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Herbert G. Klein

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The Presidential historical materials of Herbert G. Klein, Director of Communications for the Executive Branch, are in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration under the provisions of Title I of the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-526, 88 Stat. 1695) and implementing regulations. In accordance with the act and regulations, archivists reviewed the file group to identify personal and private materials as well as nonhistorical items. No such items were identified or returned to Klein.

Materials covered by the act have been archivally processed and are described in this register. Items which are security classified or otherwise restricted under the act and regulations have been removed and placed in a closed file. A Document Withdrawal Record (GSA Form 7279) with a description of each restricted document has been inserted at the beginning of each folder from which materials have been removed. A Document Control Record marks the original position of the withdrawn item.

Employees of the National Archives will review periodically the unclassified portions of closed materials for the purpose of opening those which no longer require restriction. Certain classified documents may be declassified under authority of Executive Order 13526 in response to a Mandatory Review Request (NA Form 14020) submitted by the research.

  • Linear feet of materials:   3.3
  • Approximate number of pages:   6,600

Biographical Note

1918 April 1 Born in Los Angeles, California

1940 A.B., University of Southern California, Post-Advocate

1941 Married Marjorie G. Galbraight

1942-1946 U.S. Navy

1946-1950 News editor, Alhambra Post-Advocate, and special correspondent for Copley Newspapers

1946 Press agent for Richard M. Nixon's Congressional Campaign

1948 Press agent for Nixon's congressional re-election campaign

1950 Press agent for Nixon's campaign for the United States Senate

1950-1968 Editorial writer, editorial page editor, associate editor, executive editor, and finally Editor (1959-68) of the San Diego Union

1952 Publicity director for the Eisenhower-Nixon Presidential Campaign in California

1956 Assistant press secretary for Nixon's vice-Presidential campaign

1960 Press secretary for Nixon's Presidential campaign

1962 Press secretary for Nixon's gubernatorial campaign

1968 Manager of communications for Nixon's Presidential campaign

1969-July 1973 Director of Communications for Executive Branch

1973-1977 Vice President, Metromedia, Inc.

1977-1980 Media consultant

1980- Editor-in-Chief, Copley Newspaper

Scope and Content Note

Herbert G. Klein, who had been associated with the political campaigns of Richard M. Nixon for two decades, became Director of Communications for the Executive Branch in January 1969. His duties included the coordination of all public relations activities, not only of the White House but also of the entire executive branch. Despite his sweeping responsibilities, Klein was soon overshadowed by other White House staff members. Klein later stated he would have left the administration before July 1973, but he did not want to give the impression his departure was connected with the deepening Watergate scandal. In May 1974, Klein returned briefly to the White House to help coordinate the release of the transcripts of the White House Tapes to the House Judiciary Committee's impeachment inquiry.

The materials of Herbert Klein in the White House Special Files date from the 1969-73 period. There are practically none from the last six months of Klein's tenure at the White House.

The materials are arranged into three series:

  1. Name File
  2. Memoranda with the President
  3. White House Action Memoranda

The Name File contains correspondence between Klein and selected members of the administration whose surnames begin with the letter "H". This series appears to be part of a much larger alphabetical series, which Klein's office had sent to the White House Central Files for routine maintenance but was removed by the Special Files Unit. The largest concentration of correspondence in this series is that between Klein and H.R. Haldeman. Subjects covered include Presidential scheduling, press appointments, internal White House procedures, and media relations. The only substantive correspondence in this series is between Klein and Carol Harford, a cultural affairs advisor at the United States Information Agency. This correspondence concerns the administration's promotion of the fine arts, and especially the exhibition of American art abroad through the offices of the United States Information Agency. The Name File is arranged alphabetically under the single letter "H," and chronologically under the individual names.

The Memoranda with the President file contains suggestions and comments regarding press conferences, television appearances, and interviews. It is arranged chronologically.

The White House Action Memoranda file deals with suggested projects requiring the attention of Klein's office. Actions recommended include countering critical press reactions, presenting the administration's point of view on various issues, helping friendly media personnel, and analyzing poll results. The memoranda were often the consequence of Presidential request and were directed through the Staff Secretary's office. The memoranda bear a number, sometimes including a "P" prefix and an "H" suffix, which was assigned by the Staff Secretary's office. A fragment of a log of action memoranda present in the series indicates that Klein's office assigned its own set of numbers to the memoranda, though they are seldom evident on the documents themselves. The series is arranged in a corrupt chronological order.

Also available is a tape recording and a transcript of an exit interview with Klein conducted by the Office of Presidential Papers on July 13, 1973.

Series Description

Boxes:   1-2
Series:   Name File | Folder Title List
Spans:   1969 - 1973
Description:   Memoranda to and from Klein and various staff members, especially H.R. Haldeman. Included are analyses of White House public relations strategy. The Carol Harford files contain questions pertaining to the exhibitions of American art abroad. Only surnames beginning with the letter "H" are represented in this file. Arrangement is alphabetical under this single letter.

Boxes:   3-4
Series:   Memoranda with the President | Folder Title List
Spans:   1969 - 1973
Description:   Memoranda to and from the President containing suggestions for media appearances and analyses of issues. Arranged chronologically.

Boxes:   5-8
Series:   White House Action Memoranda | Folder Title List
Spans:   1969 - 1972
Description:   Memoranda originating often with Presidential requests and directed through the Staff Secretary's office to the office of the Director of Communications for the Executive Branch. Actions recommended include countering critical press reactions, presenting the administration's point of view on various issues, helping friendly medial personnel, and analyzing poll results. Arranged in a corrupt chronological order; the months and years covered by each folder are indicated in brackets following each folder title.

Folder Title List

NAME FILE, 1969-73

Box 1

H.R. Haldeman - I [1 of 3]
H.R. Haldeman - I [2 of 3]
H.R. Haldeman - I [3 of 3]
H.R. Haldeman - II [1 of 5]
H.R. Haldeman - II [2 of 5]
H.R. Haldeman - II [3 of 5]
H.R. Haldeman - II [4 of 5]

Box 2

H.R. Haldeman - II [5 of 5]
Haldeman - III [1 of 2]
Haldeman - III [2 of 2]
H.R. Haldeman - IV
Halperin, David
Nancy Hanks
Carol Harford [1 of 2]
Carol Harford [2 of 2]
Bryce Harlow

MEMORANDA WITH THE PRESIDENT, 1969-72

Box 3

HGK 1969 - Memos to the President
Memoranda to President - I [1 of 3]
Memoranda to President - I [2 of 3]
Memoranda to President - I [3 of 3]
Memoranda to President - II [1 of 3]

Box 4

Memoranda to the Pres. - II [2 of 3]
Memoranda to the Pres. - II [3 of 3]
President Memoranda (III) [1 of 3]
President Memoranda (III) [2 of 3]
President Memoranda (III) [3 of 3]

WHITE HOUSE ACTION MEMORANDA

Box 5

White House Action Memoranda Log [1970]
HGK Staff Action Memos [log fragment, 1969]
White House Action Memoranda 1969 [June - December 1969, September 1970] [1 of 3]
White House Action Memoranda 1969 [June - December 1969, September 1970] [2 of 3]
White House Action Memoranda 1969 [June - December 1969, September 1970] [3 of 3]
White House Action Memos (I) [December 1969, January - May, July 1970] [1 of 2]
White House Action Memos (I) [December 1969, January - May, July 1970] [2 of 2]

Box 6

White House Action Memos (II) [May - October 1970] [1 of 2]
White House Action Memos (II) [May - October 1970] [2 of 2]
White House Action Memos (III) [September, October, December 1970] [1 of 3]
White House Action Memos (III) [September, October, December 1970] [2 of 3]
White House Action Memos (III) [September, October, December 1970] [3 of 3]

Box 7

White House Action Memoranda - IV [October - December 1970, January, February 1971] [1 of 4]
White House Action Memoranda - IV [October - December 1970, January, February 1971] [2 of 4]
White House Action Memoranda - IV [October - December1970, January, February 1971] [3 of 4]
White House Action Memoranda - IV [October - December 1970, January, February 1971] [4 of 4]

Box 8

White House Action Memos No P1210H - 1434 H [January - March 1971] [1 of 3]
White House Action Memos No P1210H - 1434 H [January - March 1971] [2 of 3]
White House Action Memos No P1210 - 1434 H [January - March 1971] [3 of 3]
White House Action Memos No 1441 [January - November 1971, January, February, May, August, November, December 1972] [1 of 3]
White House Action Memos No 1441 [January - November 1971, January, February, May, August, November, December 1972] [2 of 3]
White House Action Memos No 1441 [January - November 1971, January, February, May, August, November, December 1972] [3 of 3]

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