Assistant to the President
White House Operations Office


Memoranda, schedule proposals and briefing papers documenting Alexander Haig's duties as President Ford's chief of staff. Topics include various aspects of the transition: personnel, the selection of a new vice president, arrangements for Nixon's post-presidential life, and arrangements concerning the new president's schedule. Also included is the collection is a file of routine personal correspondence.

3.0 linear feet (ca. 6,000 pages)

Gerald R. Ford (accession numbers accession numbers 77-102, 77-107)

Open. Some items are 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).

Gerald Ford donated to the United States of America his copyrights in all of his unpublished writings in National Archives collections.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 Leesa Tobin, April 1983
[s:\bin\findaid\haig, alexander - files.doc]


Alexander M. Haig

1924 - Born, Bala-Cynwyd, Pennsylvania

1942-44 - Attended the University of Notre Dame

1944-47 - B.S., United States Military Academy

1948-60 - Army service in the U.S., Far East, and Europe

1960-66 - Aide to Joseph Califano, general counsel of the Army, and courier to Cyrus Vance, general counsel of the Department of Defense

1961 - M.A. in international affairs, Georgetown University

1966-67 - Commander of the First Battalion of the 26th Infantry in Vietnam

1967-68 - Deputy Commander of Cadets, U.S. Military Academy

1968-69 - Military aide on the National Security Council staff

1970-73 - Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

1972-73 - Diplomatic courier for negotiations between President Nixon and President Nguyen Thieu of South Vietnam

Jan.-May 1973 - Army Vice Chief of Staff

May 1973-Sept. - 1974 White House Chief of Staff

Dec. 1974-June 1979 - Supreme Commander, U.S. and NATO forces in Europe

1979-80 - President & CEO, United Technologies Corporation

Jan. 1981-June 1982 - Secretary of State


Alexander Haig first joined the White House staff in 1968 as an aide on the National Security Council staff to incoming national security assistant Henry Kissinger. He continued on the White House staff as an assistant to the president and chief of staff under Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford until 1974, absent January-May 1973 when he served as Army Vice Chief of Staff at the Pentagon. In the spring of 1973 when revelations about the Watergate cover-up forced the resignations of two of President Nixon's closest aides, H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, Haig was brought back to the White House as chief of staff. Although originally intended to be on temporary appointment, Haig remained through the end of the Nixon administration and the transition period that followed. In September 1974 Haig left the White House for West Germany when President Ford appointed him Supreme Allied Commander of NATO forces in Europe and Commander in Chief of American Forces in Europe. He remained as commander of NATO forces until 1979 when he retired from the Army to become president of United Technologies Corporation. Haig returned to Washington as Secretary of State in the Reagan administration, 1981-1982.

Haig's duties as chief of staff in the Ford administration primarily involved directing the flow of paperwork and people to and from the President. He met with the President daily to plan his schedule and discuss incoming staff memoranda and briefing papers. Haig also handled occasional administrative questions and often accompanied the President on trips. Donald Rumsfeld was appointed as Haig's replacement as chief of staff.

The Haig files are from two sources. One series is Haig's office file, which documents his duties as Ford's chief of staff from August 9, 1974 until he left in late September of that year. These memoranda, briefing papers, and schedule proposals are organized by name of the originating White House staff person, and many were annotated by Haig or the President. They are often photocopies of original items which had been returned to staff after annotation. Many of these staffers came to the White House during the Nixon Administration and left soon after Ford became President. Much of this series relates directly to various aspects of the transition: personnel, the selection of a new vice president, arrangements for Nixon's post-presidential life, and arrangements concerning the new president's schedule.

The second series is a file of routine personal correspondence which had been maintained by Central Files as a courtesy to General Haig, but which he left behind on his departure. The material dates from May 1973, when Haig became Nixon's chief of staff, to September 1974. Virtually all of this series is of a personal nature and includes requests for autographs, letters of congratulations and thanks for Haig's White House service and letters from personal friends. Occasionally, Haig's hand-drafted response is attached.

Related Materials (August 1985)
The files of Richard Cheney concern his work as Deputy Assistant and Assistant to the President for White House Operations. The Library has no collection of Donald Rumsfeld files covering his work in this position.


White House Staff Memoranda, 1974.  (Boxes 1-3, 1.2 linear feet)
Memoranda, schedule proposals and briefing papers. This file was maintained by Haig's secretary in his White House office and includes copies of many staff documents that passed through Haig's office on their way to or from the President. Occasional items are annotated by Haig or the President. The last folder in the series contains several letters from congressmen and individuals outside government. Topics include: the President's schedule, arrangements for Nixon's transitional benefits, personnel matters, Ford's amnesty program and the Nixon papers.

Arranged alphabetically by staff member.

View container list for this series

Personal Correspondence File, 1973-74. (Boxes 4-8, 2.0 linear feet)
Correspondence primarily with the public, acquaintances, and occasionally administration officials, maintained for Haig by the White House Central Files unit. Included are requests for autographs, invitations, Christmas cards, newspaper articles and letters of congratulation on becoming a member of the President's staff and later being named commander of NATO forces. Some of the attached draft responses are handwritten by Haig.

Organized alphabetically by the name of correspondent and thereunder chronologically.

View container list for this series


Box 1 - White House Staff Memoranda

  • Armstrong, Anne
  • Ash, Roy
  • Atkins, Ollie
  • Baroody, William
  • Buchanan, Patrick
  • Buchen, Philip
  • Burch, Dean
  • Bush, George
  • Casselman, William E.
  • Clawson, Kenneth
  • Cole, Kenneth (1)-(3)
  • Eberle, William D.
  • Garment, Len
  • Elliott, Roland
  • Gergen, David
  • Guthrie, John
  • Hartmann, Robert
  • Henkel, William (1)-(2)
  • Hoornstra, Jon

Box 2 - White House Staff Memoranda

  • Jones, Jerry
  • Joulwan, George
  • Lawson, Richard
  • Lukash, William
  • Marrs, Ted
  • Marsh, John
  • McLaughlin, John
  • O'Donnell, Terrence
  • Pagnotta, Frank
  • Parker, David (1)-(2)
  • Porter, Susan
  • Rumsfeld, Donald
  • Rush, Kenneth
  • Rustand, Warren (1)-(2)
  • Sawhill, John
  • Scott, Stanley
  • Scowcroft, Brent
  • Seidman, L. William
  • Stiles, Jack
  • terHorst, Jerry
  • Theis, Paul
  • Timmons, William

Box 3 - White House Staff Memoranda

  • Wimer, David (1)-(12)
  • Winchester, Lucy
  • Ziegler, Ronald
  • Miscellaneous - Personal Correspondence

Box 4 - Personal Correspondence File

  • A - D

Box 5 - Personal Correspondence File

  • E - I

Box 6 - Personal Correspondence File

  • K - O

Box 7 - Personal Correspondence File

  • P - V

Box 8 - Personal Correspondence File

  • W - Z