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Letter to James Keogh Accepting His Resignation as Special Assistant to the President.

December 16, 1970

Dear Jim:

Although I have known for some time of your planned return to private life, it is nevertheless with the deepest regret that I accept your resignation effective December 31, and see you prepare to leave my staff. My feelings, I know, are shared by all of your White House colleagues.

Your steady hand and wise counsel have been of enormous help in setting the course of the Administration during these first two critical years, and I know that the dedication you have brought to your work has been inspired by a profound sense of service to the Administration, to the nation and to its people.

Although you will be missed here at the White House, I am confident that the integrity and the high degree of professionalism you exhibited within the Administration will continue to serve you, your country and your chosen field of journalism well.

Throughout the many years that we have known one another, your support and encouragement have meant a great deal to me. I appreciate the "venerable wish" from our common ancestors, and would only add that whenever the road has risen to meet me, it has done so largely through the dedication of good friends like yourself. And when the wind has been at my back, I often have found a calm, reasoned and experienced editor's good judgment behind it.

Pat joins me in the hope that you and Verna will also find this venerable wish fulfilled in the years ahead, and that the knowledge that you have served your country with such distinction will contribute to making them both happy and satisfying.

With deep gratitude, and with warm good wishes,



[Honorable James Keogh, The White House, Washington, D.C.]

Note: The letter of acceptance was dated December 9, 1970, and released December 16, 1970.
Mr. Keogh's letter of resignation, dated December 1, 1970, and released with the President's letter, follows:

Dear Mr. President:

Now that we are nearing the end of the first two years of your Administration, the time has come for me to make official the intention about my future which I indicated to you informally some time ago. And so I submit to you my resignation as your Special Assistant, effective December 3 1, 1970.

It has been one of the great experiences of my life to have served on your staff since you were nominated for the Presidency in August, 1968. I only hope that I have been able to contribute something of value to help you carry the enormous burdens which you are called upon to bear.
My course now is charted on the principle that--if he can--a man should generally work at what he knows best. Holding that view, I feel that I should now return to private life to devote my attention to journalism, my profession of 30 years.

As I leave your official family, I will take with me the profound hope that you will be able to achieve in your Presidency the basic goals which I know you so fervently seek: real progress toward a more fulfilled life for all Americans and, indeed, for all people.

Borrowing a venerable wish from your ancestors-and mine--I say may the road rise up to meet you and may the wind be always at your back.

[The President, The White House]

Richard Nixon, Letter to James Keogh Accepting His Resignation as Special Assistant to the President. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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