Nation & World News

Former Reagan White House Spokesman Larry Speakes Dies

By Greg Henderson on January 10th, 2014

Larry Speaks, who became the White House spokesman after President Ronald Reagan and Press Secretary James Brady were shot in a 1981 assassination attempt, died Friday. He was 74.

Speakes, who had Alzheimer’s disease, died at his home in Cleveland, Miss.

The New York Times reports:

“A Southerner who started many days in his White House office by listening to Mozart for what he said was its calming influence, Mr. Speakes served as acting White House press secretary from 1981 to 1987, parrying the increasingly adversarial queries from the press along the way. His nickname among friends was ‘the Mississippi catfish,’ a fish that stings when mishandled.”

While Reagan largely recovered from assailant John Hinckley Jr.’s March 30, 1981 assassination attempt outside a Washington hotel, Brady, who was shot in the head, suffered disabling injuries.

In its obituary, The Washington Post writes:

“His job included providing information to the news media on some of the most significant events in the history of the last half of the 20th century, including the meetings between Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, which helped end the Cold War.

“Mr. Speakes also commanded the podium in the West Wing as disputes grew about an administration plan to trade arms to Iran in return for support of the Nicaraguan rebels known as the contras.

“Unlike many of those who held the spokesman’s position, Mr. Speakes was officially the deputy press secretary, implying that he was only filling in for Brady.”

The Associated Press says Speakes is survived by a daughter, two sons, six grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Dante Martin waits for jury selection on Monday, Oct. 27, as he stood trial in Orange County, Fla.

Former Band Member Found Guilty In FAMU Hazing Case

A Florida jury found Dante Martin guilty of manslaughter for his role in the fatal hazing of drum major Robert Champion.


The commercial space ship, pictured here in an earlier test flight, crashed in the California Desert.

1 Dead After Commercial Spaceship Crashes During Test Flight

The Virgin Galactic Spaceship Two was undergoing a test flight when it crashed in the California desert. The spaceship is designed to take tourists to space.


Rita Jeptoo of Kenya crosses the finish line to win the Women's Elite division of the 118th Boston Marathon on April 21, 2014.

With Reports Of Doping, World Marathon Majors Postpones Awards Ceremony

Rita Jeptoo, the accomplished marathoner who holds the course record at Boston, has reportedly tested positive for a banned substance. The Majors said it’s awaiting a decision by the governing body.


Nurse Kaci Hickox, right, and her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur, take delivery of a pizza at their home in Fort Kent, Maine, on Thursday. A judge has ruled that the state cannot compel Hickox to remain in isolation if she's not showing signs of Ebola infection.

Maine Judge Rejects State’s Bid To Restrict Nurse’s Movements

The request by state officials would have compelled Kaci Hickox, who shows no symptoms of Ebola, to isolate herself until Nov. 10.


He's not welcome in Vendargues. The French town has banned people from dressing up as clowns for the next month following violent incidents across the country.

No Joke: French Town Cracks Down On Clown Costumes After Attacks

The French town of Vendargues has banned people from dressing up as clowns for a month starting today. The move follows violent incidents across the country involving teens dressed as clowns.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments