J.B. West





J.B. West



J. B. West (1912–1983), chief usher of the White House—or executive director of the executive mansion and grounds—was once called “the most powerful man in Washington next to the president.” Discreet and witty, he supervised the large permanent staff that provided for every personal want and need for six presidents and first ladies, including at state dinners, weddings, and funerals, redecorating the facilities for each family and tending to every special request. He served first as assistant to the chief usher and then as chief usher after retiring as a high-level civilian officer of the US Navy. A native Iowan, his White House tenure (1941–1969) followed a career in the Veterans Administration. Upstairs at the White House was published in ...more

Average rating: 4.09 · 7,281 ratings · 769 reviews · 2 distinct worksSimilar authors
Upstairs at the White House...

4.09 avg rating — 7,281 ratings — published 1973 — 17 editions
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“The secret was loyalty to the White House and to the Presidency, rather than to whoever happens to be occupying the office for four years, or eight.”
J.B. West, Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies

“ask the President and then tell the usher how many there will be. In the winter months,”
J.B. West, Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies

“I have but one career, and its name is Ike,” Mrs. Eisenhower once announced.”
J.B. West, Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies



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