Gwendolyn B. King Papers, White House Central Files, 1969-1974
Title: Gwendolyn B. King Papers, White House Central Files, 1969-1974
Collection Number: 6212848
Extent: 8 linear feet, 9 linear inches; 20 boxes
Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
Abstract: Gwendolyn B. King served as Director of Correspondence for the First Lady. Her responsibilities included answering all mail
received by Mrs. Nixon, Julie and David Eisenhower, and Tricia and Edward Cox. Mail addressed to the President and Mrs. Nixon
was also handled by this office. One staff member under King, Cynthia A. (Cindy) Vanden Heuvel, evolved into a sort of personal
secretary to the Eisenhowers and the Coxes. Her records were segregated as the “Girl’s Office,” and her records are included
in this file group.
Language of Material: English
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.
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.
Gwendolyn B. King Papers, White House Central Files, 1969-1974. Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
These materials are in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration under the provisions of Title I of
the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-526, 88 Stat. 1695) and implementing regulations.
October 27, 1915 - Born, Hartsville, South Carolina as Mabel Gwendolyn Bair; later changed name to Gwendolyn Mabel Bair.
1932-1936 - B.A., Coker College, Hartsville, South Carolina.
1936-1937 - Strayer Business College, Washington, D.C.
1937 - Catholic University, Washington, D.C.
1937 - Married to LaBruce W. King.
1937-1942 - Administrative Assistant to Librarian & Junior Librarian's Assistant, Library of Congress.
1942 - Farm Credit Administration, Kansas City, Missouri.
1942-1953 - Housewife.
1953- Clerk-Stenographer, Office of Examining Branch, Army Board of Correction of Military Records, Office of the Secretary
of the Army, Washington, D.C.
1953-1969 - Assistant to the Appointments Secretary, White House; along with other short-term positions.
1969-1974 - Director of Correspondence for Mrs. Nixon.
1974-1976 - Volunteer on Mrs. Ford's staff.
1976- Public speaker and active in community activities, Santa Rosa, California.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Gwendolyn B. King file group documents the activities of the First Lady's correspondence office from 1969 to 1974. The
office was responsible for answering all mail received by Mrs. Nixon, Julie and David Eisenhower, and Tricia and Edward Cox.
Mail addressed to the President and Mrs. Nixon was also handled by this office.
Letters went out over the signature of Mrs. Nixon or Gwen King, depending on the nature of the incoming correspondence and
the type of response decided upon. Aside from those drafted by Mrs. King, herself, letters were drafted by other members of
the office, including Belinda Baltzell, Mary Austermiller, Diane Carroll and Nancy Nathan. Carbons drafted by these women
have been segregated in the Correspondence File series.
The nature and volume of incoming mail often allowed the White House response to be in the form of an individually tailored
form letter. Examples of these were kept for future reference, and are filed as Form Responses, alphabetically, by subject
treated. In addition, the Correspondence office distributed photographs, recipes and engraved greeting cards when these items
Much of the research that went into answering First Family mail was done by staff members, or was solicited from appropriate
Federal Departments and agencies, as well as rom other White House offices.
A large segment of outgoing correspondence, answers to invitations sent to First Family members, is located in the Appointments
Office files of Susan A. Porter.
One staff member under Mrs. King, Cynthia A. ("Cindy") Vanden Heuvel, evolved into a sort of personal secretary to the Eisenhowers
and Coxes. Her records were segregated as the "Girl's Office". The nature of this sub-office was similar to that of the larger
Correspondence Office. Letters were signed by members of the First Family and by Miss Vanden Heuvel. After the "CVH" Chronological
File, the major subseries is the Wedding File, which provides background information on Julie's and Tricia's weddings. Most
of the material dealing with the Nixon-Eisenhower marriage, however, has been withdrawn and returned to Mrs. Nixon since the
event occurred before President Nixon assumed office. There are also binders of Form Responses, General Information, and Gift
Logs for the Eisenhowers and Coxes present in this subseries.
Related Staff Member and Office Files collections that should be consulted include the files of Susan A. Porter, Helen M.
Smith, Lucy A. Winchester and the White House Social Files. Taped exit interviews with Constance C. Stuart, Penelope A. Adams,
William R. Codus and notes from an interview with Coral F. Schmid will also prove informative. In addition, an oral history
program is in progress which includes former members of the First Lady's staff.
The extensive photographic, film and video collection contained in the Nixon presidential materials has much material documenting
the activities of the First Lady. Also available are audio recordings of Mrs. Nixon and Constance Stuart, taped by the White
House Communications Agency.