Theis, Paul A(nthony) 1923-2004

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THEIS, Paul A(nthony) 1923-2004


See index for CA sketch: Born February 14, 1923, in Fort Wayne, IN; died of complications after heart valve surgery, March 24, 2004, in Washington, DC. Journalist, government administrator, consultant, and author. Theis was a journalist whose writing skills led to a career in political speechwriting for President Gerald Ford and congressional leaders. Serving in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II, he was a war hero who piloted a B-17 in Italy and was awarded an Air Medal and the European Theater Ribbon with six battle stars. After the war, he obtained a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame in 1948 and a B.S. from Georgetown University the next year; he also remained in the Air Force Reserve, where he eventually attained the rank of major. Theis began his career shortly after graduating with reporting and correspondent jobs in Washington, D.C., at the Army Times, Fairchild Publications, and then Newsweek. In 1955 he was hired as an executive assistant for the U.S. Congress, which led to a position as director of public relations for the Republican Congressional Committee, a job he held from 1957 to 1974, when President Ford put him in charge of his administration's editorial department. After Ford left office in 1976, Theis remained in government as deputy undersecretary of agriculture for congressional and public affairs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He left a year later to become a consultant for the House of Representatives, and when Ronald Reagan took office he was on the transition team for the Agriculture Department. In 1981, Theis founded his own speechwriting and editorial company, Headliner Editorial Service, which catered to both government and private businesses concerns. Theis's published works include coediting Who's Who in American Politics during the late 1960s, cowriting, with William Steponkus, the book All about Politics (1972), and penning a novel, Devil in the House (2004).



Washington Post, March 29, 2004, p. B4.

Washington Times, April 8, 2004, p. B2.