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Presidential Speech Writers

by Ron Kurtus (3 March 2013)

The United States President gives a number of important speeches throughout the year. Even if he was a capable speech writer, the president may not have the time available to write his own speeches. Thus, most presidents have at least one speech writer to help formulate an upcoming speech.

There's a typical method used by the presidential speech writers. It is uncertain whether all presidents used speech writers, but I included a list of the most recent writers.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.

Typical method used

Typically, the method used is that the president wants to express a specific subject to an audience at an event. The speech writer that makes an outline of proposed speech, and the president reviews it to make sure main points are covered. Then the speech writer puts the speech together, improved wording, and gives it to the president. Some changes may be made before the speech finally given.

Presidents and their speech writers

Following is a list of recent presidents and their head speech writers:

Warren G. Harding

John F. Kennedy

Lyndon B. Johnson.

Richard M. Nixon

Jimmy Carter

Ronald Reagan

George H. W. Bush

Bill Clinton

George W. Bush

Barack Obama

Facts on writers

Indications are that Alexander Hamilton had written speeches for President George Washington.

Apparently, Abraham Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address himself. The story is that he outlined the speech on an envelope.

Although, some presidents have only one speech writer listed, in most cases there is a staff of writers reporting to the head writer.


Since the United States President gives a number of important speeches throughout the year, most presidents have at least one speech writer to help formulate an upcoming speech. The typical method used by the presidential speech writers, includes outlining and checking with the president on the content before the speech is given.

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