Office of Speechwriting

Speechwriter, 1981-1985

Special Assistant to the President and Chief Speechwriter, 1985-1986

Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Speechwriting, 1986-1989


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This collection is available in whole for research use. Some folders may still have withdrawn material due to Freedom of Information Act restrictions. Most frequently withdrawn material is national security classified material, personal privacy, protection of the President, etc.



Anthony “Tony” Dolan joined the White House Speechwriting Staff in March 1981, and stayed until the end of the Reagan’s second term in 1989. Dolan had served as the Director of Special Research and Issues, in the Office of Research and Policy at the Headquarters of the Reagan-Bush Committee, and as a speechwriter. Prior to joining the campaign, Dolan had a distinguished career as an investigative reporter and won the 1978 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting.


This collection is arranged into seven series.
SERIES I: SPEECH DRAFTS 1981-1989 (27.6 l.ft; Box 1-69)

This series consists of speech draft material where Anthony Dolan served as the primary speechwriter. The series contains Dolan's assigned Presidential speeches including: major foreign and domestic policy addresses, radio talks, proclamations, statements on current events, citations for awards, political speeches, tapings, remarks for small groups, letters to specific individuals, toasts, and State of the Union Addresses. This series also includes speeches drafted for White House Chiefs of Staff James Baker and Donald Regan, Counselor to the President Edwin Meese, Central Intelligence Director William Casey, and Senator Paul Laxalt. The files consist of copies of the speech as given, all drafts, memorandums with comments and suggested edits, notes, and any background speech research information that was compiled. The arrangement is chronological by the date of the speech.


This series consists of speech draft copies written by other speechwriters given to Dolan for editing and institutional purposes. On many of the drafts Dolan’s initials appear after the name of the primary speechwriters. The drafts were composed by Ben Elliott, Mari Maseng, Landon Parvin, and Dana Rohrabacher. This material includes speeches composed for the President, James Baker, Michael Deaver, Ed Meese, Senator Paul Laxalt, and Mrs. Reagan. The arrangement is chronological by the date of the speech. The primary speechwriter is listed on the folder in parentheses, i.e. (Parvin).

SERIES III: SCHEDULES, 1981-1985 (l.0 l.ft; Box 73-75)

This series consists of copies of the Presidential Speech Planning Schedules and the President’s Schedules.  The Presidential Speech Planning Schedules cover 1981 to 1984 and list each speech, the date delivered, the assigned speechwriter or writers, the assigned researcher, and the due dates for completion of drafts.  The President’s Schedules include the monthly block schedules for all of 1981, and the daily schedules from 1981 to the first week of 1985. This material is arranged chronologically.

SERIES IV: CORRESPONDENCE, 1982-1983 (0.8 l.ft; Box 76-77)

This series consists of personal correspondence received by Dolan and includes thank-you notes, copies of newspaper and magazine articles, letters, resumes, and invitations to a variety of events.  This material is arranged chronologically, with a separate folder for any undated items.

SERIES V: SUBJECT FILES, 1981-1983 (3.1 l.ft., 7.5 Box 78-85)

This series consists of Presidential correspondence edited or written by Dolan, administrative files, clipping files, and a significant number of files regarding crime issues, which was Dolan’s area of expertise when he was a reporter. There are a number of "M" Files for 1983. However, it is unclear if the “M” indicates that these are meeting files or miscellaneous files. The files in this series include correspondence, materials related to Presidential overseas trips, schedules, speech drafts, copies of speeches given by a number of individuals, background materials, newspaper clippings, telephone messages, and press releases. The files are arranged alphabetically by topic or by the last name of individuals forwarding items to Dolan.

SERIES VI: PRESS BRIEFINGS & RELEASES, 1981 (1.6 l.ft.; Box 85-89)

This series consists of copies of press releases issued by the White House Press Office. It also includes press briefings on early Administration topics from Press Secretary James Brady; briefings pertaining to the assassination attempt, general briefings given by other Administration officials on a variety of topics, press releases on variety of topics, Presidential Statements, Presidential Proclamations, and Presidential Remarks. Dolan appears to have retained these copies for his own personal reference use. The material is arranged alphabetically by folder title and then chronologically.

SERIES VII: WHITE HOUSE NEWS SUMMARIES, 1981-1982 (1.3 l.ft.; Box 89-92)

This series consists of copies of the White House News Summary. The summaries were compiled and issued by the White House News Summary Office each working day and include two sections. Section A includes brief portions of that day's news stories appearing in major newspapers or on wire service reports regarding national and international events. Section B includes transcripts of portions of network television and radio news broadcasts from the previous day, and any newspaper editorials of interest from the previous day in full. Dolan appears to have retained this material for his own personal reference use. The material is arranged chronologically.

SERIES VIII: TELEPHONE MESSAGES, 1981-1982 (0.2 l.ft.; Box 92-93)

This series consists of telephone message slips written on small note size pads or Standard Form 63.  The information on the messages is not consistent. Many of the messages only provide first names and do not include dates.  Therefore, this series is not arranged in any particular order.

Last Updated: 06/27/2022 04:52PM

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