Frank G. Zarb, Administrator of the Federal Energy Administration

Staff Assistant/Speechwriter
First Lady's Staff


Material compiled by Kaye Pullen during the preparation of Mrs. Ford's speeches and public statements.  Included are speeches given during the 1976 presidential campaign, the Bicentennial and concerning cancer, women's issues, and the arts.  Many were annotated by Mrs. Ford.

1.6 linear feet (ca. 3,200 pages)

Gerald R. Ford (accession number 77-50 and 79-10)

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Gerald Ford has donated to the United States of America his copyrights in all of his unpublished writings in National Archives collections.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
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Frances Kaye Pullen

1944 - Born in Henry County, Tennessee

1966 - B.A. degree from Memphis State University

1968 - M.A. degree from the University of Minnesota

1968-72 - Television news reporter, WHBQ and WMC in Memphis, Tennessee

1972 - Editorial writer, Commercial Appeal

1973 - Writer, Walker and Associates, Memphis, Tennessee

April 1974 - Speechwriter, Republican Congressional Committee

Nov. 1974 - Speechwriter, President's Ford's staff

Nov. 1975 - Informally began assisting with preparation of Mrs. Ford's speeches

Feb. 1976 - Transferred to Mrs. Ford's staff as a speechwriter


Frances Kaye Pullen (usually know as Kaye) joined the White House staff as a speechwriter for President Ford in the Editorial Staff Office in November 1974.  One year later she informally began assisting with Mrs. Ford's speech preparation and transferred to the First Lady's staff in February 1976.  Pullen remained on the First Lady's staff as her speechwriter, reporting directly to Sheila Weidenfeld, Mrs. Ford's press secretary, until the end of the administration.

Pullen was responsible for drafting the First Lady's speeches.  These remarks rarely lasted longer than five minutes and were usually given during "drop-by" affairs scheduled for the First Lady.  Pullen also prepared occasional background briefing papers for Mrs. Ford's trips and assisted in the preparation of special messages the First Lady sent to various groups.

Many of the speeches prepared by Pullen and given by Mrs. Ford in 1976 were related to President Ford's campaign.  Other common topics included cancer, the Equal Rights Amendment, the Bicentennial, and the presenting and receiving of many awards.

The First Lady's speeches often went through several drafts before an acceptable text was agreed upon.  Pullen's files consist largely of these early drafts and copies of each annotated by Mrs. Ford.  Also included in many of the speech files are schedule proposals and agenda for each event where Mrs. Ford was to speak and background material gathered by Pullen to aid in speech preparation.  Pullen often interviewed Mrs. Ford before composing a speech and her notes concerning these meetings are in several of the speech files.

It is not clear who was responsible for Mrs. Ford's speeches before Pullen joined the First Lady's staff in February 1976.  Due to Mrs. Ford's illness in the fall of 1974, she did not do much public speaking until 1975 and during that time only occasionally until the presidential campaign was underway in 1976.  It is likely that Sheila Weidenfeld composed some of Mrs. Ford's statements with the assistance from the President's staff.

Related Materials (February 1987)
Pullen's materials concerning President Ford's speeches are scattered throughout the Paul Theis and Robert Orben Files.  The files of Sheila Weidenfeld, Mrs. Ford's press secretary, include scattered speech drafts for miscellaneous events as well as more background on all events where Mrs. Ford appeared.  The Betty Ford Papers including background on Mrs. Ford's trips and her participation in Washington-area events, as well as some speeches.  Some material in the White House Central Files Subject File designation for Betty Ford, PP 5-1, may also be relevant.


Pullen Working File, 1975-77.  (Boxes 1-2, 0.8 linear feet)
Briefing papers, speech drafts, agenda, schedule proposals, internal memoranda and background material.  This file concerns only the speeches that Pullen wrote for Mrs. Ford from February 1976 until the end of the administration, many of which are related to the presidential campaign.  Major speech topics include cancer, the Bicentennial, the Equal Rights Amendment and the campaign. Arranged chronologically.

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Speech Reading Copies, 1974-76.  (Boxes 3-4, 0.8 linear feet)
Reading copies of the speeches given by Mrs. Ford, including two from the eight-month period when Mr. Ford was Vice President.  This file also includes speeches from the period before Pullen was writing for Mrs. Ford.  Many appear to be the reading copies used by Mrs. Ford in delivering the speeches and are annotated in her hand. Arranged chronologically.

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The Library is currently in the process of digitizing this collection. Boxes 3 and 4 (and part of box 1) are complete. Click on folder titles to view contents.

Box 1 - Pullen Working File

Box 2 - Pullen Working File

Box 3 - Speech Reading Copies

Box 4 - Speech Reading Copies