Top Reagan adviser and author, Martin Anderson, dies at 78

AP News
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Posted: Jan 06, 2015 1:23 AM

PORTOLA VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — Martin Anderson, a top domestic policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan and author of several books about his life and legacy, has died. He was 78.

Anderson died in his sleep Jan. 3 at his home in Portola Valley, California, according to the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, where he had been a senior fellow since 1971.

Anderson combined an academic and writing career with work in the political campaigns and presidential administrations of several Republican presidents, including Reagan, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush.

In 1967, he began advising presidential candidate Richard Nixon on domestic policy and especially on ending the military draft and moving to an all-volunteer armed force.

He grew close to Reagan and in 1980 became senior policy adviser during his first presidential campaign. He served Reagan as assistant for policy development and was a major contributor to his economic and missile defense plans.

Anderson, an economist and policy analyst, together with his wife, Annelise, authored several books about the former president's legacy and life, many of them included Reagan's own writings. He also wrote extensively on the military draft, welfare reform, economic policy and university education.

"Not only was he one of the founding members of the Board of Trustees for Ronnie's presidential library, but along with his wife, Annelise, he has authored some of the best books that have been written on the Reagan presidency," Nancy Reagan said in a statement. "Loyal men like Martin Anderson come along very rarely in one's life."

Anderson co-edited several collections of Reagan's writings, including "Reagan, In His Own Hand" and "Reagan: A Life in Letters."

A native of Lowell, Massachusetts, he graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College in 1957, received his M.S. in engineering and business administration in 1958 from Dartmouth's Thayer School of Engineering and the Tuck School of Business, and earned a Ph.D. in industrial management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1962.

Anderson taught finance at the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University from 1962 to 1968.

His final book co-written with his wife and titled "Ronald Reagan: Decisions of Greatness" will be published by the Hoover Institution Press in February.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, his half-brother, James McHugh, Jr., his sister-in-law, Susan, and two nieces.