The President today announced the appointment of Larry Speakes to be Deputy Assistant to the President and principal Deputy Press Secretary to the President. Mr. Speakes is currently serving as Deputy Press Secretary.
Prior to joining the White House staff on January 20, 1981, Mr. Speakes was vice president of the international public relations firm of Hill and Knowlton in 1977-81. He served as deputy spokesman in the office of the President-elect during transition, and Mr. Speakes was liaison director for the Reagan-Bush Committee with former President Ford.
Mr. Speakes started his newspaper career in 1961 as editor of the Oxford (Mississippi) Eagle and was managing editor of the Bolivar Commercial in Cleveland, Miss., in 1962-66. He was general manager and editor of Progress Publishers of Leland, Miss., publishing weekly newspapers in four cities, in 1966-68. His newspapers won top awards from the Mississippi Press Association for 6 straight years.
Mr. Speakes came to Washington in 1968 as Press Secretary to Senator James O. Eastland (D-Miss.), serving as spokesman for the Committee on the Judiciary and a coordinator for Senator Eastland's 1972 reelection campaign. During his service with Senator Eastland, Mr. Speakes directed press relations for major Judiciary Committee hearings, including the confirmation of four Supreme Court Justices.
In 1974 Mr. Speakes joined the Nixon administration as a Staff Assistant to the President and was later appointed Press Secretary to the Special Counsel to the President. In August 1974, he became Assistant Press Secretary to the President in the Ford administration. During the 1976 Presidential campaign, he was press secretary to Senator Bob Dole (R-Kans.), the Republican candidate for Vice President. When President Ford left office in 1977, Mr. Speakes became his press secretary, serving until June 1, 1977.
Mr. Speakes is a graduate of the University of Mississippi, where he majored in journalism. He is married to the former Laura Crawford, has three children, and resides in Annandale, Va.