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Former Reagan spokesman Larry Speakes dies at 74

President Reagan spoke to reporters with Deputy Press Secretary Larry Speakes on the White House lawn in 1984.
President Reagan spoke to reporters with Deputy Press Secretary Larry Speakes on the White House lawn in 1984.Ira Schwarz/Associated Press

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JACKSON, Miss. — Larry Speakes, who spent six years as acting press secretary for President Ronald Reagan, died Friday in his native Mississippi. He was 74.

Mr. Speakes died at home in Cleveland, Miss., where he had lived the past several years, said Bolivar County Coroner Nate Brown, who said he had Alzheimer’s disease.

Speakes was buried in North Cleveland Cemetery during a private service Friday morning, a few hours after dying, said Kenny Williams of Cleveland Funeral Home.

Speakes became Reagan’s acting spokesman after Press Secretary James Brady was wounded during an assassination attempt on Reagan in 1981.

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