, 614-593-1043

Editors, new directors note: Ryan's daughter, Victoria Bida of Rochester, New York, will be available for interviews at a press reception at the Dublin Writers Museum 8 Aug.

"Readers of Cornelius Ryan will know what a truly brilliant reporter he is, perhaps the most brilliant of the 20th century." -- Malcolm Muggeridge

To see a web photo exhibit (large file of 200k), click here


DUBLIN, Ireland -- Former U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower's post-war opinion that Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery was a "psychopath" incapable of admitting mistakes is among the transcripts and other exhibits from Ohio University's Cornelius Ryan Collection at the Dublin Writers Museum, 18 Parnell Square, from 8 August through 31 August, 1995.

The exhibition, "Cornelius Ryan and The Longest Day," highlights the writing craft of Ryan, a Dublin-born journalist, World War II correspondent and author of The Longest Day, the best-selling account of the June 6, 1944 invasion of Normandy.

Ryan covered the European war for Reuters and the London Daily Telegraph from 1941 until the fall of Berlin in May 1945, then reported on the final months of the war in the Pacific. (See accompanying photo of Ryan, Tojo.)

The Cornelius Ryan Collection consists of research files, extensive photo files, manuscripts, a good-sized World War II research library, maps and memorabilia such as the author's honors and awards.

The core of the collection -- Ryan's interviews with everyone from royalty and generals to foot soldiers and civilians -- fills 12,000 research files in the Ohio University Library Department of Archives and Special Collections. The archive is one of the largest single collections of firsthand information outside of government archives on D-Day, Operation Market-Garden in the Netherlands and the fall of Berlin.

The first of Ryan's acclaimed World War II trilogy -- The Longest Day -- was published in 1959. Millions of copies were sold throughout the world in more than 26 languages, including Japanese and Afrikaans. In 1962, a star-studded Hollywood movie with the same name also became world-famous.

In 1966, Ryan published The Last Battle, the story of the fall of Berlin. In 1974, while battling the prostate cancer that claimed his life later that year, he completed A Bridge Too Far -- the story of a daring but failed attempt by the Allies to liberate the Netherlands, sweep into Germany and end the war in Europe early. This also was made into a movie and became a popular box-office success.

The "psychopath" reference to Montgomery was made in 1963, at Eisenhower's home in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Eisenhower and Ryan were discussing command structures and decision-making from the fall of 1944 to V-E Day.

In a separate interview with Ryan in the same year, Montgomery described Eisenhower as "a very good Supreme Commander but as a field commander very bad, very bad."

Ohio University acquired the collection from Ryan's widow in 1981. Ryan was a close friend of the late Ohio University College of Communication Dean John Wilhelm, the first honorary curator of the collection and a fellow war correspondent during the Normandy landings.

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