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Steve Stephens papers

Steve Stephens papers

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Finding aid for the Steve Stephens papers

BC.MSS.10.45

Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
100 Rock Street
Little Rock, Arkansas, 72201
(501) 320-5700
arkinfo@cals.org

April 28, 2015



Repository: Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
Creator:Stephens, Steve, 1930-
Title: Steve Stephens papers
Dates: 1951-2011; 2015
Quantity: 15.44 Linear feet
Abstract:This collection contains the personal papers of Steve Owen Stephens related to his various careers, philanthropic work, hobbies, and family. Materials includes correspondence, publicity materials, photographs, audio and video recordings, and memorabilia.
Identification: BC.MSS.10.45
Language: English

Arrangement

This collection is arranged topically and chronologically.


Scope and Contents

This collection contains the personal papers of Steve Owen Stephens. Stephens hosted Steve's Show (an early dance-party show) on television station KTHV. He worked for Jess Odom, a local businessman who developed Maumelle as well as for Stephens Inc. (no relation), a privately held, independent financial services firm and one of the largest privately owned investment banks in the country.

Stephens also worked in real estate, investment services, advertising, and other ventures via his own company, Stephens International. He also was active in several philanthropic efforts including the March of Dimes, Lions World Services for the Blind, and the Arkansas Cancer Research Center.

During his long and diverse career, he came in contact with many celebrities, business people, and philanthropists, and this collection contains information and correspondence with many of them.


Biographical Information

Steve Stephens was born Rufus James Stephens on April 22, 1930, to Owen and Allie Mae Stephens, owners of a restaurant and service station in Newport, Arkansas. His parents later owned a furniture store where Stephens worked while in school. He attended Castle heights Military Academy and graduated from Newport High School.

He attended the University of Arkansas for two years and left school to join the Marine Corps in 1950. He was discharged in 1954 after attaining the rank of sergeant. He returned to Newport and worked part-time as a broadcaster at radio station KNBY in Newport. That led to a job at television station KTHV where he became the host of a dance-party show that became known as Steve's Show. From 1958 to 1965, he was the station's weatherman and also hosted Eye on Arkansas, an early talk show.

He married Ellen Beede of Newport on April 21, 1957, and the couple had two sons, Stanton and Steele. He legally changed his name to Steve Stephens in 1961.

Stephens career included working for Senator John McClellan in Washington DC, developer Jess Odom in Little Rock, and Jack Stephens (no relation) at Stephens Inc. At Stephens Inc., he helped develop the Entertainment Division, which included clients Harry Thomason and Linda Bloodworth-Thomason and Burt Reynolds.

Stephens also worked in real estate, investment services, advertising, and other ventures via his own company, Stephens International. He also was active in several philanthropic efforts including the March of Dimes, Lions World Services for the Blind, and the Arkansas Cancer Research Center.


Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Advertising -- Arkansas
Arkansas Cancer Research Center.
Bloodworth-Thomason, Linda, 1947-
Eye On Arkansas (Television program : Little Rock, Ark.)
KNBY (Radio station : Newport, Ark.)
Korean War, 1950-1953
KTHV (Television station : Little Rock, Ark.)
March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation.
McClellan, John L. (John Little), 1896-1977
Newport (Ark.)
Radio and music -- United States
Salk Institute for Biological Studies.
Stephens Inc. (Firm)
Stephens, Steve, 1930-
Steve's Show (Television program : Little Rock, Ark.)
Television broadcasting -- Arkansas
Thomason, Harry
United States. Marine Corps. Marine Division, 1st.
Youth for Understanding (Organization)

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access, except where noted. Protected personal information (such as social security numbers and financial account number), especially for persons other than Stephens, have been redacted for privacy reasons.

Restrictions on Use

Non-circulating, in-house use only.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Steve Stephens papers, MSS.10.45, Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Arkansas Studies Institute

Acquisition Information

Donated by Steve Stephens, August 10, 2010


Related Material

See also: BC.KWP.19, the Steve Stephens Korean War collection. This collection contains an oral history interview with Steve Stephens from June 2, 2009, as well as photographs and documents related to his military service.

Steve Stephens enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in January 1951. Stephens left for Korea in December of 1952 and served one year in the Korean War beginning in January of 1953 as a sergeant with the headquarters battalion of the 1st Marine Division. In addition to his regular duties with the disbursing office, Stephens occasionally flew via helicopter to the Dutch hospital ship Jutlandia to give the wounded Marines their paychecks. He was in Korea when the armistice was signed on July 27, 1953.


Separated Material

Seven commercial music CDs were separated from this collection and given to John Miller to process for the Arkansas Sounds music collection: God's Holy Light ( Stranger's Home),Sonny Burgess and the Pacers ( Live-Drasco, AR; Live-Tupelo, MS [2 copies], and Live at the Sun Studios), and Sonny Burgess and the Legendary Pacers ( The House Is Rocking, The Boys Are Back in Town, and Still Rockin' & Rollin').


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