Fred Dutton

Frederick Gary Dutton (June 16, 1923 – June 27, 2005) was a lawyer and Democratic Party power broker who served as campaign manager and Chief of Staff for California Governor Pat Brown, Special Assistant to U.S. President John F. Kennedy, and went on to manage Robert F. Kennedy's campaign for the Presidency.

Fred Dutton
Fred Dutton 1961.jpg
Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations
In office
December 4, 1961 – July 27, 1964
PresidentJohn F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Preceded byBrooks Hays
Succeeded byDouglas MacArthur II
White House Cabinet Secretary
In office
January 20, 1961 – December 4, 1961
PresidentJohn F. Kennedy
Preceded byRobert Keith Gray
Succeeded by???
Personal details
Frederick Gary Dutton

(1923-06-16)June 16, 1923
Julesburg, Colorado, U.S.
DiedJune 27, 2005(2005-06-27) (aged 82)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Resting placeArlington National Cemetery
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)June Klingborg
Nancy Hogan
EducationUniversity of California, Berkeley (BA)
Stanford University (LLB)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
RankFirst Lieutenant
UnitArmy Judge Advocate General's Corps
Battles/warsBattle of the Bulge
AwardsPurple Heart
Bronze Star

Between 1960 and 1972 Dutton played a role in every Democrat's quest for the White House. Dutton entertained both politicians and journalists and could be considered one of the country's original "spin doctors."[1] He had a long career as a lobbyist for American oil companies and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, leading to him being referred to as both "Fred of Arabia" and "Dutton of Arabia."

Early life and educationEdit

Dutton was born in Julesburg, Colorado, the son of Lucy and Fredrick Dutton, known as "doc". Fred's mother, father and little brother, Edward, moved to San Mateo, California, where he attended San Mateo High School and met his first wife, June Klingborg Dutton. The Duttons had three children together between 1950 and 1960 (Christopher, Lisa, and Eve). Dutton graduated from University of California, Berkeley in 1946 and from Stanford Law School in 1949.

Dutton had two stints of military service in both World War II and the Korean war. During World War II he was a prisoner of war and received the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. During the Korean War he served as a Judge Advocate in Japan.

Political careerEdit

Following his position as assistant counsel with Southern Counties Gas Co., from 1952 to 1956, Dutton became chief assistant attorney general of California, in 1957 and 1958. He was executive secretary to California Governor Pat Brown in 1959 and 1960.[2]

Governor Brown appointed Dutton to the Regents of the University of California in 1962, where he served until 1978.[3]

Dutton was the deputy national chairman of Citizens for Kennedy-Johnson in 1960. Following the election, he was brought into the White House as a Special Assistant to United States President John F. Kennedy in 1961, serving as secretary of the cabinet and special assistant for intergovernmental and interdepartmental relations. He was appointed Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations, from 1961 to 1964. He was also a political adviser and campaign aide to Robert F. Kennedy.[4]

Dutton was asked to co-ordinate the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, and oversaw its Oral History Project.[5]

Dutton travelled with Kennedy during much of his 1968 presidential campaign from his 1968 presidential election. He was at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California when the Senator was shot at the kitchen hotel, and rode in the ambulance with him at Good Samaritan Hospital. Kennedy died the next day. In an interview after he became a lobbyist, he said "After Bobby was shot, the lights went out for me." [1]

Dutton was credited with originating the idea for Earth Day. His early memo was later acknowledged to be inspiration for Gaylord Nelson who would lead the effort to create Earth Day. .[6]

Legal and lobbying careerEdit

After the RFK assassination in 1968, Dutton returned to his private law practice in Washington, DC. Dutton was credited with helping his client Mobil Oil develop its "advertorial" marketing strategy.

Dutton later married attorney Nancy Hogan Dutton and they had two children together (Stacy & Christina). Nancy had been his secretary when he worked at the Kennedy White House. Together the Duttons formed the Dutton and Dutton law practice; this firm went on to be appointed chief U.S. attorney for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, earning Mr. Dutton the often quoted moniker "Dutton of Arabia". Dutton & Dutton continued work for Saudi Arabia following Fred's death.[7]

Frederick Dutton died on June 27, 2005, aged 82, of undisclosed causes. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, Virginia.[8]

List of worksEdit

  • Dutton, Frederick G. (1971). Changing sources of power: American politics in the 1970s (1st ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. pp. xviii, 263. ISBN 0-07-018397-X. OCLC 136675. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
  • Dutton, Frederick G. (1972). Playboy's election guide 1972 (1st ed.). Chicago: Playboy Press. p. 192. OCLC 3794650.
  • Dutton, Frederick G. (1990). King Fahd of Saudi Arabia : the man, his work, and his country. Washington, D.C.: Hannaford Co. p. 27. OCLC 24608040.
  • Dutton, Frederick G.; Amelia R. Fry (1981). "Frederick G. Dutton – Democratic campaigns and controversies, 1954–1966 : an interview". Series: Goodwin Knight/Edmund Brown, Sr., era. Berkeley, Calif.: Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library: 186. OCLC 58870450.
  • Dutton, Frederick G.; recorded interview by Charles T. Morrissey, May 3, 1965 (November 14, 1973, copyright assigned to US Government). "Oral History Interview" (PDF). John F. Kennedy Library Oral History Program. p. 67. Retrieved December 28, 2009. Check date values in: |date= (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Cory, Franklin (November 30, 2006). "'Bobby' misses haunting stories". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 31, 2009.
  2. ^ "Regents of the University of California Biographies". University of California History Digital Archives. Regents of the University of California. Archived from the original on March 5, 2015. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
  3. ^ "Former Regents" (PDF). About the Regents. Regents of the University of California. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 11, 2011. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
  4. ^ "Frederick G. Dutton, 1923–2005". Historical Resources: Archives, Summaries. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
  5. ^ Oliver, Myrna (June 27, 2005). "Dutton was tapped as coordinator of the John F. Kennedy Library, where he organized the Kennedy Oral History Project". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  6. ^ "Earth Day Originsaccessdate=20 September 1969". Archived from the original on March 22, 2011. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
  7. ^ Bogardus, Kevin (August 1, 2007). "Republican joins opposition to Saudi arms deal". The Hill. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
  8. ^ "Burial Detail: Dutton, Frederick Gary (Section 32, Grave 250)". ANC Explorer. Arlington National Cemetery. (Official website).

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

Government offices
Preceded by
Brooks Hays
Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations
Succeeded by
Douglas MacArthur II