Personal Secretary and Administrative Assistant to Congressman Ford;
Personal Assistant to the Vice President Ford;
Personal Assistant to the President Ford


A collection of notes and letters from Gerald R. Ford, personal correspondence, invitations, greeting cards, clippings, photographs, a rolodex, and a scrapbook.

Less than 1 linear foot (ca. 435 pages)

Estate of Mildred V. Leonard (accession number 94-43)


The estate of Mildred Leonard donated to the United States of America her copyrights in all of her unpublished writings in National Archives collections.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 Helmi Raaska, November 1994
[s:\bin\findaid\leonard, mildred - papers.doc]


Mildred V. Leonard

1912 - Born, Spokane, WA

1940s - Moved to Washington, DC; Attended Washington School for Secretaries; On staff of Congressman Joseph W. Martin, Jr.

ca. 1950-72 - Personal Secretary to Congressman Gerald R. Ford

1972-73 - Administrative Assistant to Congressman Ford

1973-74 - Personal Assistant to the Vice President

1974-76 - Personal Assistant to the President

October 9, 1993 - Died, Bethesda, MD


Mildred Leonard joined the Ford congressional staff circa 1950 and remained on Ford's staff through December 1976. She began her career with Ford as his personal secretary, a position she held until 1972 when she became administrative assistant. During the vice presidential and presidential years her title was personal assistant.

While Ford was president, Miss Leonard headed a staff of five in the President's Office. This staff provided secretarial support for the President, handled his personal correspondence and financial matters, and responded to requests for autographed photographs. Miss Leonard's particular area of responsibility was handling the President's contacts with former members of Congress, relatives, long-time friends, and former constituents.

The Mildred Leonard Papers represent only the last eleven of the more than twenty-five years she worked for Ford. The materials are primarily a collection of memorabilia rather than a collection that illustrates the scope of her responsibilities. Notes and letters from Ford, many of them handwritten, constitute the most significant portion of the collection and provide modest insight into the working relationship between the two. Miss Leonard continued to receive letters and greeting cards from the Fords during the post-presidential years and some of these are included in the papers. A rolodex maintained by Miss Leonard, starting as early as 1973 and continuing through 1976, is of interest because of the many annotations she made on the cards. The remainder of the collection consists of thank you letters received by Miss Leonard, greeting cards, invitations to various functions and White House social events, clippings, and photographs. These items are found both in folders and mounted in a scrapbook.

Related Materials (November 1994)
The most closely related materials in the Ford Library are the files of Dorothy Downton, personal secretary to the president. Other files from the President's Office, those of Anne Kamstra and Mildred Leonard, remain unprocessed and unavailable for research.


Subject File, 1965-91 (1993).  (Boxes 1-2, .8 linear foot)
Notes and letters from Gerald R. Ford, correspondence, invitations, and clippings. Materials are primarily personal in nature, except for a rolodex and some of the notes from Ford which refer to work-related matters.

Arranged alphabetically by subject and thereunder chronologically.

View container list for this series


Box 1 - Subject File

  • Clippings
  • Correspondence, Incoming
  • Ford, Gerald R. - Notes From
  • Items Removed From Scrapbook (Loose in Scrapbook)
  • Items Transferred to Audiovisual Department and Museum
  • Leonard, Mildred - Obituary
  • Republican Congressional Cook Book (click on the link to view folder contents)

Box 2 - Subject File

  • Rolodex
  • Scrapbook
  • West Wing Floor Plans