Raymond K. Price Jr., 88, NYC;Nixon Speechwriter, Confidan


Raymond K. Price Jr., 88, NYC;

Nixon Speechwriter, Confidant

Ray Price Jr. helped write four books with President Nixon.

ROSEBOOM – Raymond K. Price Jr., 88, a speechwriter, confidant, and prominent member of Richard M. Nixon’s inner circle from the 1968 campaign until the president’s death at age 81 in 1994, passed away peacefully on Feb. 13, 2019, in New York City.

A sister and a nephew survive in Roseboom.

He was born May 6, 1930, in Brooklyn, to Raymond K. Price Sr. and Beth Porter Price.  His father was a stockbroker in New York City and his mother was a homemaker.

Mr. Price was the voice of Richard Nixon in his inaugural speech and his Resignation speech. In his memoir, he recalled, “The president set me back on my heels by saying, ‘You have always been my conscience — do you think I should resign, too? If you think I should resign, just write it into the next draft, and I’ll do it’.”

He considered speech writing a “collaborative effort” in which he worked closely with the president to give him his proper voice. He went on to help Nixon on four books.

He defended his president until the end.  “I have been saying for a good many years that history would recognize him as one of our better presidents,” he told a reporter for the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch in 2002. “But not as long as history is written by people who have built their careers on the devil theory of Nixon.”

From Brooklyn, Mr. Price’s family moved to Morris Plains, NJ., where at age 7 he began a weekly publishing newspaper called the Weekly Hornet.  The next year the family moved to Setauket, L.I., where friends helped deliver the paper. He had a peak circulation of 80.

He graduated in 1951 from Yale University.  He was a member of the Yale Political Union debate society. He served in the Navy during the Korean War.

After the war he wrote for Colliers and Life magazines before being hired by the Herald Tribune as editorial page dditor.  He was recruited to the Nixon campaign, where a long and deep friendship developed, a surprise to both. Mr. Price had been “the only speechwriter who did not call Nixon,” the New York Times reported in 1969. “Nixon called him.”

Mr. Price came out of retirement once, to help draft President George H.W. Bush’s address for the 1992 Republican convention. He was also the president of the Economics Club of New York for 19 years.

Mr. Price never married and was a long time resident of  New York City. He is survived by his sister Beth Brown of Roseboom; three nephews, Eric Brown and his wife of Port Saint John, Fla., Mark Brown and his wife of Roseboom, and George Brown of Port St. John, Fla., and a number of great nieces and nephews.

Graveside services will be announced in the spring.

To send online condolences visit www.ottmanfuneralhome.com

Arrangements by Ottman Funeral Home, Cherry Valley, NY.

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