Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff

Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff: Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy to the Deputy Chief of Staff (1982-1983)

Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff: Assistant to the President and Deputy to the Deputy Chief of Staff (1983-1985)


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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 Some folders may still have withdrawn material due to Freedom of Information Act restrictions. Most frequently withdrawn material is national security classified material, personal privacy, protection of the President, etc.


Michael McManus was born in Boston on March 11, 1943. He grew up in the suburbs of Boston and New York City. He earned a B.A. degree in Economics from the University of Notre Dame (1964), and a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center (1967). From 1968 to 1970 he served in the Army, as an attorney stationed at Fort McNair in Washington, DC. After his discharge, he was an attorney with the law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham and Taft (1970-1974) and the American Freedom Train Foundation (1974-1975). In December 1975 he joined the Department of Commerce, as a Regional Representative of the Secretary of Commerce for two years. He then returned to the private sector, as an attorney with the pharmaceutical firm Pfizer Inc.,

In April 1982 McManus became the chief assistant to Michael Deaver, the White House Deputy Chief of Staff. He was assigned to oversee the logistics of President Reagan’s trip to Versailles, France for the 1982 G-7 Summit of Industrialized Nations. Once this Summit ended, McManus began work on the 1983 G-7 Summit, for which the United States was the host country. He was the official leader of the independent group that organized the Summit, which was held in Williamsburg, Virginia in May 1983. After the Williamsburg Summit, McManus was promoted from a Deputy Assistant to a full Assistant to the President. He continued working with the Office of Presidential Advance on event scheduling and logistics, especially for President Reagan’s overseas trips. He assisted Mr. Deaver with internal administrative matters. He dealt with various issues, special projects, and outside organizations on behalf of Deaver and the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff.

In October 1983, McManus was named the White House liaison on matters pertaining to the 1984 Republican National Convention. In January 1984 he took on direct oversight of most aspects of White House communications, as part of a reorganization of the White House staff undertaken for the 1984 campaign season. After President Reagan won re-election, McManus became a member of the advisory board for the 1985 Inaugural, while Deaver served as Chairman of the 1985 Inaugural Committee.

McManus left the White House staff effective March 31, 1985. Since then he has held leadership positions with various corporations in the New York City area, primarily in the banking and pharmaceutical fields.



Scope Note

The material within this collection reflects the intensive nature of planning and “advancing” Presidential events and trips. Separate series are maintained for five of the President’s foreign trips, reflecting the large amounts of material pertaining to these trips and McManus’s key role in planning them. The trip-based series can include material on advance site visits, event proposals, lists of event attendees, draft and final trip schedules, and thank-you notes to people who helped with the trip.

The collection also reflects the large supervisory role the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff acquired after David Gergen, Director of Communications left the White House staff in late 1983. In effect, the Office was now providing the strategic guidance for the Office of Communications, Office of Media Relations, Office of Public Affairs and to some degree the Office of Speechwriting. McManus took on a large part of these responsibilities.

The collection includes material reflecting the Office of Deputy Chief of Staff’s responsibility for making all the arrangements of the Summit of Industrialized Nations (G-7) held in Williamsburg, Virginia at the end of May 1983. Michael McManus was appointed the Coordinator for Administration for the Summit, supervising the independent group organizing the Summit. While working closely with the Summit group, McManus also retained his White House job and functions

With the original McManus collection, we found about 4-5 cubic feet of the specific records for the Summit of Industrialized Nations independent body. This body was located outside the White House in Jackson Place and had an Executive Director running day-to-day operations. We have transferred this material to a created collection for the Summit of Industrialized Nations. There is some additional McManus work product in the Summit collection (see separate inventory).

The remaining material within this collection focuses on the political and ceremonial functions of the President including fund-raising trips and events; the 1984 Republican Convention in Dallas, Texas, and the 1985 Inaugural. (Series 9-11) All of these series are considered “personal” papers of President Ronald Reagan misfiled within McManus’ presidential records. As such it is processed and made available under the deed of gift of the President regarding this material.

As a general note on filing practices by McManus, his office staff liked to group his work product in big broad topics usually in large expansion ("accordion") folders. We have retained this original order with overarching folder titles from the accordion folders and used some folder subtitles to break up the material in more specific units. 

The Michael McManus collection consists of 11 series: SERIES I: Subject File, SERIES II: 1983 Williamsburg Summit, SERIES III: European Trip 1982, SERIES IV: South and Central American Trip 1982, SERIES V: Far East Trip 1983, SERIES VI: China Trip 1984, SERIES VII: 1984 Economic Summit – London, England, SERIES VIII: Events, SERIES IX: 1984 Republican National Convention, SERIES X: 1985 Presidential Inaugural, and SERIES XI: Political – General.

SERIES I: SUBJECT FILE, 1982-1985 (5.5 l.ft., Boxes 1-14)

This series contains material relating to a variety of subjects regarding strategic planning for communicating and presenting the Reagan Administration. It also includes material on internal administrative matters and “special projects” which were the responsibility of McManus.

SERIES II: 1983 ECONOMIC SUMMIT, WILLIAMSBURG, VA, 1982-1984 (3.8 l.ft., Boxes 14-24)

This series contains material relating to initial site selection for the Economic Summit, Administration events held at potential Summit sites, the budget for the Summit, Summit expenses and billing, setting up of accommodations, catering, security concerns, and meeting requirements. Only a few records pertain to the foreign policy and trade issues addressed during the Summit meetings.

SERIES III: EUROPEAN TRIP 1982, 1981-1982 (1.2 l.ft., Boxes 24-27)

This series contains material relating to the planning, pre-advance, and final scheduling for this first European trip that Ronald Reagan took as President (June 2-11, 1982). The trip’s primary purpose was to attend the 1982 Economic Summit (Summit of Industrialized Nations) at Versailles, France. It was expanded to include stops in Ireland and Great Britain, a NATO meeting in West Germany, a visit to NATO headquarters in Brussels, and a visit with the Pope at the Vatican.

SERIES IV: SOUTH AND CENTRAL AMERICAN TRIP 1982, 1981-1982 (0.2 l.ft., Box 27)

This series contains material relating to the planning, pre-advance, and final scheduling for this trip in which President Reagan visited Brazil, Colombia, Honduras, and Cost Rica (November 29-December 4, 1982).

SERIES V: FAR EAST TRIP 1983, 1982-1983 (0.3 l.ft., Boxes 27-28)

This series contains material relating to the planning, pre-advance and final scheduling for this November 1983 trip to Japan and South Korea. The trip included a visit to the DMZ at the border between North and South Korea.

SERIES VI: CHINA TRIP, 1984 (0.3 l.ft., Box 28)

This series contains material relating to the planning, pre-advance, and final scheduling for President Reagan’s 1984 trip to China. The trip included events in Hawaii and Guam prior to arrival in China, and a meeting with Pope John Paul II in Alaska on the way back from China.

SERIES VII: 1984 ECONOMIC SUMMIT, LONDON, ENGLAND, 1983-1984 (0.2 l.ft., Box 29)

This series contains material relating to the planning, pre-advance, and final scheduling for this trip to the 1984 Summit of Industrialized Nations. The trip included a stop in Ireland, where President Reagan reconnected with his Irish background in Ballyporeen, Ireland. The President also delivered two speeches in Normandy, France, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the World War II D-Day Invasion in June 1944.

SERIES VIII: EVENTS, 1982-1983 (0.9 l.ft. Boxes 29-31)

This series contains material relating to domestic trips to California, Ohio, Nevada, Texas, Massachusetts; local events within the Washington, DC area; and the President’s meeting with President de la Madrid of Mexico in San Diego, California. The time period for this series is May 1982 to July 1983. The 1982 trips were also used as fundraising and political promotion of the Reagan Administration for the 1982 Congressional elections.

SERIES IX: 1984 REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION, 1983-1984 (2.6 l.ft., Boxes 31-38)

This series contains material relating to the pre-planning and advance work done by Michael Deaver and McManus to assist in staging the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas.

SERIES X: 1985 PRESIDENIAL INAUGURAL, (1969-) 1984-1985 (0.8 l.ft., Boxes 38-40)

This series contains material relating to the planning for the 1985 Presidential Inaugural, including reference materials pertaining to past Inaugurals.

SERIES XI: POLITICAL – GENERAL, 1982-1985 (0.3 l.ft., Box 40)

This series contains material relating to political strategy for the off-year 1982 election and the 1984 presidential election. It contains 1984 campaign commercials, which are housed in our audio-visual holdings area.

Last Updated: 04/22/2022 06:45PM

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Summit of Industrialized Nations (Williamsburg, VA: May 1983): Records

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