Released March 18, 1999
Marlin Fitzwater to speak at Centre College
DANVILLE, KY -- Marlin Fitzwater, former White House press secretary for Ronald Reagan and George Bush, will speak at Centre College, Tuesday, March 23. His remarks will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Newlin Hall in the Norton Center for the Arts. The program is open to the public at no cost.
Fitzwater served as press secretary for President Reagan 1987-88 and President Bush 1988-92. His appointments spanned the Persian Gulf War, the assassination attempt on President Reagan, the Iran-Contra war and summit meetings that brought an end to the cold war between the United States and the Soviet Union.
Born in Salinas, Kan., in 1942, Fitzwater majored in journalism at Kansas State University and was employed as a small-town newspaper editor during his last two years of college. He was offered a post with the Wall Street Journal upon graduation but chose, instead to move to Washington, D.C., where he took his first government job as a publicist for the Appalachian Regional Commission.
Fitzwater subsequently served as a spokesman for the Treasury Department under Donald Regan and joined the White House staff in 1983 as deputy press secretary. When press secretary Larry Speakes resigned in January 1987 at the height of the Iran-Contra controversy, President Reagan appointed Fitzwater to the post. He was so respected by Washington journalists that they applauded when he was presented at a press conference. Fitzwater was subsequently credited with setting a new standard of professionalism and fairness for press relations during the remainder of Reagan's term, and when Bush was elected, Fitzwater became the only person appointed the White House press post by two different presidents.
In an interview with the Washington Post's Donnie Radcliffe, Fitzwater described his list of "Ten Commandments" for the White House press secretary, including the need always be truthful with the press. He saw his role as having to mediate aggressively between reporters demanding information and executive branch bureaucrats who were often reluctant to provide it.
Fitzwater's visit to Centre is being jointly sponsored by the Kentucky Federation of College Republicans and the Centre College Republicans. The two organizations are hosting a private fund-raising reception in addition to the public address.
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