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Ann Cook Whitman (June 11, 1908 – October 15, 1991) was a native of Perry, Ohio. She briefly attended Antioch College in Ohio and then moved to New York in 1929 to obtain work as a secretary. For many years she was the personal secretary to Mrs. David Levy, whose father was one of the founders of Sears, Roebuck and Company. In 1941 she married Edmund S. Whitman, an official of the United Fruit Company.

Ann Whitman
Personal Secretary to the President
In office
January 20, 1953 – January 20, 1961
PresidentDwight D. Eisenhower
Preceded byRose Conway
Succeeded byEvelyn Lincoln
Personal details
Anne Cook

(1908-06-11)June 11, 1908
Perry, Ohio, U.S.
DiedOctober 15, 1991(1991-10-15) (aged 83)
Clearwater, Florida, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationAntioch College

In 1952, while working as a secretary in the New York office of the Crusade for Freedom, Mrs. Whitman was recruited by Dwight D. Eisenhower’s presidential campaign staff.[1] She went to Eisenhower’s headquarters at Denver, Colorado where she became Eisenhower’s personal secretary. After Eisenhower was elected president, Mrs. Whitman accompanied him to Washington, D.C., and served as his personal secretary the entire eight years of his presidency. She helped manage Eisenhower’s correspondence and was responsible for maintaining Eisenhower’s personal files which he kept in his office at the White House. The Ann Whitman File is held at the Eisenhower presidential library and has been deemed an "extraordinary resource" by historians.[2]

When President Eisenhower left office in January 1961, Mrs. Whitman accompanied him to his farm (now the Eisenhower National Historic Site) in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and continued to work for a few months as his personal secretary.[3] She later joined the staff of New York Governor and later Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, for whom she worked until she retired in 1977. A biography of Whitman, entitled Confidential Secretary, was written by journalist Robert Donovan in 1988.


  1. ^ Stephen Ambrose. Eisenhower: The President. Volume II. 1983. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-671-49901-7 (v. 2), p. 30.
  2. ^ Rabe, Stephen G. (1988). Eisenhower and Latin America: The Foreign Policy of Anticommunism. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina press. p. 2. ISBN 0807842044.
  3. ^ Stephen Ambrose. Eisenhower: The President. Volume II. 1983. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-671-49901-7 (v. 2), p. 558.

External linksEdit

  • [1] Ann Cook Whitman Biography, The Eisenhower Institute, Gettysburg College
  • [2] Interview with Ann C. Whitman conducted February 15, 1991 with Mack Teasley of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library.
  • [3] Ann C. Whitman Papers, Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library
  • [4] Papers of Dwight D. Eisenhower as President of the United States (Ann Whitman File), Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library
  • [5] Ann C. Whitman Obituary, New York Times, October 17, 1991.