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Harry S. Dent Papers, White House Special Files, 1969-1972
6829676  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The Harry Dent file group includes information pertaining to his tenure as Deputy Counsel and as Special Counsel to the President. Dent's responsibilities included liaison with the South and the many Federal agencies. Some topics in the Dent files are busing, the nomination of Clement Haynsworth to the Supreme Court, support of Congressional candidates, and the textile industry.
Background
Harry Shuler Dent, Sr., was born on in St. Matthew, South Carolina on February 21, 1930. He earned a Bachelor of Art degree in 1951 from Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina. It was also in 1951 that he married Elizabeth Inez Francis. From 1951 to 1953, Dent served in the United States Army. He rose from second to first lieutenant in the 24th Infantry Division, Far East Command. Between 1955 and 1965, Dent worked as an Administrative Assistant to United States Senator Strom Thurmond. It was during his tenure with Senator Thurmond that Dent earned his LL.B degree from George Washington University Law School in 1957 and a LL.M degree from Georgetown University Law School in 1959. In 1962, Dent co-founded and chaired the Senate Staff Prayer Breakfast Group. He was also the Chairman of the Thurmond Speaks for Goldwater Committee in 1964. The following year, in 1965, Dent became a partner in the Dent and Kennedy law firm. He remained with the firm until 1969. He also became Chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party in 1965 and kept the position until 1968. Also, in 1966, Dent was manager of the South Carolina Republican State-Wide Campaign. In 1968, he was Manager of the Thurmond Speaks for Nixon-Agnew Committee. Dent was hired as Deputy Counsel to President Nixon in 1969 and soon thereafter became Special Counsel to the President. He held the position until his resignation in December 1972. After resigning from the White House Staff, Dent returned to practicing law, first with the law firm of Whaley, McCutchen, Blanton and Dent in 1973-74 and then as senior partner at Dent, Kirlkand, Taylor and Wilson until 1981. In 1973-74, Dent served as General Counsel to the Republican National Committee. In 1974, Dent pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for a campaign finance violation related to his part in the 1970 “townhouse operation” that raised money for the Nixon administration. He received a short sentence of unsupervised parole. Dent remained active in politics and, in 1976, served as the Southern Campaign Manager and member of the National Campaign Steering Committee of the President Gerald R. Ford Reelection Campaign. In 1977, he was a member of the Campaign Advisory Committee of the Republican National Committee and served as the President’s representative to the Sabine River Compact Administration in 1977-78. Dent also worked on George H. W. Bush’s 1980 presidential campaign. In 1981, Dent left his law practice in order to study at Columbia Bible College (now Columbia International University), where he earned a Certificate in Bible Studes in 1982. From 1982 to 1985, Dent was the Director of the Billy Graham Lay Center in Asheville, North Carolina. He then founded the Laity Alive and Serving, Inc. lay ministry with his wife, Elizabeth “Betty” Dent in 1985. Dent published several books between 1978 and 1996. Titles include The Prodigal South Returns to Power (1978), Layman Looks Through the Bible for God’s Will (1983), Cover Up: The Watergate in All of Us (1996), Right vs. Wrong: Solutions to the American Nightmare (1992, coauthored with Betty Dent), and Teaching Jack and Jill Right vs. Wrong in the Homes and Schools: A Primer on Character Education (1996). Harry S. Dent died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease on September 28, 2007 in Columbia, South Carolina.
Extent
6 linear feet, 7 linear inches; 15 boxes
Restrictions
Most government records are in the public domain, however, this series includes commercial materials, such as newspaper clippings, that may be subject to copyright restrictions. Researchers should contact the copyright holder for information.
Availability
Collection is open for research. Some materials may be unavailable based upon categories of materials exempt from public release established in the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974.