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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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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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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, 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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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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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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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....

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Corcoran, Thomas Gardiner (29 December 1900–06 December 1981), government official and presidential adviser, was born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, into an affluent, teetotaling, self-consciously “lace-curtain” Irish family. His father, Patrick, was a Democrat who served briefly in the Rhode Island legislature; his mother, Mary O’Keefe, was from a prosperous Republican family that looked with some contempt on the “cheap” political activities of the “damned Shanty Irish.” In his youth, at least, Corcoran shared something of his mother’s distaste for “politicians,” if not for politics, and ultimately he brought to his own public career a conviction that, while elected officials were necessary, the best sources of public wisdom were intelligent, highly educated administrators like (he chose to believe) himself....

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Cutler, Robert (12 June 1895–08 May 1974), President Dwight D. Eisenhower's special assistant for national security affairs, President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s special assistant for national security affairs, was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, the son of George Chalmers Cutler, a lumber merchant, and Mary Franklin Wilson. Cutler spent almost two decades in Washington but, in the words of one observer, never overcame his love affair with Boston. He was a member of a Massachusetts family dating back to 1636 and received both his undergraduate degree (1916) and his law degree (1922) from Harvard, interrupting his education from 1917 to 1919 to serve with the U.S. Army in France and Germany during World War I. He practiced law in Boston from 1922 to 1940 and then served as corporation council of that city from 1940 to 1942. Following his service in Washington during World War II, he returned to his native city to serve as a director and then president of Old Colony Trust Company from 1946 to 1953....

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Dean, Arthur Hobson (16 October 1898–30 November 1987), lawyer, government adviser, and diplomat, was born in Ithaca, New York, the son of William Cameron Dean, an engineering laboratory assistant, and Maud Campbell Egan. In 1915 Dean enrolled at Cornell University, where he earned money for expenses working as a night clerk at a hotel and as a bookkeeper at a bank. He interrupted his studies to serve in the navy during World War I. Returning to Cornell following peace, Dean received his A.B. in 1921. He then studied law at Cornell, where he was managing editor of the ...

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Deaver, Michael Keith (11 April 1938–18 August 2007), presidential adviser to President Ronald Reagan, presidential adviser to President Ronald Reagan, was born in Bakersfield, California, to Paul Deaver, a distributor for Shell Oil, and Marian Deaver, a reporter. Deaver went to elementary school in Arvin, a migrant farm community fifteen miles southeast of Bakersfield. He was employed as a paperboy, soda jerk, short order cook, ditch digger, and meter reader. In 1956 Deaver enrolled at San Jose State College. To help pay his way, he played piano at the Interlude Bar in San Jose. In 1960 he graduated with a degree in political science....

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Donelson, Andrew Jackson (25 August 1799–26 June 1871), presidential aide, diplomat, and politician, was born near Nashville, Tennessee, the son of Samuel Donelson, who kept a store in partnership with his brother-in-law Andrew Jackson, and Mary Smith. In 1805 Jackson became his namesake’s guardian, Donelson’s father having died and his mother having remarried. Raised at the “Hermitage,” Donelson studied at Cumberland College in Nashville and later at the U.S. Military Academy. In 1820, after only three years, he graduated from West Point, second in his class. He subsequently served Jackson, by then territorial governor of Florida, as aide-de-camp. Donelson left the army in 1822 to study law at Transylvania University in Kentucky. Admitted to the bar the following year, he established a practice in Nashville. In 1824 he married a cousin, Emily Tennessee Donelson, whose dowry included both land and slaves. Establishing their home adjacent to the Hermitage, the couple eventually had four children....

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Flynn, Edward Joseph (22 September 1891–18 August 1953), political leader and adviser, was born in New York City, the son of Henry T. Flynn and Sara Mellon. His Roman Catholic parents had immigrated from Ireland after his father graduated from Trinity College, Dublin; the family settled in the Bronx and was relatively well off, providing Flynn with a more comfortable and secure environment than was the case in most immigrant families of the time. Flynn graduated from Fordham University Law School in 1912 and began the practice of law. In 1924 he went into partnership with Monroe Goldwater, with whom he developed a profitable legal practice that continued for the rest of his life. In 1927 he married Helen Margaret Jones; the happy and successful marriage, centered in their Bronx home, produced three children....

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Roswell L. Gilpatric. Used by permission of Cravath, Swaine & Moore.

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Gilpatric, Roswell L. (04 November 1906–15 March 1996), lawyer and presidential aide, was born Roswell Leavitt Gilpatric in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Walter Hodges Gilpatric, a lawyer, and Charlotte Elizabeth Leavitt Gilpatric. He entered Yale University in 1924, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and received his B.A. with honors in 1928. He then entered Yale Law School, was an editor of the ...

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Goldman, Eric (17 June 1915–19 February 1989), historian, author, educator, and presidential adviser, was born Eric Frederick Goldman in Washington, D.C., the son of Harry Goldman, a fruit and vegetable store owner and cabdriver, and Bessie Chapman. Goldman’s parents divorced when he was very young, and he was raised mainly by his father. He attended public school in Baltimore but held out no hope of ever attending college because of his father’s poor financial situation. On graduation from high school in 1931, however, he was awarded a scholarship and decided to enroll at Johns Hopkins University. Goldman moved on to graduate work at Johns Hopkins without ever completing the undergraduate program. He received an M.A. in American history in 1935 and a Ph.D. in the same subject in 1938, earning the latter degree at twenty-two years of age....

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Graham, John (1774–06 August 1820), diplomat and public official, was born in Dumfries, Virginia, the son of Richard Graham, a prosperous Scot merchant, and Jane Brent. He attended Columbia College, graduating in 1790. Graham subsequently moved to Mason County in northeastern Kentucky and in 1800 represented the area in the state legislature. He had earlier married Susan Hill; they had four children....