Michael K. Deaver

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Michael K. Deaver, 1938–2007, was White House Deputy Chief of Staff from 1981 to 1985 after working in Reagan's political campaigns.

Early life

Michael K. Deaver was born in 1938 in Bakersfield, California. His father worked for an oil company and his mother was a newspaper reporter. In college, he was in a fraternity and majored in political science and also public administration. He worked for a while in a sales department, played piano in a bar, traveled the world for a year and played piano in Australia to get enough money to return to California.

Political career

In 1964 Michael Deaver worked for Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign. Goldwater lost the nomination. In 1967 he began working for Ronald Reagan's campaign for Governor of California. Reagan seemed a better bet. Reagan pushed for individual responsibility and pushing for limited U.S. government, balanced with respect for his adversaries, humaneness and compassion. Reagan's humility made the platform more respectable, and resulted in his victory. Deaver was Reagan's aid in Sacramento.

After Reagan left office in California, Deaver co-founded public relations or advertising agency with offices in two California cities. He advised on Reagan's first presidential campaign, and was a senior advisor on Reagan's second presidential campaign. After Ronald Reagan was elected President of the United States, Deaver joined the transition team. In 1981 he became Reagan's Deputy Chief of Staff. After Reagan was reelected, Mr. Deaver was the chairman of the inaugural committee.

He left the White House 1985 to found an advertising agency in Washington, D.C. He helped a homeless shelter and rehab center for 20 years. In 1988 he wrote someone's biography and in 1992 he became the executive vice president of the Washington, D.C. office of a large public relations firm. He was promoted in 1995. The next year he advised the Republican National Committee on how to run their upcoming National Convention. He wrote two books about working for the Reagans and one about Reagan's style of conservatism. The public relations firm he worked for promoted him again in 2006. By October of that year, while he was planning a party to celebrate 20 years of sobriety, he was diagnosed with the pancreatic cancer. He passed away on August 18, 2007. There was a memorial service in the Washington National Cathedral open to the public.[1][2]

Personal life

Deaver met his wife in Sacramento working for Reagan's governorship. They had a daughter in 1970 and a son 1975, who were both born in the capital city of California.


The books he wrote include Why I Am a Reagan Conservative and A Different Drummer: My Thirty Years with Ronald Reagan.[3]


  1. http://www.edelman.com/Michael_Deaver/index.asp, retrieved 11-18-09.
  2. http://www.edelman.com/Michael_Deaver/Michael_Deaver_timeline.asp, retrieved 11-18-09
  3. http://www.harpercollins.com/authors/20687/Michael_K_Deaver/index.aspx