Michael Wolff was born 24 October 1930; he was educated at Cheltenham and Wadham College, Oxford. In 1956 he married Rosemary Langley Clarkson, having two daughters.
After serving as a Captain with the Royal Fusiliers in the Korean War, 1952-1953, Wolff joined the editorial staff of: The Sphere; John Bull; Truth (Deputy Editor); Daily Express (Chief American Correspondence); Sunday Telegraph; Crossbow (Editor), between 1964 and 1966. He also organised and led the research for the official biography of Winston Churchill, 1961-1966, and edited the first companion volume of documents, 1967.
From journalism, Wolff moved to the Conservative Research Department, taking on special duties with Leader of the Opposition, Edward Heath, 1966-1970. In 1970, once Heath had become Prime Minister, Wolff served as Special Adviser to the Government, 1970-1974, a public relations post for which the salary was paid by the Party even though Wolff worked from the Lord President's Office. Finally, Wolff worked as Director-General of the Conservative Party Organisation, 1974-1975, but left this post when Margaret Thatcher took over from Heath as Leader.
Wolff's other duties included: JP Inner London, 1967; Deputy Chairman, West London bench; member of the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Justices of the Peace for Inner London.
His major publications were: The Unquiet Peace (contribution, 1957); If Freedom Fail (with John Vidler, 1964); The Conservative Opportunity (editor, 1965); Prison (1967); Winston Churchill as Nobel Prize Winner (1970).
Wolff died 13 May 1976.
The papers consist chiefly of political files (many of which are marked as containing information relating to Edward Heath), with a few personal papers and a quantity of papers relating to Michael Wolff's work as Randolph Churchill's Research Assistant. There is also a considerable volume of correspondence with the Solicitors who were engaged to settle Randolph Churchill's estate.
The papers of Michael Wolff were a gift to the Churchill Archives Centre from his wife Rosemary Wolff in 1996. They had previously been lodged with the Institute of Contemporary British History, and were transferred to the Archives Centre as a result of the initiative of Dr Anthony Seldon. The bulk of the papers were received in October 1995 and a further box was received in December.
The papers were listed in three sections: personal; Churchill; Political. All the political files were catalogued in their original files and under original titles, where possible.
The collection is owned by Churchill College.