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Milton Pitts (4 July 1912 – 25 December 1994) was the White House barber for Republican U.S. Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush.

While Pitts was a staunch Republican, he always maintained that "my scissors are neither Republican nor Democrat."[1][2] Democratic President Jimmy Carter did not use Pitts, though, and instead brought in two hairstylists, Yves and Nancy Graux. President Reagan's Chief of Staff James Baker dismissed them in July 1982 and Pitts again became the sole White House barber.[3]

During his years in the White House, Pitts won acclaim as "Washington's most famous barber." He appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman on May 24, 1982.[4] His twentieth anniversary celebration in 1985 was attended by numerous dignitaries including President Reagan, Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, Secretary of State George Shultz and Attorney General Edwin Meese.[5]

Pitts regularly gave his clients advice, both fashion and political, and was well-known for speaking frankly: he once "suggested that Richard Nixon do something about his nose and told Gerald Ford his ties were too loud."[6] When President Bill Clinton received a $200 haircut from the Beverly Hills stylist Christophe, Pitts criticized Clinton and said the price amounted to "showmanship" on the part of the barber.[7] In the years after he left the White House, Pitts typically charged $25 for a haircut at his shop in the Sheraton-Carlton Hotel.[8][1]

References

  1. ^ a b Sidey, Hugh (1995-01-09). "What the Barber Knew". Time 145 (1): 43.  
  2. ^ Binder, David (1994-12-28), "Milton Pitts, 82, Favorite Barber Of Four Presidents", The New York Times: D18  
  3. ^ Weisman, Steven R. (1982-07-22), "White House Ends Staff's Barbershop Privileges", The New York Times: A20  
  4. ^ CBS | Late Show with David Letterman :
  5. ^ Hunter, Marjorie; Weaver Jr., Warren (1985-03-21), "Hair, Hair", New York Times: A28  
  6. ^ Stewart, Connie (1985-04-11), "Reagan Called a Cut Above Rest", Los Angeles Times: 2  
  7. ^ Hanson, Christopher (March 1995). "Reporting From the Razor's Edge". Columbia Journalism Review 33 (6): 57–59.  
  8. ^ Pearl, Daniel (1992-08-11), "Blow Dryers Leave Men's Hair Dry, But Their Image Slick — It's a Burden Bill Clinton Must Bear, Even Though His Barber Absolves Him", The Wall Street Journal: A1  
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