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Office of War Information

Office of War Information (OWI), U.S. agency created (1942) during World War II to consolidate government information services. The OWI absorbed the functions of the Office of Facts and Figures, the Office of Government Reports, the division of information of the Office for Emergency Management, and the foreign information service of the Coordinator of Information. Elmer Davis was named director. Besides coordinating the release of war news for domestic use, the office established an overseas branch, under Robert E. Sherwood, which launched a huge information and propaganda campaign abroad. Congressional opposition to the domestic operations of the OWI resulted in increasingly curtailed funds, and by 1944 the OWI operated mostly in the foreign field, contributing to undermining enemy morale. The agency was abolished in 1945, and its foreign functions were transferred to the Dept. of State.

See W. Carroll, Persuade or Perish (1948).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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