The long, happy life of Reagan speechwriter Peter Hannaford

"Reagan was a breeze to work with, just a dream to work with," said Hannaford, who died earlier this month.

And finally, former Ronald Reagan speechwriter Peter Hannaford had a great time writing for Reagan, and died, earlier this month, the way most writers would like to.

Reagan “was a breeze to work with, just a dream to work with,” said his former speechwriter Peter Hannaford, who died earlier this month. According to the Washington Post obit:

“As we got to know one another well and he knew I would write in his voice, he would just say, ‘Pete, take a crack at this.’”

After receiving drafts, Reagan would scratch out phrases and replace them with new ones, but he tried not to bruise feelings.

“He was always so apologetic when he changed things.” Mr. Hannaford said. Returned drafts included such annotations as, “You know, that’s good,” followed by, “but let’s try this.”

Hannaford died as he apparently lived—happy, according to the Post.

“Mr. Hannaford had recently finished editing for publication the 1960s diaries of newspaper columnist Drew Pearson and had signed copies of the volume Saturday night at a bookstore in Eureka. He went home in good spirits and did not wake up the next morning, said his wife, Irene Hannaford.”

Speechwriter, rest in peace. (And, dare we hope, in good spirits.) —DM

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