Michael G. Gauldin,
Clinton Press Secretary
Michael G. Gauldin, 55, a press secretary for then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton who came to Washington to work in public affairs after Clinton was inaugurated as president in 1993, died July 22 of brain cancer at his home in Burke.
Mr. Gauldin was the director of public and consumer affairs for the Department of Energy from 1993 to 1995, followed by six years as communications director at the Department of the Interior.
He then joined the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement as the director of public affairs. In 2007, he became a public affairs officer for the U.S. Geological Survey, a position he held until his death.
Michael Glen Gauldin was born in Mena, Ark., and raised in nearby Foreman, Ark. He served in the Army as a public affairs specialist in Colorado and Europe before graduating in 1981 with a degree in journalism from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.
Before going to work for Clinton in 1987, Mr. Gauldin worked as a journalism instructor and assistant director of information at the University of Arkansas and as a reporter and cartoonist for several Arkansas newspapers. In early 1992, Mr. Gauldin briefly served as press secretary for Clinton's presidential campaign.
Mr. Gauldin was a freelance commercial artist and cartoonist. His clients included newspapers, corporations and the last three secretaries of the Department of Interior. He also made American history action figures, including Native Americans and African American Buffalo Soldiers, and sold them online.
He was separated from his wife, Jane Catherine Harrison Gauldin of Springfield.
Survivors include his companion of 15 years, Jana Prewitt of Burke; four children from his marriage, Amanda Willett of Oak Hill, Va., and Patrick, John and Elizabeth Gauldin of Springfield; his parents, Harold and Fairy Gauldin of Foreman; three brothers; and two grandchildren.
-- Emma Brown
Meanwhile, the Arkansas press continue to amaze me with their embarrassing and ridiculous firewalls and sad, sad SEO. Local stories about Mike are almost impossible to find, and my little blog posts easily out-rank them in all the major search engines.
It would be pathetic if it didn't make it so much harder to find information about memorial services, and for people to talk about and leave tributes to a wonderful man so many of us will miss very much.
What purpose does it serve to HIDE information from people who live out of state, to HIDE personal stories and anecdotes about Mike (stories which are so very rich and touching), because the papers (some of which I used to work for back in the day) think that firewalls will increase the LOCAL attraction to their stories. Why? Because people are just compelled to run right out and try to read stories that they don't even know are there?!
The web has been around now since 1993, y'all. I actually covered a story WITH MIKE GAULDIN about then Gov. Clinton opening a high tech incubator connected to the University of Arkansas campus back in 1987, a story that easily alerted me to this online world and started a wonderful journey that continues to this day. It tipped me off that the Clinton-Gore Magic Bus would make a world safe for the Internet, an Internet I was already ON since 1990 (before the Web, in case anyone is checking), long before Al Gore even dreamed about inventing it.It is part of the reason I went to grad school in 1993, to study online communications, and by late 1993, the Web.
And now, 23 years later, the state press in Arkansas can't even adequately publish a venerable public figure's obituary.
For instance, the paper nearest to Mike's hometown of Foreman, Arkansas, the Texarkana Gazette, stingily is only able to give me the first few sentences of its obituary below.
Perhaps Texarkana is not really proud of what its local boy did in the world. Maybe it doesn't want anyone to know who Michael Gauldin was. Maybe the paper doesn't really want to be a community fixture and public commons where people can gather and share in their grief.
Way to go Texarkana (and the Little Rock Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and the Northwest Arkansas Times, and the Springdale News)! People who live in Washington, DC and New York City who want to know what their friend was like as a teenager are really gonna run right out and subscribe to the Texarkana Gazette tomorrow, doncha know? NOT.
Here's the link, for the NON-story with the completely wasted first line by Jim Williamson. Nothing like exploiting people's sadness to try to pump for circulation numbers from out-of-staters.
Former Clinton press secretary dies
By: Jim Williamson - Texarkana Gazette - Published: 07/28/2010
When Mike Gauldin was a senior at Foreman, Ark., High School in 1973 he refused to cut his long hair so he wasn’t allowed to walk in the graduation ceremonies.
That was nine years before Gauldin became the press secretary for Bill Clinton from 1982 to the early 1990s. Then Gauldin followed Clinton to Washington, D.C.
Gauldin died Thursday night in Washington after a battle with brain cancer.
Memorial services for Gauldin will be 2 p.m. Aug. 7 at the Foreman First Baptist Church.
Gauldin was considered a rebel, an intellectual and a good guy, by...
[... etc. we presume, but must take on faith, apparently]
I just have to add that this amazing and irreverent man personally taught me more about journalism while working for him in the field of PR than anyone I've known and been mentored by, before and since.
He was and will always be my personal life hero.