Fred Dutton

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Fred Dutton
photo of Fred Dutton
Dutton in January 1961
Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations
In office
December 4, 1961 – July 27, 1964
University of California Regent
In office
Personal details
Frederick Gary Dutton

(1923-06-16)June 16, 1923
Julesburg, Colorado
DiedJune 27, 2005(2005-06-27) (aged 82)
Washington, DC
Resting placeArlington National Cemetery[1]
Section 32, Site 250
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)June Klingborg
Nancy Hogan ( –2005)
Alma materUC Berkeley
Stanford Law
ProfessionLawyer; Lobbyist
AwardsPurple Heart
Bronze Star
Military service
RankFirst Lieutenant
UnitJudge Advocate General's Corps
Battles/warsBattle of the Bulge

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.

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 as one of the country's original "spin doctors."[2] 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 education[edit]

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 career[edit]

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 Governor Pat Brown in 1959 and 1960.[3]

Governor Brown appointed Dutton to the Regents of the University of California in 1962, where he served until 1978.[4]

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 President 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.[5]

Dutton was asked to co-ordinate the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, and oversaw its Oral History Project.[6]

Dutton travelled with Kennedy during much of his 1968 presidential campaign, he was at the Ambassador Hotel when Kennedy was shot and rode in the ambulance with him. In an interview after he became a lobbyist, he said, "After Bobby was shot, the lights went out for me." [2]

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. .[7]

Legal and lobbying career[edit]

After the Robert Kennedy 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). 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.[8]

Frederick Dutton died on June 27, 2005, aged 82, of undisclosed causes.

List of works[edit]

  • 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. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
  • 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. p. 186. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
  • 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 also[edit]


  1. ^ *"Frederick Gary Dutton, First Lieutenant, United States Army". Arlington National Cemetery Website. July 3, 2007. Retrieved December 31, 2009.
  2. ^ a b Cory, Franklin (November 30, 2006). "`Bobby' misses haunting stories". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 31, 2009.
  3. ^ "Regents of the University of California Biographies". University of California History Digital Archives. Regents of the University of California. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
  4. ^ "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.
  5. ^ "Frederick G. Dutton, 1923–2005". Historical Resources: Archives, Summaries. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "Earth Day Originsaccessdate=20 September 1969".
  8. ^ Bogardus, Kevin (August 1, 2007). "Republican joins opposition to Saudi arms deal". The Hill. Retrieved December 28, 2009.

Further reading[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Brooks Hays
Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs
December 4, 1961 – July 27, 1964
Succeeded by
Douglas MacArthur II