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Aldrich, Winthrop (02 November 1885–25 February 1974), lawyer, banker, and legal and political adviser, was born Winthrop Williams Aldrich in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of Nelson Wilmarth Aldrich, a U.S. senator, and Abby Chapman. Aldrich graduated from Harvard College in 1907 and Harvard Law School in 1910. Upon graduation from law school Aldrich joined the New York City law firm of Byrne, Cutcheon & Taylor, specializing in finance and commercial law. In 1916 Aldrich was named a junior partner in the firm, and in December of that year he married Harriet Alexander, the granddaughter of California railroad and banking magnate ...

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Atwater, Lee (27 February 1951–29 March 1991), political strategist, was born Harvey LeRoy Atwater in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of Harvey Dillard Atwater, an insurance claims adjuster, and Sarah Alma “Toddy” Page Atwater. Atwater displayed several trademark characteristics from the time he was a child growing up in South Carolina. The first was a set of fidgety mannerisms, which may have stemmed from hyperactivity. The second was a flamboyant disregard for authority, which prompted his parents to send him briefly to a military school. The third was a love for blues and rock music: he learned to play the guitar and would later befriend famous musicians....

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Baroody, William Joseph (29 January 1916–28 July 1980), policy analyst, research institute executive, and political adviser, was born in Manchester, New Hampshire, the son of Lebanese immigrants Joseph Assad Baroody, a stonecutter, and Helen Hasney. In 1935 he married Nabeeha Marion Ashooh. They had seven children. After graduating from St. Anselm’s College in Manchester in 1936, he took graduate courses at the University of New Hampshire (1937–1938) and at American University (1938)....

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Bennett, John Charles (06 December 1923–05 May 1980), major general in the U.S. Army and White House aide, was born in Washington, D.C., the son of Ivan Loveridge and Ruby Jenrette. Shortly after graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1945, Bennett married Jean Hazelton MacKenzie. They had four children. In 1951 Bennett received an M.A. in English from Columbia University. He received another M.A. in international affairs from George Washington University in 1964....

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Biemiller, Andrew John (23 July 1906–03 April 1982), labor lobbyist, was born in Sandusky, Ohio, the son of Andrew Frederick Biemiller, a traveling salesman who sold dry goods to small general stores, and Pearl Weber. Andrew Frederick was also chairman of the Republican Committee in Sandusky and a member of the Knights Templar. After her husband’s death in the great flu epidemic in 1918, Pearl Biemiller ran a boardinghouse....

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Francis Preston Blair. Francis Preston Blair and Eliza Violet Gist Blair. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ6-1725).

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Blair, Francis Preston (12 April 1791–18 October 1876), newspaper editor and presidential adviser, was born in Abingdon, Virginia, the son of James Blair, a lawyer and, later, attorney general of Kentucky, and Elizabeth Smith; he was usually called Preston. Reared in Frankfort, Kentucky, Blair graduated with honors from Transylvania University in 1811. In 1812 he married Eliza Violet Gist ( ...

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Bloomingdale, Alfred Schiffer (15 April 1916–20 August 1982), cofounder of Diners Club and adviser to President Ronald Reagan, was born in New York City, the son of Hiram Bloomingdale and Rosalind Schiffer. Alfred Bloomingdale attended Brown University, where he played varsity football, graduating in 1938 after spending a year in a hospital recovering from a football-related back injury. He began his business career working as a salesman at Bloomingdale Brothers, the firm founded by his grandfather Lyman and great-uncle Joseph in 1872. In 1941 he switched careers and became a theatrical agent, producer, and financial backer of Broadway shows and Hollywood movies. Among his clients were ...

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Brown, Ron (01 August 1941–03 April 1996), secretary of commerce and Democratic party leader, was born Ronald Harmon Brown in Washington, D.C., the son of William Brown, who worked for the New Deal–era Federal Housing and Home Finance Agency, and Gloria Elexine Brown. In 1947 the family moved to Harlem in New York City, where William Brown had been hired as the manager of the famed Hotel Theresa, the lodging of choice for celebrated black musicians, civic leaders, athletes, and writers. Ron spent much of his youth there, soaking up the rich cultural life of the hotel and meeting many of its famous residents. On graduating in 1958 from Rhodes, a private preparatory school in Manhattan, he entered Middlebury College in Vermont, becoming one of only three black students in the school and the first black to be initiated into his fraternity....

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Bryan, Charles Wayland (10 February 1867–04 March 1945), political adviser, governor of Nebraska, and vice presidential nominee, was born in Salem, Illinois, the son of Silas Lillard Bryan, a lawyer and farmer, and Mariah Elizabeth Jennings. He was the brother of William Jennings Bryan...

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McGeorge Bundy Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

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Bundy, McGeorge (30 March 1919–16 September 1996), presidential foreign affairs adviser and philanthropist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Harvey Hollister Bundy, a highly successful lawyer who served as a special assistant to Secretary of War Henry Stimson during World War II, and Katherine Putnam Bundy, who was related to several of Boston's most socially prominent families. He grew up in a noisy, high-spirited household where he and his siblings were encouraged to join their elders in debate about history and politics around the dinner table. (His older brother, ...

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Campbell, Angus (10 August 1910–15 December 1980), psychologist and educator, was born Albert Angus Campbell in Leiters, Indiana, the son of Albert Alexis Campbell, a public school superintendent, and Orpha Brumbaugh. He grew up in Portland, Oregon, and received a B.A. in 1931 and an M.A. in 1932 in psychology at the University of Oregon. In 1936 he completed his doctoral training as an experimental psychologist at Stanford University, where he trained under psychologists Ernest R. Hilgard and ...

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Cantril, Hadley (16 June 1906–28 May 1969), psychologist and public opinion researcher, was born Albert Hadley Cantril in Hyrum, Utah, the son of Albert Hadley Cantril, a physician, and Edna Mary Meyer. He grew up in Douglas, Wyoming, and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1928. He then spent two years studying in Berlin and Munich. After receiving his Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard in 1931, he served for one year as instructor of sociology at Dartmouth. In 1932 he married Mavis Katherine Lyman; they had two children. In the fall after his marriage he returned to Harvard as instructor in psychology. He then moved to Teachers College, Columbia University, in 1935, the year that he coauthored his first book, ...

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Chotiner, Murray (04 October 1909–30 January 1974), attorney and Republican political consultant, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of Albert H. Chotiner, a small business entrepreneur, and Sarah Chass. In 1921 his family moved to California, where his father began development of a chain of theaters. Four years later Chotiner graduated from Los Angeles High School, where he starred in debate. He attended the University of California, Southern Branch (now University of California, Los Angeles), for one year, again participating on the debate team and in student government, then left in 1926 to attend Southwestern Law School. He received his LL.B. in 1929, the youngest graduate in the school’s history to that date. Before taking and passing the California bar in 1931, Chotiner worked at Security First National Bank. In 1932 he married Phyllis Sylvia Levenson. They had one child before divorcing in 1955....

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Clark Clifford. Photograph by Yoichi R. Okamoto, c. 1965. Courtesy of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library / National Archives and Records Administration.

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Clifford, Clark (25 December 1906–10 October 1998), Washington, D.C., lawyer and presidential adviser, was born Clark McAdams Clifford in Fort Scott, Kansas, the son of Frank Andrew Clifford, an auditor with the Missouri Pacific Railroad, and Georgia McAdams, a children's advocate and lecturer in the National Story Tellers' League. After enjoying a well-mannered midwestern upbringing, in 1923 Clifford enrolled at Washington University in Saint Louis. Two years later he transferred to that university's law school, graduating in 1928. The same year, at age twenty-one, Clifford was hired by the prestigious Saint Louis law firm of Holland, Lashly, & Donnell. The following year while traveling in Europe he met the Boston‐born Margery Pepperell Kimball, whom he married in 1931. The couple raised three daughters together....

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Roy Cohn Right, with Joseph McCarthy during the Army-McCarthy hearings. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-114995).

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Cohn, Roy (20 February 1927–02 August 1986), anti-Communist crusader, powerbroker, and attorney, was born Roy Marcus Cohn in New York City, the son of Al Cohn, a state judge and Democratic party figure, and Dora Marcus. Dora’s father, Sam Marcus, had founded the Bank of United States, which served a largely Jewish, immigrant clientele. The bank failed during the Great Depression, and the trial of Dora’s brother Bernie Marcus for fraud was one of the formative influences of Roy’s childhood. Al Cohn was the son of a pushcart peddler, had attended law school at night, and used his political influence in the Bronx, as well as Dora’s money, to gain a position as a state trial court judge and later a seat on the intermediate state appellate court. Roy was educated at the Horace Mann School. He had an undistinguished career as an undergraduate at Columbia College and was only admitted to Columbia Law School because of the dearth of students caused by World War II and his father’s political influence. Roy did, however, finish both college and law school in three and a half years and, at age twenty, was too young to enter the bar. He spent a year as a clerk/typist for the U.S. attorney for New York and was promoted to assistant U.S. attorney after his twenty-first birthday....

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Colson, Charles Wendell (16 October 1931–21 April 2012), political operative and evangelical leader, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the only child of Wendell Ball Colson, an attorney, and Inez (Dizzy) Ducrow. His father earned a reasonable income, but his mother’s spendthrift behavior often endangered the family’s solvency. Bright and often brash, Chuck, as his friends called him, learned about political intrigue as a volunteer in the Massachusetts governor Robert Bradford’s unsuccessful 1948 campaign for reelection....