Whitney Shoemaker, 83, Government Official

Article excerpt


Whitney Shoemaker, a former government official and newsman, died July 29 of cancer on Hilton Head Island, S.C. He was 83.

He had been a resident of Port Royal Plantation on Hilton Head Island since 1981, having moved there from Bethesda.

He was born in Ocean City, N.J., and began his news career there. Mr. Shoemaker worked at the Plainfield Courier-News and the Vineyard Evening Journal before entering the Army in 1942.

After service in World War II, he spent a year with Everybodys Poultry Magazine Publishing Co. in Hanover, Pa., then joined the Associated Press in Annapolis in 1947.

Mr. Shoemaker transferred to the Washington AP bureau in 1954, covering everything from sports to Congress to politics, including the Kennedy administration.

He left the AP to become assistant to the president of the Motion Picture Association of America and later joined the U.S. Department of Commerce.

In 1966, he was called to the White House to become assistant to President Johnson for public correspondence and messages. He subsequently directed the public-information campaign for the 1970 census and media relations for the Cost of Living Council. For the next three presidential administrations, he was public-affairs deputy in the Office of Management and Budget.

He served on the board of the Hilton Head Island Community Association from 1983 to 1987 and from 1992 until 1995.

He was a member of the Port Royal Plantation Club and Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. …