Nixon Enemies List entry for
Frank Mankiewicz:

List and position:First, #93
Name as originally listed:Frank Mankiewicz, syndicated columnist, Los Angeles Times
Vitals:5/16/1924 - 10/23/2014
Comment on original list:syndicated columnist, Los Angeles Times
Lists with duplicates of this person:2
Category given:Media

- He is identified as an L.A. Times columnist on the First List, but everything he did was annoying to Nixon.

- born in New York into a literary family;

- His father, Herman, was a drama critic for the NY Times and New Yorker and a member of the Algonquin Round Table.

- In 1926 (a year before the first talkie), Herman moved his family to Beverly Hills and he started his Hollywood career which included co-writing Citizen Kane, a movie clearly used as an model by Oliver Stone in his 1995 depiction of Nixon's political fall.

- grew up in Beverly Hills with frequent house visitors like the Fitzgeralds (Scott and Zelda), the Marx Brothers, and Greta Garbo;

- wrote a memoir late in life and, earlier, two scathing books about Nixon, "Perfectly Clear: Nixon from Whittier to Watergate" (1973) and "U.S. v. Richard M. Nixon: The Final Crisis" (1975);

- In WW II, he left college to serve in the Army Infantry, reportedly seeing combat during the Battle of the Bulge (Ardennes). (He son said he was in the 69th Infantry Division, but that division was not at the Battle of the Bulge.)

- graduated from the University of California in 1947 and, a year later, got an M.A. in journalism from Columbia in New York;

- worked at L.A. newspapers for a while and got his law degree in 1955, practicing in L.A.;

- campaigned for JFK in 1960, earning several invitations to work in the JFK administration;

- chose to work in Peru in the brand new Peace Corps (he was fluent in Spanish);

- His connection through the Peace Corps to Sargent Shriver (another Enemy) brought him into the Kennedy inner circle.

- press secretary to Senator Robert Kennedy;

- had the duty of articulating the Senator's antiwar stance in opposition to President Johnson;

- had the sad duty of reporting RFK's death early on June 6, 1968;

- returned to journalism as a columnist in 1968--the explicit reason for his inclusion on the List;

- McGovern's campaign director in 1972--the reason he was listed again on the Second List;

- On the McGovern campaign, he worked with future senator and enemy, Gary Hart.

- blamed himself for not vetting Senator Eagleton adequately (Shriver replaced Eagleton on the ticket);

- ran unsuccessfully for congressman from Maryland in 1976;

- president of National Public Radio 1977-1983 during the early period of rapid growth;

- The NY Times obituary mentioned his inclusion on the List, but not the Washington Post's.

- In a 2013 Reddit interview, he responded to question about Nixon with, "I was actually on his Enemies' List, and I was happy to be there."

- Friends called him "Frank the Mank."

- The Mankiewiczes have made an uncommon name quite common. Other family notables include his film-director uncle Joseph, TV-writer brother Don, TV-news-correspondent son Josh, and TV-host son Ben.


Name/Date:Charles CerfApr 25, 2014 11:40am
Comment:Top strategist traveling with McGovern in the Presidential campaign. In an address to campaign workers in October 1972, just as the Watergate revelations began, he referred to an old movie cliche, but said it was actually accurate to say of the Nixon campaign: "these are desperate people, and they will stop at nothing." Prescient words.

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