Longtime White House Chief Usher Dies
Joint statement from the daughters of President and Mrs. Nixon, Tricia Nixon Cox and Julie Nixon Eisenhower, on the passing of Rex Scouten, former White House Chief Usher and Curator:
“Rex Scouten was a close and dear friend of our family for more than 40 years. He started his career as a Secret Service Agent, and traveled with our parents to more than 40 countries during his Vice Presidency. He later became Chief Usher of the White House and served during the years our family lived there.”
“He collaborated closely with our mother on several of her favorite projects, including opening the White House for public tours, lighting its exterior, and enhancing its collections of furniture, fine art and décor.”
“In 1973, he helped organize the South Lawn dinner for the returning Vietnam POWs, still the largest dinner ever held at the White House.”
“Rex was wonderful to work with and very attentive to every detail in the Executive Mansion. We considered him part of our family.”
“We will miss him and extend our sincere condolences to his wonderful wife Dorothy.”
Rex Scouten, longtime White House Chief Usher and later Curator, passed away February 20 in Fairfax, Virginia.
He was assigned to the White House in 1949 as a Secret Service Agent during President Harry Truman’s tenure and to Vice President Nixon from 1953 to 1957.
He served ten First Families by the end of his career. He worked with President Nixon again in 1969, when he became Chief Usher of the White House.
“Rex was a friend of the Nixons for more than 40 years, and was always full of warm anecdotes about the personal side of the family and his affection for the President and First Lady, and their daughters, Tricia and Julie,” said Sandy Quinn, Nixon Foundation President.
Scouten spoke at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda in 2004 – the same year that the Library opened its own White House East Room. He had worked closely with the Foundation on designing their East Room and provided plans and vendors used by the White House.
Last year, he recorded a video interview for the Pat Nixon Centennial exhibit, in which he spoke about Mrs. Nixon’s contributions to the White House.
Services will be held in Fairfax, Virginia on February 28. Details pending.