From his childhood in Merigold, Mississippi, and his college days at Ole Miss, to his role as spokesman for President Ronald Reagan at the White House, Larry Speakes’ life had the trajectory of a Horatio Alger tale.
He rose from a job as a small-town Delta newsman to become press secretary for Sen. James O. Eastland before becoming a player in national politics.
After an assassination attempt in 1981 that wounded President Reagan and left his press secretary, Jim Brady, disabled, Speakes became the voice of the Reagan Administration and had a role in some of the most memorable events of the Reagan years.
Speakes, who died earlier this month, was remembered last month at a program to start the Overby Center’s spring schedule with a panel of guests who knew him or worked with him – including his close friend Ed Meek. Charles Overby served as moderator. Watch the full program on YouTube.