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Unknown man and Larry Speakes

Photo credit: Gerlinde Photography

Larry Melvin Speakes (September 13, 1939 – January 10, 2014) was the acting White House Press Secretary for the White House under President Ronald Reagan, having held the position from 1981 to 1987.

He was born in northwestern Mississippi in 1939 and attended the University of Mississippi. He worked as a journalist in the 1960s until he became the press secretary of Democratic Senator James Eastland in 1968. In this position, he also worked as the spokesman for the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

In 1974, he became a Staff Assistant for President Richard Nixon and soon became the Press Secretary to the Special Counsel to the President at the height of the Watergate scandal. Upon Nixon's resignation, President Gerald Ford appointed Speakes to be Assistant Press Secretary to the President. Speakes served as Bob Dole's press secretary during his unsuccessful vice-presidential run with Ford.

Speakes worked for the international public relations firm of Hill & Knowlton until 1981. After Press Secretary James Brady was shot in the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, Speakes began hosting the daily press briefings for Reagan.


Date Digital



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NSU Archives, Nova Southeastern University


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Distinguished Speakers Series, Executive Council Forum, Forum Series, Nova Southeastern University, Lecture, Presentation