MAX L. FRIEDERSDORF PAPERS, (1971) 1974-1977

Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs


Material includes appointment books, courtesy and some official correspondence, First Family schedules, and small subject files on domestic and international matters and Legislative Affairs Office activities.

4.4 linear feet (ca. 3,500 pages)

Max L. Friedersdorf (accession number 1999-NLF-043)

Open. Some items may be temporarily restricted under terms of the donor's deed of gift, a copy of which is available on request, or under National Archives and Records Administration general restrictions (36 CFR 1256).

Max L. Friedersdorf donated to the United States of America his copyrights in all of his unpublished writings in National Archives collections. The copyrights to materials written by other individuals or organizations are presumed to remain with them. Works prepared by U.S. Government employees as part of their official duties are in the public domain.

Prepared by Bethany Panozzo, February 2007
[s:\bin\findaid\friedersdorf, max - papers.doc]


Max L. Friedersdorf

July 7, 1929 - Born in Grammer, Indiana

1952 - BA, Franklin College

1952-55 - City editor, Franklin Evening Star

1955-60 - Reporter, Louisville Times, Indianapolis News, and the Chicago Daily News

1961-70 - Administrative Assistant, Congressman Richard Roudebush

1969 - MA, American University

1970-71 - Associate Director for Congressional Relations, Office of Economic Opportunity

1971-73 - Special Assistant for Congressional Relations, White House

1973-74 - Deputy Assistant to the President for the House of Representatives

1975-77 - Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs

1977-79 - Staff director, Senate Republican Policy Committee

1979-80 - Chairman, Federal Election Commission

1981 - Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs

1982-83 - U.S. Counsel General to Bermuda

1983-84 - Vice President for Public Affairs, Pepsico, Inc.

1985 - Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs

1985-87 - U.S. Counsel General to Bermuda

1987-ca.1990 - United States Representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva

1991-- Senior Vice President, Neill and Co. Inc. (Washington government relations consulting firm)


When Gerald R. Ford became President in August 1974, Max L. Friedersdorf was serving as Deputy Assistant to President Nixon for Legislative Affairs. His special responsibility was coordination of White House liaison with the House of Representatives. He worked directly under William E. Timmons, the head of the Congressional Liaison Office. In January 1975 Friedersdorf became the Assistant to the President (Ford) for Legislative Affairs and head of the office. He had overall responsibility for liaison between the President and Congress. The staff he directed included deputy assistants for the House and Senate and several special assistants under them. Friedersdorf himself reported to John Marsh, Counselor to the President.

Friedersdorf and his staff were involved in virtually all aspects of presidential relations with members of Congress. Tasks were often routine such as clearing personnel appointments, monitoring congressional invitations to White House social events and notifying congressional offices of various White House actions. More importantly however, the office was responsible for arranging meetings and telephone calls between the President and members of Congress, informing the president and his staff of congressional views and the status of legislation and lobbying for the administration's point of view on proposed legislation.

Most of this collection dates from Friedersdorf's activities after becoming head of the overall congressional relations operation in January 1975. The collection unevenly documents Friedersdorf's activities. Much of the correspondence is routine. Much of the lobbying of members of Congress was carried out orally and documentation is sparse. Nevertheless, there are materials compiled and occasional notes taken by Friedersdorf during meetings with members of Congress and the President which indicate how the office worked. Occasional substantive materials also appear on major domestic and foreign policy issues such as the president's energy program, national security, and the end of U.S. involvement in Indochina.

Related Materials (February 2007)
The Max Friedersdorf Files, another Ford Library collection, contain further documentation of Friedersdorf’s responsibilities as Assistant to the President. Material on the responsibilities and activities of the Congressional Relations Office is located in the files of Friedersdorf's office colleagues, including William Timmons, Vernon Loen, Charles Leppert, William Kendall, Patrick O’ Donnell, Joseph Jenckes, and Robert Wolthuis. The files of White House Counsellor John Marsh also contain much on congressional liaison. The files of individual White House staff will contain information on specific pieces of legislation in their respective policy areas. In White House Central Files, categories LE (Legislation) and FG 30 through FG 37 (Congress) provide some overview of White House relations with Congress.


Correspondence File, 1975 – 77.  (Boxes 1-5, 1.8 linear feet)
Carbon copies of outgoing letters arranged in two sequences – official mail and personal mail.

The official mail folders begin in January 1975 when he became head of the President’s Congressional liaison activities. The correspondence includes letters from Friedersdorf to members of Congress regarding various House resolutions. Much relates to routine personnel and administrative tasks.

The personal correspondence folders begin in August 1974 and include thank you letters, invitations to events, personal letters and announcements.

Arranged chronologically in each of the two sequences.

View container list for this series

Scheduling File, 1975-77.  (Boxes 5-9, 1.4 linear feet)
Appointment books, calendars, and schedules for Friedersdorf; and schedules for the First Lady and the Ford children.

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

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Subject File, (1971) 1974-77.  (Boxes 9-11, 1 linear foot)
Briefing papers, talking points, memoranda, newspaper clippings, memorabilia. Topics include aid to Israel, aid to Turkey, congressional trip to People’s Republic of China, Indochina, the Mayaguez incident, national security, and Republican National Committee.

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

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Trips File, 1974-76. (Box 11, 0.2 linear feet)
Notes, briefing papers, itineraries, and a briefing book. Trips include People’s Republic of China, West Germany, USSR, Romania, Hungary, Yugoslavia, and Indiana (a campaign trip).

Arranged chronologically by date of the trip.

View container list for this series


Box 1 - Correspondence File

  • Official Mail, Jan. 1974-Dec. 1975
  • Personal Correspondence, Aug. 1974-Sept. 1974

Box 2 - Correspondence File

  • Personal Correspondence, Oct. 1974-April 1975

Box 3 - Correspondence File

  • Personal Correspondence, May 1975-Dec. 1975

Box 4 - Correspondence File

  • Personal Correspondence, Jan. 1976-June 1976

Box 5 - Correspondence File

  • Personal Correspondence, July 1976-Jan. 1977

Box 5 (Continued) - Scheduling File

  • Appointment Book, 1976
  • Appointment Calendar, 1971-1973

Box 6 - Scheduling File

  • Appointment Calendar, 1974-1975
  • Appointment Diary, 1977 (1)-(2)
  • Day-at-a-Glance Calendar, 1975-1976
  • First Family Travel
  • Mrs. Ford Official Calendar, 1975-1977
  • Planning Calendars, 1975-1976
  • Presidential and First Family Schedules, July–Oct. 1974

Box 7 - Scheduling File

  • Presidential and First Family Schedules, Oct. 1974-May 1976

Box 8 - Scheduling File

  • Presidential and First Family Schedules, June 1976-Jan. 1977
  • Schedule Cards (1)-(3)

Box 9 - Scheduling File

  • Schedule Cards (4)-(5)

Box 9 (Continued) - Subject File

  • Aid to Israel
  • Aid to Turkey
  • Congressional Trip to People’s Republic of China
  • Indochina
  • Mayaguez
  • Memorabilia
  • Memoranda for the President, Jan. 1975-Sept. 1975

Box 10 - Subject File

  • Memoranda for the President, Oct. 1975-June 1976
  • National Security Miscellaneous
  • Newspaper Clippings – 1976 Election
  • Personal Pending
  • Republican National Committee
  • White House Emergency Plan
  • White House Mess Records
  • White House Office of Legislative Affairs, undated
  • White House Office of Legislative Affairs, 1971-1975

Box 11 - Subject File

  • White House Office of Legislative Affairs, 1975-1977

Box 11 (Continued) - Trips File

  • Sept. 1974 – People’s Republic of China
  • Sept. 1974 – People’s Republic of China – Briefing Book (1) – (3)
  • April 1975 – West Germany
  • August 1975 – USSR, Romania, Hungary, Yugoslavia
  • October 1976 – Indiana Campaign Trip