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Wilton Persons

Wilton Persons
3rd White House Chief of Staff
In office
October 7, 1958 – January 20, 1961
President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Preceded by Sherman Adams
Succeeded by H.R. Haldeman
as 3rd White House Chief of Staff

Kenneth O'Donnell
as Appointments Secretary

Personal details
Born Wilton Burton Persons
(1896-01-19)January 19, 1896
Died September 5, 1977(1977-09-05) (aged 81)

Wilton Burton "Jerry" Persons (January 19, 1896 – September 5, 1977) served as the White House Chief of Staff to President Dwight D. Eisenhower from October 7, 1958 until January 20, 1961.

Life and career

Persons graduated from Auburn University in 1916. He was a career United States Army officer who had entered the U.S. Army Coast Artillery in 1917 and advanced through the ranks to major general in 1944. He had served in both the American Expeditionary Force in World War I and in Europe in World War II. He headed the office of legislative liaison for the Department of Defense between 1948 and his retirement in 1949. He retired with the rank of Major general.

Persons was called back to active duty as a special assistant to General Dwight D. Eisenhower at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers in Europe from 1951–1952 and was active on behalf of Eisenhower's presidential campaign in 1952. He became a deputy assistant to the president in 1953 and then was made an assistant to the president in 1958. He served throughout the Eisenhower presidency, handling congressional liaison before he replaced Sherman Adams in 1958 as, effectively, Eisenhower's chief of staff.

Following the 1960 presidential election, Persons was heavily involved as Eisenhower's representative in the transition of government between the Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy administrations. He met frequently with Clark Clifford, President-elect Kennedy's transition representative, to work out the details for a smooth transfer of government.


Political offices

Template:U.S. Cabinet Official box

External links

  • Records and Papers of Wilton B. Persons, Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library
  • Finding aid for the Wilton B. Persons Oral Histories, Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library



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