Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff: Deputy Chief of Staff and Assistant to the President, 1981‑1985. Michael Deaver’s White House title nominally ranked him under James Baker, the Chief of Staff. In actuality, Deaver had his own leadership role in the Reagan White House, one based on his long personal association with Ronald and Nancy Reagan.
In 1960, he graduated from San Jose State College with a B.A. degree in Public Administration. After spending time in travel and various temporary jobs, he took a position with the Santa Clara County Republican Party organization in 1963. Two years later, he transferred to the regional Republican organization in Santa Barbara.
In November 1966 Deaver was hired as the chief assistant to William Clark, the head of Ronald Reagan’s gubernatorial transition staff. Deaver went on to serve as Reagan’s Director of Administration for all eight years of the Reagan governorship. When Clark became Reagan’s Chief of Staff in August 1967, he put Deaver in charge of the Governor’s schedule, political liaison, and issues of concern to Nancy Reagan. Through these responsibilities, Deaver became part of the Reagans’ inner circle.
After Reagan left the governorship, Deaver co-founded Deaver & Hannaford, a public relations firm based in Los Angeles.
In the Reagan White House, Deaver, James Baker, and Edwin Meese shared the leadership of the White House staff, in a senior staff triumvirate nicknamed the “Troika.” Deaver’s role included oversight of matters that pertained to President and Mrs. Reagan’s public image or personal lives. He supervised the President’s travel and events, working to ensure that Reagan was presented to the media and the public in the best manner possible. He served as a liaison between Nancy Reagan and the White House staff, and dealt with her travel and events as well. He often accompanied President and Mrs. Reagan on their trips, or personally performed advance site visits – especially for overseas trips. He was a personal intermediary for the Reagans, taking messages directly to and from them. He dealt with issues involving Presidential security or the White House complex. Deaver had oversight of the Office of Appointments and Scheduling, Office of Presidential Advance, Office of the First Lady (including Social Affairs), White House Military Office, and President Reagan’s immediate office (e.g., his personal secretary). He was also heavily involved with the Office of Communications. In early 1984 the Deputy Chief of Staff office took over most aspects of communications, as part of a staff reorganization done for the 1984 campaign season.
Deaver founded a lobbying firm, Michael K. Deaver and Associates, after he left the White House. in 1987 he was convicted on three counts of perjury for lying to a House subcommittee and a federal grand jury about efforts to use the White House in his lobbying efforts.
Mr. Deaver, who blamed alcoholism for a faulty memory of events and bad judgment, was fined $100,000 and given a suspended three-year prison sentence and probation. In 1992, Deaver took a position with the Washington-based consulting firm Edelman. He played a central role in planning Ronald Reagan’s funeral ceremonies in 2004.
Graduated from San Jose State College, is survived by his wife, Carolyn; a daughter, Amanda Deaver of Washington; a son, Blair, of Bend, Ore.; three grandchildren; a sister, Susan Wiggins of Tehachapi, Calif.; and a brother, William, of Mojave, Calif.