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Margaret Herrick

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Margaret Herrick

September 27, 1902 Spokane, Washington (

June 21, 1976(1976-06-21) (aged 73) Woodland Hills, California, USA

Young chautauqua 2014 margaret herrick as matilda joslyn gage

Margaret Florence Herrick (September 27, 1902 – June 21, 1976), also known professionally as Margaret Gledhill, was the Executive Director of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The academy's library in 1971 was named the Margaret Herrick Library in her honor.


A home for movie history the academy s margaret herrick library

Early life

She was born Margaret Buck in Spokane, Washington, to Nathan K. Buck, an attorney, and Adda M. Buck (née Morie).

In 1929, Herrick graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in library science.


In 1929, Herrick became head librarian at the Yakima Public LIbrary in Yakima, Washington. She moved to Hollywood, California, with her husband and became the Academy's first librarian. She served in that capacity until 1943, during the war, when she became the interim executive director of the Academy, replacing her husband. In 1945, she was offered the Executive Director position permanently and held that position until her retirement in January 1971.

In the mid-1960s, Herrick went on international tours to promote the 10th anniversary of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Between 1963 and 1968 she visited many international film institutions.

The Academy's extensive library in Beverly Hills, California, of material on films is named in her honor.

Oscar moniker

Herrick is generally credited with naming the Academy Award an "Oscar", declaring the statuettes "looked just like my Uncle Oscar". However, others, including Academy President Bette Davis and Hollywood gossip columnist Sidney Skolsky, have claimed they invented the name.

Bette Davis said that the statue reminded her of her husband Harmon Nelson's derrière. Nelson's middle name was Oscar. Though Davis ended up revoking this honor.

Columnist Sidney Skolsky, who had a syndicated column called "Tinytypes" for over 50 years, referred to the nickname, "Oscar," in his March 16, 1934, column, which might have been the first time the award was called the Oscar in print.

Personal life

In 1931, Herrick married Donald Gledhill, an assistant to the executive secretary of the Academy. She and Gledhill divorced in 1945. She married Philip A. Herrick in 1946, and continued to use his name professionally following their divorce in 1951.

Herrick died at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California, in 1976.

Works and publications

  • Gledhill, Margaret Buck; Christeson, Frances Mary (1941). Classification Scheme for Motion Picture Collections. Hollywood, Calif: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Library. OCLC 613712320. 
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; University of California, Los Angeles; Gledhill, Margaret (1944). A Series of Papers on University Training for Motion Picture Work. A Project of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Collaboration with the University of California at Los Angeles. Hollywood, Calif: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles. OCLC 7851448. University training for motion picture work; assembled by Margaret Gledhill 
  • References

    Margaret Herrick Wikipedia

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