Ken Duberstein, former Reagan chief of staff, dies at 77

Kenneth Marc Duberstein was born on April 21, 1944, the son of Aaron Duberstein , a fundraiser for the Boy Scouts of America, and Jewel (...


Kenneth Marc Duberstein was born on April 21, 1944, the son of Aaron Duberstein, a fundraiser for the Boy Scouts of America, and Jewel (Falb) Duberstein, a teacher. He grew up loving New York hot dogs and Broadway shows, often paying for standing room tickets, his wife said. In his later years, he became a trustee of the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington.

After high school at the private Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn, he attended Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he graduated in 1965. He earned a master’s degree in political science at the American University in Washington. the next year. There he got his first taste of Capitol politics – as an intern of Senator Jacob Javits, Republican of New York.

“He would get in the car with Javits and drive it around to hang out with Javits alone,” his wife said. “That’s how his love for the government began.”

In addition to his wife, Mr. Duberstein is survived by four children, Jennifer, Jeffrey, Andrew and Samantha Duberstein; and three grandchildren. He was divorced from his first wife, Marjorie Duberstein, and his second, Sydney Duberstein, who had died earlier.

In Washington, Mr. Duberstein was active in civic life. In addition to being a trustee of the Kennedy Center, he has served on the boards of the Brookings Institution and the board of the Council on Foreign Relations. At lunchtime, he could often be seen at Equinox, a restaurant a stone’s throw from the White House, eating his favorite dish: scallops.

Mr. Duberstein also started a tradition at the White House, hosting bipartisan luncheons of current and former chiefs of staff to welcome newcomers to the job.

Joshua B. Bolten, chief of staff to the young Mr. Bush, said Mr. Duberstein had three tips: First, stay humble. “Remember, you’re a staff member,” he said. Second, “make sure you take good care of the first lady.” (Nancy Reagan was famous for her feuds with Reagan aides.) And third, know that the president is counting on you for sound advice.

“He used the same phrase every time: ‘You are the reality therapist,'” Mr. Bolten said. “And I think that kind of picks up Ken. He was a reality therapist for many people.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Ken Duberstein, former Reagan chief of staff, dies at 77
Ken Duberstein, former Reagan chief of staff, dies at 77
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