Fred Dutton

Fred Dutton bigraphy, stories - Recipient of the Purple Heart medal

Fred Dutton : biography

16 June 1923 – 27 June 2005

Frederick Gary "Fred" 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.” 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."

List of works

Legal and lobbying career

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.

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

Early life and education

Born in Julesburg, Colorado to his mother Lucy Dutton and father 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. Dutton was a prisoner of war and was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.

Political career

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.

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

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.

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.”

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. .