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Oral History Project

Pat M. Holt Staff and Chief of Staff, Foreign Relations Committee (1950–1977)


A journalist who had reported for various newspapers and for the Congressional Quarterly, Pat Holt joined the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1950. Because of his ability to speak Spanish, he became the committee's specialist in Latin American relations in 1958. Shortly afterwards came Vice President Richard Nixon's ill-fated tour of South America, ending with the storming of his limousine in Venezuela, and then Fidel Castro's revolution in Cuba. Latin American relations assumed an increasingly important position on the committee's agenda. In 1965, suspicions over the Lyndon Johnson administration's version of conditions in the Dominican Republic gave Holt a unique opportunity to examine State Department and CIA records. His findings played a part in Chairman J. William Fulbright 's break with the Johnson administration. Holt later served as chief of staff under the chairmanships of Fulbright and John Sparkman.


Scholarly citation: "Pat M. Holt, Chief of Staff, Foreign Relations Committee," Oral History Interviews, September 9, to December 12, 1980, Senate Historical Office, Washington, D.C.

Disclaimer: The Senate Historical Office has a strong commitment to oral history as an important part of its efforts to document institutional change over time. Oral histories are a natural component to historical research and enhance the archival holdings of the Senate and its members. Oral histories represent the personal recollections and opinions of the interviewees, however, and should not be considered as the official views or opinions of the U.S. Senate, of the Senate Historical Office, or of other senators and/or staff members. The transcripts of these oral histories are made available by the Senate Historical Office as a public service.