UH Libraries News

UH Special Collections Receives Marvin Zindler Papers

University of Houston Libraries Special Collections is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Marvin Zindler Papers.

Marvin Zindler in an undated photo, part of the University of Houston People digital collection.

Marvin Zindler in an undated photo, part of the University of Houston People digital collection.

The collection preserves and celebrates the legacy of the distinguished KTRK-TV investigative reporter through photos, correspondence, news clippings, publicity and press release materials, personal notes, sketches, awards, complaint letters, story scripts, reporter notebooks, research files, AV materials, two eye-opening biographies, artifacts (including his baton), and ephemera.

Marvin Harold Zindler (August 10, 1921 – July 29, 2007), the famously colorful Houston TV personality, was both admired and criticized for his grandiose style. A larger-than-life figure who consistently reinvented himself through the years, Zindler has also been a prizefighter, a deputy sheriff, in his family’s clothing business, in politics, and on the radio. His news stories captured the attention of Houstonians for decades, and he was known for solving a wide range of problems on the behalf of the public. Viewers would write to Zindler with various, sometimes odd, concerns, such as the toddler’s talking toy that shocked one Houston mom with profanity. It was his penchant for covering controversial, unusual topics that made him a household name, like the infamous Chicken Ranch saga which garnered national attention; and later, the weekly, offbeat Rat and Roach Report.

View Marvin Zindler: 20 Years with KTRK

Much more than simply a consumer crusader, Zindler was influential in improving the lives of the elderly and those in urgent financial need, and was honored for his charitable work both domestic and internationally.

Visitors to the Marvin Zindler Papers will find an abundance of primary sources that reveal a deep, storied view of his personal and professional life.

“I have been treasuring many varied items in my possession and all the special memories associated with them, but ultimately decided to share Marvin Zindler‘s life-changing impact upon everyone he touched,” said Lori Reingold, Zindler’s long-time producer. “I want Houstonians to remember that Marvin was one of the people who shaped this city, and that he fought for what was right and what he believed in, gave voice to the voiceless, and was fearless in his pursuit of truth and justice.”

Zindler’s son Dan Zindler and partner Lori Freese were inspired by Reingold to bring the reporter’s archives to UH Special Collections. “Ms. Reingold produced Marvin’s stories and now she’s producing his archives and legacy to be properly preserved and shared,” said Dan Zindler. “It was an honor to be his son and an incredible honor to share his memory with everyone.”

The collection is currently being processed. For questions about materials in this collection or to request access, contact Vince Lee.  

Written by Esmeralda Fisher on August 03rd, 2021 and filed under Announcements, New Resource, Special Collections