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W. Marvin Watson

In office
1963 – 1968
President Lyndon B. Johnson
Preceded by Wilton Persons
Succeeded by Jim Jones
as Appointments Secretary
(Johnson Admin)
H.R. Haldeman
as 4th White House Chief of Staff
(Nixon Admin)

In office
April 26, 1968 – January 20, 1969
President Lyndon Johnson
Preceded by Lawrence F. O'Brien
Succeeded by Winton M. Blount

Political party Democratic
Alma mater Baylor University
Military service
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Battles/wars World War II

William Marvin Watson (born June 6, 1924) was an advisor to U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and was Postmaster General in 1968 and early 1969.


Watson was born in Oakhurst, Texas, and attended Baylor University in Waco, Texas, getting a scholarship as a musician. He entered the United States Marine Corp during World War II and saw action in the Pacific campaign during the later stage of the war. He began working for Johnson during the 1948 primary campaign for the democratic nomination to run for the United States Senate. At that time, there was no effective Republican Party in Texas, so the primary would effectively decide the election.

Watson continued being active in local politics as a "Johnson Man", rising to become the head of the Democratic Party in Texas.

Watson became an informal White House Chief of Staff to President Johnson in 1965. He was appointed Postmaster General in 1968, and is now the last surviving cabinet-level Postmaster General.

After the end of the Johnson administration in 1969, Watson became an official with Occidental Petroleum, working with Armand Hammer.

He delivered a heartfelt eulogy at Johnson's state funeral in January 1973, emphasizing his obsessive dedication to the betterment of America.

Further reading

  • W. Marvin Watson & Sherwin Markman. Chief of Staff: Lyndon Johnson and His Presidency. Thomas Dunne Books, 2004. ISBN 0-312-28504-3
Political offices
Title last held by
Wilton Persons
White House Chief of Staff
1965 – 1968
Succeeded by
H. R. Haldeman
Government offices
Preceded by
Lawrence F. O'Brien
United States Postmaster General
April 26, 1968 – January 20, 1969
Succeeded by
Winton M. Blount


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