In 1952, Richard Cushing, as Public Affairs Officer for the United States Information Agency at the embassy in Havana, got to know Ernest Hemingway as a distinguished member of the American community in Cuba. In that capacity, he asked Hemingway if he would lend his talents to helping the U.S. government's media efforts. Hemingway responded, on letterhead from his residence:

Hemingway-VOA 1952
Later, when Hemingway won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1954 and was unable to travel to accept because of burns suffered in an African plane crash, Cushing was recruited to record his acceptance speech. Cushing later wrote:

"I found him with a bad cold, swallowing cough syrup laced with bourbon. He wrote out an acceptance, which I taped and sent off to Stockholm."

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