Dead Presidents

Historical facts, thoughts, ramblings and collections on the Presidency and about the Presidents of the United States.

By Anthony Bergen

Harry C. McPherson, who was one of Lyndon B. Johnson’s most trusted aides, died on Thursday in Bethesda, Maryland, at the age of 82. 

As one of LBJ’s closest confidants, he served the former President as a speechwriter, counsel, and wore many hats in the Johnson Administration.  Due to his proximity to LBJ, McPherson has been an invaluable source for researchers of LBJ, the Johnson Administration, and the era in which Johnson served.  If you have read a biography about Lyndon Johnson, there is a good chance that the author interviewed McPherson or used information from the extensive oral histories of McPherson at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas.

I’m saddened to hear of Mr. McPherson’s death and disappointed that I missed my chance to see Mr. McPherson speak at the LBJ Library when I was in Austin.  It would have been a privilege to have listened to him in-person as I have always been fascinated by the insight that Mr. McPherson was able to provide in his speeches, writings (including a wonderful memoir, A Political Education, published in 1972), as well as the aforementioned oral histories that he left behind.  

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