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Casey (William J.) papers
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Use
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Alternate Forms Available
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement Statement

  • Title: William J. Casey papers
    Date (inclusive): 1913-1996
    Collection Number: 99003
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 625 manuscript boxes, 2 card file boxes, 9 oversize boxes, 1 cubic foot box, 2 motion picture films (266.0 Linear Feet)
    Abstract: Correspondence, speeches and writings, diaries, memoranda, reports, hearing transcripts, legal and financial papers, printed matter, photographs, and memorabilia relating to American domestic and foreign policy, especially during the presidential administrations of Richard M. Nixon and Ronald Reagan; American intelligence operations from World War II on; and the 1980 presidential campaign of Ronald Reagan. Digital copies of select records also available at https://digitalcollections.hoover.org. 
    Creator: Casey, William J.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives


    Boxes 304, 315-316, 354-355, 635-636, FH7, FH9, FH11, FH13, FH14, and FH15 may not be used without permission of the Archivist. The remainder of the collection is open for research; materials must be requested in advance via our reservation system. If there are audiovisual or digital media material in the collection, they must be reformatted before providing access.


    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 1999.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], William J. Casey papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Alternate Forms Available

    Digital copies of select records also available at https://digitalcollections.hoover.org. 

    Biographical Note

    1913 March 13 Born, Elmhurst, Long Island, New York
    1934 B.S., Fordham University
    1937 J.D., St. John's University. Admitted to New York bar
    1941 Married Sophia Kurz
    1943-1945 Member, Office of Strategic Services, stationed in London
    1950 Founder, Institute for Business Planning. Subsequently author of a series of its reference publications on business law
    1957-1971 Partner, Hall, Casey, Dickler and Howley law firm
    1966 Unsuccessful candidate for Congress, New York
    1969-1970 Member, Presidential Task Force on International Development
    1971-1973 Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission
    1973-1974 Under secretary of state for economic affairs
    1973-1975 Member, Commission on the Organization of the Government for the Conduct of Foreign Policy
    1974-1976 President and chairman, Export-Import Bank of the United States
    1976 Author, Where and How the War Was Fought: An Armchair Tour of the American Revolution
    1976-1977 Chairman, Small Business Administration Task Force on Venture and Equity Capital for Small Business
      Member, President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board
    1976-1981 Member, Rogers and Wells law firm
    1980 Director, Ronald Reagan presidential election campaign
    1980-1981 Chairman, Presidential Transition Team
    1981-1987 Director, Central Intelligence Agency
    1987 May 6 Died, Glen Cove, New York
    1988 Author, The Secret War against Hitler (published posthumously)
    1989 Author, Scouting the Future: The Public Speeches of William J. Casey (published posthumously)

    Scope and Content of Collection

    William J. Casey held a succession of high-level positions in the executive branch of the United States government during the presidential administrations of Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford and Ronald Reagan, culminating in service as Reagan's director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Although his papers do not include official government records, they do contain personal use copies of unclassified official documents and unofficial correspondence that reflect formulation of government policy during the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations, with particular reference to the agencies which Casey headed and to the commissions on which he served.
    The collection is organized into series that for the most part correspond to successive positions held by Casey or to other distinct periods in his life. Each such series contains papers created or accumulated by Casey during that period of his life. In general this conforms with the manner in which the papers were maintained during Casey's lifetime. Series based on governmental offices include: TASK FORCE ON INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (1969-1970) FILE; SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION (1971-1973) FILE; DEPARTMENT OF STATE (1973-1974) FILE; COMMISSION ON THE ORGANIZATION OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE CONDUCT OF FOREIGN POLICY (1973-1975) FILE; EXPORT-IMPORT BANK (1974-1976) FILE; FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE ADVISORY BOARD (1976-1977) FILE; TASK FORCE ON VENTURE AND EQUITY CAPITAL FOR SMALL BUSINESS (1976-1977) FILE; and CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY (1981-1987) FILE.
    Series constituted on the basis of service in a particular government position share a general similarity in arrangement. Typically each has a Speeches and Engagements subseries, arranged chronologically by event and including speeches as well as correspondence and meeting and background material related to the event in question; a Correspondence subseries, arranged alphabetically by name of correspondent; a Publicity subseries containing press coverage of Casey and preparatory material for and transcripts of interviews granted to the media; and a Subject File subseries, arranged alphabetically by topic. Subject files frequently include substantive correspondence and unpublished memoranda and reports as well as printed matter. Once again, subseries arrangement generally conforms to the arrangement of papers maintained during Casey's lifetime.
    Another variety of subseries requires some explanation. Casey was a controversial figure throughout his government service. He was the subject of numerous investigations by Congressional committees, some in conjunction with confirmation hearings for a new office and some not. During the Nixon administration the investigations centered on the International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation and Robert Vesco affairs. During the Reagan administration they concerned Casey's own financial affairs, the appointment and resignation of Max Hugel as deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and the theft of Jimmy Carter briefing papers during the 1980 presidential election campaign. Casey successfully weathered all investigations and confirmation hearings. The voluminous materials accumulated during these proceedings make up several subseries. From December 1986 until his death in May 1987, Casey was incapacitated by illness. There is thus little in the collection aside from press coverage relating to the Iran-Contra investigation of this period.
    In addition to series formed on the basis of government office, there are three series based explicitly on political activity: CASEY FOR CONGRESS COMMITTEE (1966) FILE, dealing with Casey's lone, and unsuccessful, bid for electoral office; REAGAN/BUSH CAMPAIGN (1980) FILE, in which Casey figured as campaign manager; and PRESIDENTIAL TRANSITION TEAM (1980-1981) FILE. Casey was a lifelong Republican, and material related to party affairs and to other elections may be found in the Correspondence and Subject File subseries of other series as well.
    Chronologically, the earliest series is the OFFICE OF STRATEGIC SERVICES (1943-1945) FILE. Although it is also the smallest series, it is notable in marking the beginning of Casey's long involvement with intelligence. In addition to the FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE ADVISORY BOARD and CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY series, this interest is reflected in other series, and especially in Speeches and Engagements and Subject File subseries relating to activities of the Veterans of the O.S.S.
    One series, CASEY FOUNDATION (1967-1977) FILE, is devoted to a philanthropic organization established by Casey. He was involved in many other philanthropic activities, which are documented in the Subject File subseries of various series. Some philanthropies were associated with the Roman Catholic Church, of which Casey was a lifelong member. His involvement with the International Rescue Committee was especially notable, and entries under the Committee will be found in several subject files.
    Two large series deal with periods of Casey's life when he did not hold public office: PRE-GOVERNMENT CAREER (1945-1971) FILE and, coinciding with the Democratic Carter administration, PRIVATE LIFE (1976-1981) FILE. Casey's activities as a lawyer and as a businessman come to the fore here, although there are reflections of them in other series as well. Among a multitude of interests were business law publishing, tax and estate law, continuing legal education, the legal profession, public policy centers, the securities industry, Long Island civic activism, economic implications of technological advances, and entrepreneurship, as well as continuing preoccupation with politics and foreign policy.
    Chronologically the last series are FINAL ILLNESS AND DEATH (1986-1987) FILE and CASEY MEMORIAL FUND (1987-1988) FILE.
    Three series cut across chronological periods. WRITINGS is the most important of these. It includes Casey's published writings, together with drafts and related correspondence and background materials. Besides numerous publications in the field of business law, Casey was the author of two books, Where and How the War Was Fought, inspired by the American Revolution Bicentennial; and the posthumously published The Secret War against Hitler, in which he drew on his own experiences in the Office of Strategic Services. There are very extensive drafts of the latter work, composition of which was long drawn-out and which was extensively revised, and a large volume of research material assembled for the writing project. AUDIOVISUAL MATERIAL is cross-referenced with related textual material. PRINTED MATTER consists of Casey's personal copies of printed material accessible elsewhere.
    The William J. Casey papers were acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives from Sophia Kurz Casey in 1999.

    Arrangement Statement

    Arrangement of the William J. Casey papers into the 20 series described above (Boxes 1-427) was completed in 2002. Subsequently another large body of papers (Boxes 428-636) was received. These papers have been arranged into another 21 series, of which 19 are simply addenda to series in the first body of material. There is, in fact, an ADDENDUM series for each of the initial 20 series except for TASK FORCE ON INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (1969-1970) FILE. Within each ADDENDUM series, arrangement by subseries is similar to that in the corresponding initial series. This reflects the fact that the material in the second body of papers is in general very similar to the material in the first body. For example, most alphabetically filed correspondence for letters A-Q from Casey's Central Intelligence Agency years arrived in the first body of material and is to be found in the CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY series, while most alphabetical correspondence from the same period for letters R-Z arrived in the second body and is to be found in the CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY ADDENDUM series. There are similar instances of divided filing sequences elsewhere. The researcher who has identified one of the first 20 series as being of interest will also want to consult the corresponding ADDENDUM series.
    There are two unique series in the ADDENDUM portion of the Casey papers. The first is a small EARLY LIFE (1913-1943) FILE series containing material documenting Casey's life prior to his entry into the Office of Strategic Services. The second is a MEMORABILIA series of plaques, awards, diplomas, certificates, and assorted three-dimensional objects from all periods of his life.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    United States -- Foreign relations -- 1981-1989
    United States -- Politics and government -- 1969-1974
    United States -- Politics and government -- 1981-1989
    United States -- Foreign relations -- 1969-1974
    Secret service -- United States
    World War, 1939-1945 -- Secret service
    Presidents -- United States -- Election -- 1980
    Finance, Public -- United States
    Intelligence service -- United States
    United States. Department of State
    Reagan, Ronald
    United States. Central Intelligence Agency
    United States. Office of Strategic Services
    Export-Import Bank of the United States
    Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994
    United States. Securities and Exchange Commission