Sparks, William Russell, 1924-1987


Sparks, William Russell, 1924-1987


Bio: William Russell Sparks, also Will R. Sparks, (b. July 15, 1924, Detroit, Michigan-d. December 16, 1987, Long Island, New York) served as a speechwriter for President Lyndon B. Johnson and director of public affairs for Citicorp. He was a writer, director and producer of films for the television series ''Wide Wide World'' in the 1950's. In 1964, he became a speechwriter for Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara and later took the White House position. Returning to private industry, he wrote speeches for Harold S. Geneen, then the chairman of ITT, and Walter B. Wriston, the Citicorp chairman, before becoming vice president for public affairs at Citicorp in 1980. He graduated from the University of Chicago, and produced several films for the United States Army, including some during the Vietnam War. He was a recipient of the Army's Distinguished Service Award. After his White House years, he was the author of Who Spoke to the President Last? He was an assistant editor of Great Books of the Western World and wrote extensively for magazines, including Life, Look, The Saturday Evening Post and The Atlantic Monthly.


LBJ Connection: Staff Assistant. Speech writer for President and Cabinet members.