|10th White House Press Secretary|
January 20, 1953 – January 20, 1961
|President||Dwight D. Eisenhower|
|Preceded by||Roger Tubby|
|Succeeded by||Pierre Salinger|
|Born||James Campbell Hagerty
May 9, 1909
Plattsburgh, New York
|Died||April 11, 1981
Lawrence Hospital, Bronxville, New York
James Campbell Hagerty (May 9, 1909 - April 11, 1981) served as the White House Press Secretary from 1953 to 1961 during the administration of Dwight D. Eisenhower. He is the only press secretary to serve two full presidential terms. He was known for providing much more detail on the lifestyle of the president than previous press secretaries; for example, he covered in great detail Eisenhower's medical condition. Most of the time, he handled routine affairs such as daily reports on presidential activities, defending presidential policies, and assisting diplomatic visitors. He handled embarrassing episodes, such as those related to the Soviet downing of an American spy plane, the U-2 in 1960. He handled press relations on Eisenhower's international trips, sometimes taking the blame from a hostile foreign press. Eisenhower often relied upon him for advice about public opinion, and how to phrase complex issues. Hagerty had a reputation for supporting civil rights initiatives.
After his Irish Catholic family moved to New York when he was 3 years old, James Hagerty attended Evander Childs High School in the Bronx, before enrolling in and graduating from Blair Academy, which he attended for his last two years in high school. He graduated from Columbia College in 1934, and work as a reporter for the New York Times. He became the Press Secretary to Governor Thomas E. Dewey in 1943, and handled Dewey's presidential campaigns in 1944 and in 1948. He was in charge of candidate Eisenhower's press office in the 1952 campaign, leading to his appointment as Press Secretary in January 1953. He introduced television cameras to press conferences in 1955. He occasionally handled political assignments from Eisenhower, such as liaison with the Senate. After Eisenhower left office in January 1961, Hagerty became a vice President of the ABC television network, serving 1961-1975.
"One day I sat thinking, almost in despair; a hand fell on my shoulder and a voice said reassuringly: cheer up, things could get worse. So I cheered up and, sure enough, things got worse."
"If you lose your temper at a newspaper columnist, he'll get rich or famous or both"
- Eleanora W. Schoenebaum, ed., Political Profiles: The Eisenhower Years (1977) 244-245
- Parry‐Giles, Shawn J. "'Camouflaged' propaganda: The Truman and Eisenhower administrations’ covert manipulation of news." Western Journal of Communication (1996) 60#2 pp: 146-167.
- Hagerty, James Campbell. The diary of James C. Hagerty: Eisenhower in mid-course, 1954-1955 (Indiana University Press, 1983), A primary source.
- Salinger, Pierre, and James Campbell Hagerty. The Press and Presidential Leadership (University of Minnesota, School of Journalism., 1961); Salinger was the Press Secretary to President Kennedy
- Papers of James C. Hagerty, Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library
- Finding aid for James C. Hagerty Oral History, Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library
|White House Press Secretary