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PATTERSON, Bradley H., Jr. 1921-

PERSONAL: Born December 5, 1921, in Wellesley, MA; son of Bradley H. (a stockbroker) and Helen G. Patterson; married Shirley DoBos, 1943; children: Dawn M. Patterson Capron, Bruce D., Glenn G., Brian B. Education: University of Chicago, A.B., 1942,M.A., 1943. Politics: Independent. Religion: Unitarian-Universalist.

ADDRESSES: Home—6705 Pemberton St., Bethesda, MD 20817.

CAREER: Cranbrook School, Bloomfield Hills, MI, teacher, 1943-45; affiliated with the U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC, 1945-54; White House staff, Washington, DC, deputy cabinet secretary, 1954-61;U.S. Peace Corps, Washington, DC, executive secretary, 1961-62; Office of the Secretary of the Treasury, Washington, DC, national security adviser, 1962-64; affiliated with National War College, 1965-66; Executive Office of the President, executive secretary of presidential advisory commissions, 1966-69; member of the White House staff, 1969-76; Brookings Institution, Washington, DC, senior staff member at the Center for Public Policy Education, 1977-88; lecturer and consultant, 1988—.

MEMBER: American Society for Public Administration (national president, 1964-65), American Political Science Association, The Westerners.


The Ring of Power: The White House Staff and Its Expanding Role in Government, Basic Books (New York, NY), 1988.

The White House Staff: Inside the West Wing and Beyond, Brookings (Washington, DC), 2000.

Contributor to periodicals including Presidential Studies Quarterly.

SIDELIGHTS: Bradley H. Patterson, Jr. is a former White House staffer who has written about the inner workings of government in two of his books. In The White House Staff: Inside the West Wing and Beyond, an expanded and rewritten version of the earlier Ring of Power, John Hart noted in Presidential Studies Quarterly that Patterson "has developed an unrivaled knowledge of the operation of the White House and a deep reverence for its traditions and for what he sees as the self-effacing commitment of those who work there." Washington Post Book World contributor James P. Pinkerton similarly observed that Patterson "has amassed an extraordinary amount of data" and that "this book will be useful to anyone wishing to work in, or write about, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue." Library Journal reviewer Karl Helicher commented that "the office descriptions are made interesting by hundreds of anecdotes from people who held staff positions mostly during the Bush and Clinton administrations," while Booklist reviewer Mary Carroll noted that "Patterson, who served in the Eisenhower, Nixon, and Ford White Houses, covers functions (not personalities), but … he respects most who perform these functions." In Political Science Quarterly, Shirley Anne Warshaw concluded, "It is difficult to find fault with this work, given the author's attention to detail throughout the fifty years that the White House staff has developed."

In testimony before a hearing of the Subcommittee on Government Management, Information, and Technology, Patterson pointed out that although the White House staff community serves at the pleasure of the president, there is a "second, equally strong tradition … that while policy officials change, hundreds of the technical and support personnel of the modern White House are invited to stay on to serve the next president. In fact many have served several presidents—over three or four decades."

Patterson once told CA: "How the White House works, on the inside, is a mystery to most Americans, made more arcane by false stereotypes created by succulent news stories, by 'kiss and tell' authors, by frustrated Cabinet members, and even by some presidents. Academic writers only see it from the outside. It is hard to pull aside these veils and to show the White House for what it is: mostly a place of honor where men and women of integrity work incredibly hard not only for their president, but for their country."



Booklist, June 1, 2000, Mary Carroll, review of The White House Staff: Inside the West Wing and Beyond, p. 1816.

Library Journal, August, 2000, Karl Helicher, review of The White House Staff, p. 130.

New York Times Book Review, November 13, 1988,p. 15.

Political Science Quarterly, summer, 2001, Shirley Anne Warshaw, review of The White House Staff, p. 312.

Presidential Studies Quarterly, June, 2001, John Hart, review of The White House Staff, p. 377.

Washington Post Book World, December 11, 1988,p. 1; August 27, 2000, James P. Pinkerton, review of The White House Staff, p. X04.


United States House of Representatives, (December 4, 2000), Bradley H. Patterson, transcript of testimony before a hearing of the Subcommittee on Government Management, Information, and Technology.

Patterson, Bradley H., Jr. 1921-

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