Marlin Fitzwater papers

Identity elements

Reference code

Level of description



Marlin Fitzwater papers


  • 1942- (Creation)


74.00 Boxes

Name of creator


Biographical history

Max Marlin Fitzwater was born on a farm in Salina, Kansas on November 24, 1942 to Max Malcolm and Phyllis Ethel [Seaton] Fitzwater. [He has used his middle name since childhood to distinguish himself from his father]. A graduate from Kansas State University (B.A. in Journalism, 1965), Fitzwater was an advertising executive with the<emph render='italic'> Manhattan Mercury </emph>(Kansas) and correspondent for the <emph render='italic'>Topeka Capitol-Journal</emph> in 1962-1965. He was editor of the <emph render='italic'>Linsburg News-Record</emph> (Kansas) in 1962, and worked for the <emph render='italic'>Abilene Reflector-Chronicle</emph> (Kansas). After his graduation from K-State, Fitzwater left for D.C. area, where his fiance landed a job. He soon found his first government job in the Applachian Regional Commission. From 1965 to 1992, Marlin Fitzwater worked at different federal governmental agencies and the White House:
1965-1967 - Assistant in the Public Affairs Department of the Appalachian Regional Commission.
1967-1970 - Served in the United States Air Force
1970-1972 - Speechwriter in the Department of Transportation.
1972-1980 - Director of Press Relations, Environmental Protection Agency
1981-1983 - Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, Treasury Department
1983-1987 - Deputy Press Secretary to the President for Domestic Policy, The White House
1985-1987 - Press Secretary to the Vice President, The White House
1987-1989 - Assistant to the President for Press Relations, The White House
1989 - Councelor to the President and Press Secretary, The White House
1989-1992 - Press Secretary to the President, The White House
Mr. Fitzwater received the Presidential Citizen Medal in 1992. He has worked on the television show <emph render='italic'>The West Wing</emph> as a consultant. In 2002, Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, New Hampshire completed the Marlin Fitzwater Center for Communication in his honor.
He is the author of the following books:
Fitzwater, Marlin. <emph render='italic'>Call The Briefing.</emph> Crown Publishing Group, 1995.
Fitzwater, Marlin. <emph render='italic'>Esther's Pillow.</emph> PublicAffairs, 2001.
Fitzwater, Marlin. <emph render='italic'>Death in the Polka Dot Shoes</emph>. CCB Publishing, 2011
Fitzwater, Marlin. <emph render='italic'>Sunflowers</emph>:<emph render='italic'> A Collection of Short Stories</emph>. CCB Publishing, 2011.
Fitzwater, Marlin. Oyster Music. Cedar Winds Publishing, 2012.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The collection documents the personal and professional activities of Marlin Fitzwater. He served as Assistant to the President for Press Relations under Reagan, and Press Secretary under George H.W. Bush. The bulk of the records in this collection were produced and/or collected by Fitzwater during his years in the White House and in the following years as a lecturer and author. Items include memos, speeches, interviews, correspondence schedules, reports, and other documents. Items of note include correspondence to and from Presidents Reagan and Bush, newswires, briefings, records documenting U.S. and Soviet relations, economic summits, and other foreign and domestic policy decisions made during the terms of Reagan and Bush, Gulf War of 1990-1991. Other items of note in the collection include World War II ration cards belonging of Marlin Fitzwater parents, speeches delivered by Marlin Fitzwater after he left the White House, manuscripts and research materials related to his books, photo albums and numerous photographs of the White House period, posters, and numerous memorabilia items.

System of arrangement

The collection is organized into following series and sub-series:
I. Personal papers:
    1) Ray and Iva Fitzwater
    2) Max and Phyllis Fitzwater
    3) Marlin Fitzwater (including Linda Fitzwater and Melinda Andrews Fitzwater)
    4) Fitzwater family history
     5) Post-White House personal and business documents
II. Professional papers/records, 1976 - 2002
    1) EPA
    2) Treasury Department
    3) Office of President Reagan
    4) Office of Vice President George H. Bush
    5) Office of President Reagan (1987-1989)
    6) Office of President George H. Bush
III. Clippings, 1960-2002
IV. Memorabilia
V. Serials, books, special publications
VI. Photographs and posters
VII. Audio and video (VHS, Beta, audio cassettes, DVDs, floppy discs)

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

The researcher assumes full responsiblity for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

It received accession number P2014.04.

Immediate source of acquisition

Acqusition Source: Marlin Fitzwater
Acqusition Method: Donation
Acqusition Date: 20140112

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


Related materials elements

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related archival materials

Related descriptions

Notes element

General note

Preferred Citation: [Item title], [item date], Marlin Fitzwater papers, Box [number], Folder [number or title], Morse Department of Special Collections, Kansas State University Libraries.

Specialized notes

Alternative identifier(s)

Archon Collection ID


Description control element

Rules or conventions

Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Sources used

Archivist's note

Finding Aid Author: Ashley Nary, Franklin Pierce University; Volodymyr Chumachenko, Kansas State University

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places

Physical storage

  • Box: Box 47
  • Box: Boxes 1-10
  • Box: Boxes 11-22
  • Box: Boxes 23-31; 36-38; 40-41
  • Box: Boxes 32; 34-35; 53-57
  • Box: Boxes 33, 65-74
  • Box: Boxes 39; 42; 43-46; 48-52; 58-64