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McDonald, Margaret (1925-2014)



  • Existence: 1925 - 2014


Margaret McDonald was born in Indianola, Iowa in 1925. She graduated from Capitol City Commercial College and attended the University of Iowa. During World War II she served as secretary to future president Ronald W. Reagan who was a captain in the United States Air Force stationed in California. In 1952 McDonald became actively involved in politics during her husband James L. McDonald's successful campaign for Cherokee County, Iowa Attorney (a post he held until 1985 when he was appointed district judge). From 1952 to 1964 McDonald was active in the Republican Women's Organization of Cherokee County and served in many offices. In 1966 she managed Wiley Mayne's successful campaign for United States Congress and was elected County Republican Party co-chair, a post she kept until 1970.

In 1970 McDonald was elected co-chair of the 6th District of the state Republican party and became a member of the state Central Committee of the Republican Party. From 1973 to 1980 McDonald served as co-chair of the State Republican party; during most of those years the party chair was John McDonald (no relation). In 1980 she was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in Detroit and chaired the 1980 State Convention in Cedar Rapids. From 1981 to 1987 she served on the Iowa Mental Health, Mental Retardation, and Development Disabilities Commission and was chair during part of her tenure. McDonald was field representative for Robert Dole's presidential campaign in 1987-1988 and a Dole delegate to the 1988 Republican National Convention. In 1990 she was a field representative for Tom Tauke's senate campaign and in 1992 served as a member of the party finance committee of Cherokee County. Margaret McDonald passed away in 2014.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Margaret McDonald papers

Identifier: IWA0033

Active in Republican Party and vice-chairman of the Iowa Republican Central Committee in 1970.

Dates: 1964-2004