Peter Flanigan--investment banker, philanthropist, aide to Richard Nixon, and veteran--died this week at the age of 90. Bloomberg has the story:
He died on July 29 at a hospital outside Salzburg, Austria, according to his daughter, Megan Flanigan. She declined to give a cause. With his second wife, Dorothea von Oswald, he lived in Wildenhag, Austria, and Purchase, New York.
After working as deputy campaign manager for Nixon’s successful 1968 presidential run, Flanigan served as an unpaid consultant in filling top executive branch appointments. He then joined the White House staff as assistant to the president, focusing on economic and financial matters. In 1972 he was named assistant for international economic affairs.
The Richard Nixon Foundation has more on Flanigan's public service:
Mr. Flanigan’s association stretched for over 50 years. He met Vice President Nixon in 1959 and in the months preceding the 1960 Republican National Convention, where RN was likely to be the nominee, Flanigan organized a “New Yorkers for Nixon” fundraising group signing onto the campaign as the director of hundreds of volunteer organizations across the country. As Nixon worked his way back into national political life in the 1960s, Flanigan was part of a close group of confidants who worked to devise a strategy for his comeback. In the victorious 1968 campaign, he was Deputy Campaign Manager.
After the election, Flanigan aided the transition period by serving as an unpaid advisor, recommending personnel appointments.
“I learned a great deal from Peter in talking with him about early staffing for the newly-elected Nixon administration,” said Geoff Shepard, a former White House Fellow and Domestic Council Associate Director.
By April 1969, he joined the White House staff as an Assistant to the President, where he specialized in domestic commercial and economic matters. In 1972, President Nixon promoted Flanigan to assume additional duties for development and coordination of the administration’s international economic policy, as Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs and Executive Director of the Council on International Economic Policy.
Nixon Foundation President Sandy Quinn said Flanigan, was “a pillar of so many of President Nixon’s major accomplishments.”
Among his many achievements was his work on the administration’s initiative to end military conscription, phase out the draft and institute an all-volunteer force.
And at the Manhattan Institute, where Flanigan was a trustee, president Lawrence Mone had this to say:
After serving his country as a Navy carrier pilot in World War II, Peter had a distinguished career in the worlds of government and finance, including senior positions in the Nixon administration and at Dillon Read. We were privileged to work with Peter over the past 25 years as he immersed himself in the world of ideas.
Peter was an active and creative philanthropist. He helped guide the John M. Olin Foundation's many decades of innovative grant-making and more recently served on the boards of the Alliance for School Choice and the Thomas W. Smith Foundation.
As a strong believer in educational choice, Peter devoted much of his time and money to New York’s Catholic schools. He founded Student Sponsor Partners, one of the country's first and largest private school choice programs, which has helped 6,000 at-risk New York City students graduate high school. He also was instrumental in the launch of the Center for Educational Innovation at the Manhattan Institute, a hands-on think tank that works to create a number of exceptional public schools across the city.
In 2004, the Manhattan Institute was proud to honor Peter with our Alexander Hamilton Award, along with William F. Buckley and Robert Bartley.
Peter was both a good man and a great man, which is not an easy thing to do. Thousands of children benefited directly from his philanthropy. Many adults were inspired by Peter to devote their lives to providing better educational choices to underprivileged children. His legacy will live on through all those whose lives he touched. That the number of such lives is incalculable is the true mark of a life well lived.