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David R. Gergen Papers, White House Special Files, 1969-1972
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David Gergen was a Staff Assistant to the President and reported directly to Ray Price, the Director of the Office of Research and Messages. The Gergen materials in the Special Files consist of Presidential action requests and memoranda to or from Arthur Burns, Counselor of the President.
David Richmond Gergen was born on May 9, 1942 in Durham, North Carolina. He graduated from Yale University with a B.A. degree in 1963 and earned a LL.B. degree from Harvard Law School in 1967. That same year, he married Anne Elizabeth Wilson. Between 1967 and 1971, Gergen served in the United States Navy. In 1971, Gergen joined President Richard Nixon’s administration as a Staff Assistant to the President, with duties pertaining to research and speech writing, and later became a Special Assistant in 1973. In his capacity as Special Assistant, Gergen led the speech writing team. After Nixon’s resignation, Gergen was appointed as Special Counsel to President Gerald Ford in 1974 and remained in that position until 1977. After working as an advisor on George H. W. Bush’s unsuccessful 1980 presidential election campaign, he resumed his public service career in 1981 as the White House Staff Director for President Ronald Reagan and, later, as Director of Communications. Gergen left the White House for the private sector in 1984. He worked as an editor of U.S. News & World Report during the period 1985-86. Gergen returned to the White House once more in 1993 when he was recruited by President Bill Clinton to be Counsel to President. He served as an advisor to the President and Secretary of State Warren Christopher on foreign policy matters until 1995, at which time he once again left public service for a career in academia. David Gergen’s television appearances as a political analyst include the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour program and various CNN programs. As a writer, he has contributed to U.S. News & World Report, Parade magazine, the New York Times, Newsweek, and the Washington Post. In 2000, he published Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton. In addition, Gergen has been a member or served on the boards of numerous organizations, including the Aspen Institute, Teach for America, the Ford Foundation’s Innovation in Government program, and the Council for Foreign Relations. Between 1995 and 1999, Gergen taught at Duke University. In 1999, he joined the faculty at Harvard University. As of 2012, he is both a professor at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Director of the University’s Center for Public Leadership.
10 linear inches; 2 boxes
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.
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.