Former White House press secretary to speak in Staunton

Marlin Fitzwater, press secretary for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, will reflect on his White House experiences at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6 in John Lewis Auditorium at Lee High School in Staunton. The program will be a conversational interview conducted by Don Wilson, President and CEO of the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, who worked with Fitzwater in Washington. This special Conversation with Marlin Fitzwater is jointly hosted by the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum and Staunton City Schools, with sponsorship by StellarOne, and is free to the general public.

As the only press secretary in history to be appointed by two presidents, Fitzwater stood next to Reagan and Bush during Cold War summits, economic downturns, and eight military conflicts including the Persian Gulf War. He gave over 850 press briefings in six years, winning praise from both the news media and the public for his honesty and good humor.

Personable and down-to-earth, Fitzwater has a unique insight into the White House and Washington which he shared as a writer and consultant for the television show The West Wing. The New York Times said of Fitzwater, “He may look like a tweedy, out-of-shape bureaucrat on the podium, but his persona is a blend of W. C. Fields, Huckleberry Finn and the comedian Gary Shandling.”

Today, Fitzwater is an author and television analyst on politics and the media. His bestselling Call the Briefing is a memoir of his time in the White House. Death in the Polka Dot Shoes, his third and most recent book, is a novel about a waterman on the Chesapeake Bay. He is also co-author of Empires Fall, a stage play about a meeting between George H.W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

A Conversation with Marlin Fitzwater launches a new series of public programs by the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum. The WWPLM is located at 18 N. Coalter Street in Staunton and includes Wilson’s birthplace, a museum, gardens, and a library and archive. For additional information visit or call 540-885-0897.


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