Richard Wirthlin, Pollster to President Reagan, Dies

Wednesday, 16 Mar 2011 10:55 PM

 

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Richard Wirthlin, the pollster and political strategist who helped engineer President Ronald Reagan’s two election campaigns, has died. He was 80.

Richard Wirthlin

Wirthlin died today of natural causes, his family said in an e-mailed statement.

An aide to Reagan for more than 20 years, Wirthlin served as chief strategist on Reagan’s 1980 and 1984 presidential campaigns. He also acted as a political adviser and pollster to U.S. Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

He later co-founded market research firm WirthlinWorldwide, which was sold to Harris Interactive Inc. in 2004.

Wirthlin, center right, with Reagan

“Dick was a great man, a great friend and an invaluable counselor to President Reagan,” former Attorney General Edwin “Ed” Meese III said in the statement.

Wirthlin, born in Salt Lake City, is survived by his wife of 54 years, Jeralie Mae Chandler, 8 children, 27 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.
 


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