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Bob Barrett, military aide and chief of staff to Gerald R. Ford, dies at 83

Press release

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida, January 13, 2022

By Frederick Richardson

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida, January 13, 2022 / PRNewswire / – Bob barrett, who served as a military aide to the president Gerald Ford and chief of staff after leaving office, deceased January 11 complications related to Covid-19 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Barrett was eighty-three years old.

Robert Barrett and President Ford. Courtesy of RE Barrett Estate.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, August 13, 1938, Robert E. Barrett went to CW Post where he received a full sports scholarship to play football. Later in life, thanks to his generosity of spirit, Bob awarded a scholarship to his alma mater who is now Long Island University To post. After college he joined the United States Army at the age of twenty-five as did America’s involvement in Vietnam climbing. Between his tours of the country during the war, the military sent Barrett to Syracuse University for a master’s degree in communication. At the end of his second tour in Vietnam, with a promotion from captain to major, Barrett was posted to the United States Army War College as a public affairs and communications officer. Six months after starting a two-year mission, he received a call from the White House. It was July 10, 1974, the day before President Nixon’s Watergate scandal was announced. Barrett was airlifted to San Clemente, the “Western White House,” to become military aide to Nixon, the man whose primary responsibility was to carry the nuclear “football”, a case that housed the trigger. potential for destruction of planet Earth.

A month later, Nixon stepped down and Gerald Ford became the thirty-eighth President of the United States. Within days, Ford invited Barrett into the Oval Office and officially offered him the post of military aide, starting a close two-and-a-half-decade personal relationship between Barrett and the Ford family. Over the next twenty-five years, Barrett played a pivotal role in the development of the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan; the Ford Presidential Library at Ann Arbor, Michigan; and the Betty Ford Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Center in Rancho Mirage, California.

An avid golfer, Barrett helped organize the annual Jerry Ford Invitational Pro-Am golf tournament in Vail, Colorado, with the close friend of Ford, Jack nicklaus. Lover of jokes and smart enough himself, Barrett participated in the 1986 Symposium on Humor and the Presidency at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, dealing with humor as a commentary on politics. Barrett helped put together a cast of star comedians, including Chevrolet Chase, Art Buchwald, and Pat Paulson, and organized television and media access to the event, including a 1987 film, “Humor and the Presidency,” available through Turner Classics. For Ford Washington DC funeral in 2006, Barrett served as the casket bearer with Henri kissinger, Bob dole, and Dick cheney, among other national politicians.

He is survived by his wife Eleanor Martino, his son Nils barrett and his wife Sharla barrett, her daughter Kristy barrett wylie and her husband Arun wylie, and grandchildren Olivia, Paige and Henri falcon.

A memorial service is planned, the place and date will be announced.

Obituary written by Frederic richardson. Submitted by a family friend, Robert halmi.

Media inquiries:
Sapkar Public Relations
Daniela Sapkar:
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