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The Shortest Press Secretary Stints: Where Spicer Ranks

Author: Jeff Powers
Created: 21 July, 2017
Updated: 21 November, 2022
2 min read

Sean Spicer's resignation as press secretary is adding more fuel to the argument that the Trump administration is growing all the more tumultuous.

At 182 days, Spicer outlasted a few predecessors.

However, each of the 5 men who held the position for less time than Spicer had his term impacted by special circumstances.

Here's the rank and stories behind each short stint:

1) Jerald terHorst - 31 Days. August 9, 1974 to September 9, 1974

TerHorst was press secretary for the first month of Gerald Ford's presidency. He held the position during one of our nation's most tumultuous times.

He was applauded by the press for "restoring openness and honesty to the White House" at a time when morale was low, after President Nixon's Watergate scandal.

TerHorst resigned in protest of Ford's unconditional pardon of former president Richard Nixon. It is still regarded as "a rare act of conscience by a high-ranking public official."

2) Jonathan Daniels - 47 Days. March 29, 1945 to May 15, 1945

Jonathan Daniels' served as White House press secretary in 1945 under Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman.

Daniels was a long-time friend of Franklin Roosevelt.

In 1942, President Roosevelt persuaded him to join the war effort in Washington as assistant director of the Office of Civil Defense. Three years later he became the president's press secretary, but resigned shortly thereafter following the death of Roosevelt that year.

Harry Truman briefly brought him back on an interim basis before naming his own press secretary.

3) James Brady - 69 Days. January 20, 1981 - March 30, 1981

James Brady was the press spokesman for President Ronald Reagan.

In 1981, while traveling with the president, Brady suffered a gunshot wound to the head during the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan.

Brady was unable to work as the White House Press Secretary but remained in the position until the end of the Reagan Administration with Larry Speakes and Marlin Fitzwater performing the daily duties.

Four and Five Are Post-Election Fill Ins.

Roger Tubby - 33 Days. September 18, 1952 - January 20, 1953 (Harry Truman)

Jake Siewert - 112 Days. September 30, 2000 - January 20, 2001 (Bill Clinton)

These two press secretaries were post-election fill-ins under lame-duck presidents.

Dwight Eisenhower and George W. Bush brought in their own press secretaries.

Photo Credit: a katz / shutterstock.com