Oral Histories


The Richard Nixon Presidential Library holdings include more than 150 oral history interviews with many individuals who worked in the Nixon Presidential administration or were significant figures during the time. For a complete listing of the interviews, expand the Alphabetical Index below. You may also browse subject-oriented groupings for the individuals interviewed.

Then-Library Director Timothy Naftali conducted the vast majority of these interviews between 2006 and 2011. Most, but not all of these interviews, are currently open for research. Researchers may access DVD copies of all open interviews from this project in the Library’s research room. Some interviews are posted online. Between 2002 and 2003 Library staff members recorded interviews of five individuals associated with the administration. The transcripts of three of these interviews are available online and the video of the remaining are available in the Library’s Research Room. Finally, in 1987 and 1988 Library staff recorded interviews of ten members of the administration: Adams, Ash, Colson, Ehrlichman, Haldeman, King, Richardson, Schecter, Stuart and Whitaker. Researchers may access transcripts for eight of these interviews and audio recordings of the interviews with H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman. 


Descriptions for 1987-1988 and 2002-2003 Oral Histories

  • Adams, Penelope A.
    Interview Date:   August 4, 1988

    Penelope A. Adams was the radio and television coordinator and later deputy press secretary for Mrs. Nixon. She worked in the White House from December 1, 1969 to September 1973. In the interview, she discussed her working relationship with the West Wing Staff and anecdotes about the celebrities who were invited to the Evenings with the White House including Pearl Bailey, Ray Conniff, Beverly Sills, Red Skelton, Johnny Cash, Peggy Lee, Merle Haggard, and David Frost.
  • Ralph D. Albertazzie
    Interview Date:   December 12, 2003

    Colonel Ralph D. Albertazzie was the pilot of the President's aircraft, "Air Force One," from January 20, 1969 to August 9, 1974. The colonel flew President Nixon and his staff on his landmark trips to China, the Soviet Union, and the Mideast. In his interview, Colonel Albertazzie discussed his relationship with the President and the White House Staff and his role in the historic summit trips to China and the Soviet Union in 1972.
  • Ash, Roy L.
    Interview Date:   January 13, and August 4, 1988

    Roy L. Ash served as the Chairman of the President's Advisory Council on Executive Organization (PACEO) from 1969-1970 and Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) from 1972 to 1974. He was also Assistant to the President for Executive Management (1973-1974). In his interview, Mr. Ash discussed government organization and management, the President's management style, and his role in domestic policy making, especially after John Ehrlichman left the administration. Other topics addressed include the Domestic Council, the Super Cabinet proposal, New Federalism, and the Space Shuttle Program.
  • Chester, John J.
    Interview Date:   July 30, 2002

    John J. Chester, an Ohio attorney, was a member of President Nixon's defense team during the Watergate crisis in 1974. In his interview, Mr. Chester discussed a variety of topics related to Watergate. He also related a conversation he later had with Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr relating Watergate to the William J. Clinton impeachment proceedings. Other matters that Mr. Chester covered included his relationship with people such as Special Counsel James St. Clair and U.S. Attorney General William B. Saxbe; his day-to-day activities as Special Counsel; and his life before and after his career at the Nixon White House.
  • Colson, Charles W.
    Interview Date:   September 21, 1988 and June 15, 1988

    Charles Colson was Special Counsel to the President. He was responsible for political liaison with nongovernmental organizations. His duties also included lobbying on behalf of the administration and political analysis. In his interview, Mr. Colson described the reorganization of the administration after the 1972 election and his resignation. He also talked about his relationships with H. R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, and John Mitchell. Other topics discussed include Watergate, President Nixon's management style, the Vietnam War, the White House tapes, George Wallace, Henry Kissinger, busing, television network relations, the hardhats' march, President Nixon's attitudes toward Jews, Teamsters Union, Alexander Haig, Billy Graham, and Ross Perot.
  • John Ehrlichman
    Interview Date:   August 11, 1987, November 3, 1987 and November 21, 1987

    John D. Ehrlichman's first position in the Nixon administration was Counsel to the President. These interviews discuss a range of topics including the Apollo program, the domestic council and domestic policy issues, White House staff and further recollections of his years working for Richard Nixon.
  • H. R. Haldeman
    Interview Date:   August 13, 1987 and April 11-13, 1988

    H. R. Haldeman was President Nixon's Chief of Staff; however, his official title was Assistant to the President. The extensive interviews addressed a wide variety of topics including White House staff work and many of the major personalities in the administration. The interviews contain lengthy discussions of Mr. Haldeman's impressions of President Nixon's management style, personality, and policy goals. Other topics include the White House taping system, Mr. Haldeman's diary, White House public relations, the administration's reaction to press leaks, and Watergate.
  • King, Gwendolyn B.
    Interview Date:   May 23 and 24, 1988

    Gwendolyn B. King served as Director of Correspondence for the First Lady. Her responsibilities included answering all mail received by Mrs. Nixon, Julie and David Eisenhower, and Tricia and Edward Cox. In addition to discussing her duties and relationships with the First Family, Ms. King related anecdotes about Alexander Haig, Henry Kissinger, Helene Drown, Jacqueline Kennedy, and Lady Bird Johnson and described her work for the Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson Administrations.
  • Richardson, Elliot L.
    Interview Date:   May 31, 1988

    Elliot L. Richardson served as Under Secretary of State (1969-1970), Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare (1970-1973), Secretary of Defense (Jan.-May 1973) and Attorney General (May-October 1973). In the interview, Mr. Richardson addressed his work at the State Department and Health, Education, and Welfare but not as Secretary of Defense or Attorney General. He also talked about the Vietnam War.
  • Saxbe, William B.
    Interview Date:   September 27, 2002

    William B. Saxbe, an Ohio attorney and U.S. Senator, was Attorney General in 1974. In his interview, Mr. Saxbe related his views about the Nixon Administration's involvement in Watergate, Attorney General Elliot Richardson's handling of Watergate, his own relationship as Attorney General with the Watergate Special Prosecutor and President Nixon, the Nixon tapes, and the impact of Watergate on the Justice Department and the Presidency. He also discussed the transition from President Nixon to President Gerald Ford. Other matters that Mr. Saxbe covered included Justice Department affairs other than Watergate; and his career prior to and following his departure from the Ford administration.
  • Schecter, Jerrold
    Interview Date:   February 24, 1988

    Jerrold Schecter was a journalist who worked as the White House correspondent for Time in 1971 and 1972 and diplomatic editor for the magazine in 1973 and 1974. In his interview, Mr. Schecter discussed reporting on President Nixon and Henry Kissinger as well as the Vietnam War and the President's trip to China in 1972.
  • Schumaker, Byron
    Interview Date:   November 26, 2002

    Byron Schumaker was one of the two White House photographers who traveled with President Nixon on his historic trip to the People's Republic of China in February 1972. He served as a White House photographer from 1970 to 1973 under Ollie Atkins, President Nixon's Chief Photographer. He also accompanied the President to the Soviet Union in June 1972.
  • Sheehan, John E.
    Interview Date:   August 19, 2002

    John E. Sheehan, a Kentucky businessman, was a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) from 1972 to 1975. In his interview, Mr. Sheehan discussed how he controlled the board's spending and increased the Federal Reserve System's revenue. He talked about how his appointment came about and his views of monetarism, wage and price controls, and the ending of the gold standard. He described the relationship between the Nixon White House and the FRB, and outlined how the FRB made monetary policy. Other matters that Mr. Sheehan covered included security at the Watergate Office Building; the problems of inflation and unemployment in 1973, 1974, and 1975; the Arab oil embargo; his views of John Connally and Arthur Burns; the Nixon tapes; and his career before and after leaving the Nixon White House.
  • Stuart, Constance C.
    Interview Date:   August 15, 1988

    Constance C. Stuart served simultaneously as staff director and press secretary for the First Lady starting in October 1969. Ms. Stuart described the operation of her staff whose duties included managing press relations, correspondence, scheduling, and social events for Mrs. Nixon, Tricia and David Eisenhower, and Julie and Edward Cox. She talked about Mrs. Nixon and the 1972 Africa trip. Ms. Stuart also discussed her relations with the President and his staff.
  • Whitaker, John C.
    Interview Date:   December 30, 1987

    John C. Whitaker was Cabinet Secretary in 1969 and a member of the Domestic Council staff from 1969 to 1973. As a member of the Domestic Council, Mr. Whitaker had responsibility for environmental and natural resources policies. In his interview, Mr. Whitaker shared his impressions of his colleagues especially President Nixon, H. R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, and George Schultz. He also discussed the origin of the Nixon Doctrine. He does not discuss the work of the Domestic Council or environmental policies much.