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Peter Kosmas Diaries

Identifier: M/A 0340

Description of Contents

The collection consists of loose-leaf diaries written by Peter Kosmas between 1936 and 1943 while he was a student at Washburn High School and the University of Minnesota. The bulk of the diary entries are handwritten and focus on Kosmas' academic, social, and family life. In addition to Kosmas' reflections, the entries occasionally include newspaper clippings, photographs (1940 and 1941), and ephemera, including a 1941 Washburn High School commencement program.

While some years have extensive diary entries, other time periods have only minimal coverage. Kosmas' entries are most frequent in 1938, 1940, and 1941. A few entries reference events of World War II, including the attack on Pearl Harbor and Kosmas' enlistment. The diary ends when Kosmas reports to Fort Snelling for military duty.


  • Creation: 1936 - 1943



The collection is available for use in Special Collections at Minneapolis Central Library during the department's open hours.


Peter George Kosmas was born December 27, 1922, in Minneapolis. He lived at 4517 Aldrich Ave. S. in the East Harriet neighborhood and graduated from Washburn High School in 1941. After graduation, Kosmas attended the University of Minnesota. In 1943, he reported to Fort Snelling for military duty. He returned to the University after the war to finish his degree.

In 1948, Kosmas married Hibbing-native Marguerite Sampson. The couple had two sons: Peter and George. George died from leukemia as a child, which spurred the Kosmases to found The Kosmas Cancer Research Fund, a predecessor to the Children's Cancer Fund. The couple was also actively involved in the establishment of the Minneapolis Ronald McDonald House.

In partnership with his brother-in-law, Peter Kosmas ran the Park Terrace restaurant in St. Louis Park for many years. He died in 1978 at age 55.


0.21 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Donor Information

This collection was purchased by the Hennepin County Library in the 2010s as accession 2018.26.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Jenna Himsl in July 2018. Photographs and newspaper clippings remain in their original locations, but were separated from other materials with buffered paper for preservation purposes.

Peter Kosmas Diaries
Jenna Himsl
July 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Hennepin County Library Special Collections Repository

Minneapolis Central Library
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis MN 55401 U.S.A.