This collection is available in whole for research use. Some folders may still have withdrawn material due to Freedom of Information Act restrictions. Most frequent withdrawn material is national security classified material, personal privacy, protection of the President, etc.


CLARK, WILLIAM P.: Files, 1982-1985 (3.3 l.f: boxes 1-9)


Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, February 10, 1982-November 17, 1983




William Patrick Clark was born in Oxnard, California on October 23, 1931. He was a fourth generation Californian, whose father, grandfather and great-grandfather were law enforcement officers.


Clark graduated from Villanova Preparatory School near Ojai, California. He enrolled at Stanford University, but left after a year to study for the Roman Catholic priesthood at a seminary in New York. Within a few months, Clark decided that the priesthood was not for him.


Clark returned briefly to Stanford, then attended the University of Santa Clara for two years. Clark was drafted into the Army in 1953, and served two years in the Army Counter Intelligence Corps in West Germany. Returning to the United States, he attended Loyola Night Law School from 1956 to 1958 while working as an insurance adjuster. He left law school before finishing, but continued to study law on his own. Clark was admitted to the California Bar in 1959. From 1959 to 1969, he was a senior partner with the Oxnard-based law firm Clark, Cole and Fairfield.


Clark’s political activity began as the Ventura County chairman for Ronald Reagan’s 1966 gubernatorial campaign. He became the head of the Reagan gubernatorial transition staff after Reagan won the election. Clark was Governor Reagan’s Cabinet Secretary until August 1967, when Reagan named him his new Chief of Staff. In 1969, Reagan appointed Clark a judge on the Superior Court in San Luis Obispo County. Clark was appointed to the state Court of Appeals in 1971, and the California Supreme Court in 1973.


Judge Clark joined the Reagan Administration in March 1981 as Deputy Secretary of State. In February 1982, Reagan appointed him Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. Clark held this position until November 1983, when he replaced the controversial James Watt as Secretary of the Interior. Clark resigned as Interior Secretary on February 7, 1985.


Clark’s work as a presidential advisor extended beyond his Administration positions. After leaving the NSC, he continued carrying out foreign trips and meetings, as an informal representative of the President. He served as chairman of the Task Group on Nuclear Weapons Program Management, as a member of the Commission on Defense Management (Packard Commission), and as a member of the Defense Department’s Commission on Integrated Long-Term Strategy. Domestically, he represented Reagan as a presidential emissary to the chairmen of the Navajo and Hopi tribes.


From 1985 to 1997, Mr. Clark was a director of Pacific Telesis Group. He later served as a director of SBC, a director of the New Ireland Fund, Inc., and a member of the Corporate Development Committee and the Corporate Public Policy and Environmental Affairs Committee.


Mr. Clark was chief executive officer of Clark Company, and senior counsel to the San Luis Obispo law firm Clark, Cali and Negranti. He was a counselor to the standing committee on law and national security of the American Bar Association, director of the Museum of Flying, Santa Monica, California, and chairman, USA-ROC (Taiwan) Business Council.


Mr. Clark passed away at his ranch near Shandon, California on August 10, 2013.


Collection Description


The William Clark collection is not particularly deep in terms of the actions and issues occurring during his time as Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.  This is due to the nature of the filing system maintained at the National Security Council during the first Reagan administration. For comprehensive coverage of Judge Clark’s actions during his time with the National Security Council, researchers are advised to use the NSC Executive Secretariat filing groups such as the Subject File, the Country File, etc., and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Chronological File.


Major foreign security issues happening during Judge Clark’s time at the White House include: the death of Soviet General Secretary Brezhnev and his replacement by Andropov; the resignation of Alexander Haig as Secretary of State and the appointment of George Shultz to the post; the creation of the Multi-National Peacekeeping Force in Lebanon, the bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon, the invasion of Grenada, two G-7 Economic Summits in Versailles, France and Williamsburg, Virginia; ongoing Central American issues involving Nicaragua, El Salvador; and the Contras; the Falklands War; continuing arms control (INF) talks with the Soviets; growing anti-nuclear movements in Europe and the United States; and the Soviet shootdown of Korean Air Flight 007, killing all passengers on board. 


The William Clark collection consists of memos, schedules, correspondence, briefing papers, and cables. It includes materials not only from his service as Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, but also some of his work while serving as Deputy Secretary of State and Secretary of Interior. Given the brevity of the material, the Library has not designated any separate series, but considers the entire collection a “subject file.” The material is arranged in alphabetical order by topic and then chronologically.




Box 1


Berlin-May 1984 [1982-1983]

Berlin-May 1984 [February -March 1984]

Berlin-May 1984

Bishops' Letter: War and Peace [November 1982-February 1983]

Bishops' Letter: War and Peace [March-July 1983]

Budget Crisis Advertisement: 02/25/1983 Letter to the 500/Bipartisan Appeal

Casey, William to William Clark for Talking Points Re Kirkpatrick [January 1985]

Central America 1982

Central America January 1983

Central America February 1983 (1)(2)

Central America April-June 1983

Central America, July-November 1983

Central America 1984

Central American Commission 07/08/1983-07/14/1983

Central American Commission 07/15/1983-08/08/1983

Central American Commission [Report of the National Bipartisan Commission on

Central America, January 1984] (1)-(3)


Box 2

Central American Speech 04/20/1983

Central American Speech 04/25/1983

Central American Speech 04/26/1983 (1)(2)

Central American Speech 04/27/1983-05/21/1983

Chemical Warfare


[Core Staff Review Group, January 1985]

Cuba 01/09/1982-01/12/1982

Cuba 01/13/1982

Cuba 01/18/1982-01/21/1982

Cuba February-August 1982

[Econ: Classified Cover Sheet Taped to Outside of Empty and Untitled Folder]

[Exercise Briefing and Documentation, April 1984] (Binder) (1)-(6)

[Exercise Report, June 1984] (1)(2)

Fairness Issues: A Briefing Book on Individual Programs and General Perspectives,

          06/01/1982 (Binder) (1)(2)


Box 3

Falklands War (UN/Kirkpatrick/Haig) 05/13/1982-06/04/1982

Falklands War (UN/Kirkpatrick/Haig) 06/05/1982

Falklands War (UN/Kirkpatrick/Haig) 06/06/1982-11/04/1982


Haig/Gromyko Meetings 09/23/1981 and 09/28/1981

Haig/Gromyko Meetings 01/26/1982 10:00am

Haig/Gromyko Meetings 01/26/1982 2:00pm

Haig/Gromyko Meetings 06/18/1982-06/19/1982

Haig/Weinberger/Clark (Complaints)

Haig’s Resignation-Classified Documents


Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF): Nitze Meeting “Walk in the Woods”


Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF): Nitze Meeting “Walk in the Woods” August


Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF): Nitze Meeting “Walk in the Woods”

September-October 1982

Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF): Nitze Meeting “Walk in the Woods”

02/12/1983 Munich

Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF): Nitze Meeting “Walk in The Woods”


Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF): Nitze Meeting “Walk in the Woods”



KAL 007-Shootdown [09/01/1983-09/03/1983]

KAL 007-Shootdown [09/04/1983-09/08/1983]

Law of the Sea (1)-(3)


Box 4


Lebanon: Middle East

Lenczowski, John Memos

Letters (Classified) April 1982-March 1983

Letters (Classified) May 1983

[Mission to Europe]

Mitterrand/Clark-6:30pm 10/27/1982: I. Background

Mitterrand/Clark-6:30pm 10/27/1982: II. Background (1)-(6)

Mitterrand/Clark-6:30pm 10/27/1982: Talking Points

Mitterrand/Clark-6:30pm 10/27/1982: Memcon

Mitterrand/Clark Meeting 03/12/1982 President/Mitterrand/Clark



[Nicaragua, US Policy In] Central America (1)-(3)


Box 5

[Nicaragua International Court Of Justice Case]

Oil Market Situation 1984 (1)-(3)

[Oil Stocks and Supply Disruptions-International Energy Agency Agreement]

Pope Assassination [Attempt]

Spain 10/09/1984-10/12/1984 (1)(2)

[Suriname February-March 1983]

[Suriname 4/01/1983]

[Suriname 04/04/1983-04/07/1983]

[Suriname 04/08/1983-04/18/1983]

[Suriname 05/02/1983-05/18/1983]

[Suriname 05/20/1983-07/20/1983]

[Suriname Cables January 1983]

[Suriname Cables February-March 1983]

[Suriname Cables 04/05/1983-04/12/1983]

[Suriname Cables 04/13/1983-04/19/1983]

[Suriname Cables 04/20/1983]


Box 6

[Suriname Cables 04/21/1983-04/22/1983]

[Suriname Cables 04/23/1983-04/30/1983]

[Suriname Cables May 1983]

[Suriname Cables June 1983]

[Suriname Cables July-September 1983]

[Suriname Cables Sent To Vice President Bush 04/11/1983-04/18/1983]

[Suriname Cables Sent To Vice President Bush 04/19/1983-04/20/1983]

[Suriname Cables Sent To Vice President Bush 04/22/1983-05/10/1983]

[Suriname, Council for the Liberation Of]

Suriname Material (Binder): Brazil and Venezuela

Suriname Material (Binder): Background

[Suriname “Miscellaneous” Items 03/24/1983-04/08/1983]

[Suriname “Miscellaneous” Items 04/09/1983-05/31/1983]

[Suriname “Miscellaneous” Items June-July 1983]

[Suriname Situation Room Notes and Checklists, 04/13/1983-05/31/1983]

[Suriname Situation Room Notes and Checklists, 06/02/1983-10/06/1983]

Taiwan [Arms Sales] 01/06/1982-01/09/1982

Taiwan [Arms Sales] 01/10/1982-01/14/1982


Box 7

Trip, President's European: June 1982 Paris, Versailles, Bonn, Berlin, London (1)(2)

Trip to Europe – Presidential Speeches (Binder) (1)(2)

Trip, President's China 04/22/1984-05/02/1984 (Binder) (1)-(3)

Trip, Vienna May 1984 (1)(2)

[Trip:] Secretary Clark's Visit 05/10/1984-05/18/1984 Berlin, Vienna, Munich, and

London (Binder) (1)-(3)

[Trip:] Secretary Clark's Visit 05/10/1984-05/18/1984 Berlin, Vienna, Munich, and

London (Clark Binder) (1)-(3)

Trip to Europe, President's: Ireland, United Kingdom, and Normandy 06/01/1984-

06/10/1984 (1)(2)


Box 8

Trip to Europe, President's: Ireland, United Kingdom, and Normandy 06/01/1984-

06/10/1984 (3)-(5)

Trip to Europe, President's: London Economic Summit 06/07/1984-06/09/1984 (Binder)


US-Soviet Relations Papers Working File: Contains Originals (1)-(7)


Box 9

US-Soviet Relations Papers Working File: Contains Originals (8)-(16)

Vatican: Establishing Diplomatic Relations

Weekly Update for the President, 12/21/1981 (Binder)