Elliott Arnold began his writing career while in college, as a reporter at the Brooklyn Times. He wrote his first novel at 18 years old. In 1932 he started writing for the New York World Telegram. During his time there he wrote Personal Combat, Only the Young, Finlandia, and The Commandos. Soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor he enlisted in the army and was assigned to the Army Air Corps. He collaborated on the writing of two official air histories, Mediterranean Sweep and Big Business. After four years in the military he was awarded the Bronze Star by General MacArthur and was discharged with the rank of captain.
Elliott Arnold then went on to become a prolific writer of novels, short stories, and articles. His novels include: Blood Brothers, Time of the Gringo, Flight from Ashiya, A Night of Watching, The Proving Ground, and the Camp Grant Massacre. Many of his short stories and articles have appeared in Playboy, Reader's Digest, and Collier's. A number of his works were adapted into screenplays. In 1950, Broken Arrow, adapted from his novel Blood Brothers, was released by Twentieth Century-Fox, and in 1964, an adaptation of A Flight from Ashiya was released by United Artists.
During his lifetime Arnold was acknowledged with numerous literary awards including silver medals bestowed by the Commonwealth Club of California for Blood Brother (1948), Flight from Ashiya (1960), and A Night of Watching (1968). Elliott Arnold died May 13, 1980 in New York City.
The collection includes biographical materials, correspondence, manuscripts, short stories, and articles written by Elliott Arnold. The collection also contains research files, newspaper clippings and photographs. The majority of the collection consists of original manuscripts, short stories and articles written by Elliott Arnold. The bulk of the correspondence contains letters received in the 1960s and 1970s from agents, business associates and friends, which document Elliott Arnold's publishing activities at the time. Photographs include mostly black and white photos of Elliott Arnold during his military career, publicity shots throughout his lifetime, and autographed photographs of individuals, including actor James Stewart. Most of the collection is arranged alphabetically within each series.