Marvin Arrowsmith; AP Correspondent

From Associated Press

Marvin L. Arrowsmith, a former White House correspondent who later was chief of the Associated Press bureau in Washington, died Thursday in Tennessee of a longstanding lung disorder.

Five sons and one daughter were with Arrowsmith, 82, at the health care center of Alexian Village in Signal Mountain, Tenn., when he died.

Arrowsmith was the AP’s White House correspondent for eight years during President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s term, and was a former president of the White House Correspondents Assn.


He was named AP bureau chief in March, 1969, after eight years as assistant bureau chief and Washington news editor. As bureau chief, he directed a staff of 160 people.

Arrowsmith was born in Detroit Aug. 8, 1913, and graduated from the University of Detroit in 1935. His journalistic career began in the eighth grade when a school athletic director, elated over an unexpected victory, asked him to write a piece about it for the parish paper.

“I did, it got printed and I had the virus--never able to shake it,” Arrowsmith recalled later.

He joined the Associated Press in Detroit in 1942. After a brief stint in charge of the AP’s Grand Rapids bureau, he was transferred to Washington in 1943. There he covered a host of war agencies, including the Office of Price Administration, then at its peak of rationing and price control.

He covered the unsuccessful presidential campaign of Thomas E. Dewey in 1948 and the campaigns of Eisenhower and his Democratic rival, Adlai E. Stevenson, in 1952. When Eisenhower took office, his press secretary offered Arrowsmith the appointment as his assistant. Arrowsmith turned him down.

Arrowsmith retired in 1977 and moved with his wife, Mary Frances, to Santa Fe. After her death in 1983, he moved to Tennessee.

He is survived by his children, Lawrence, Robert, Thomas, David, John and Kathryn Rabiega and six grandchildren. A memorial service is scheduled in Signal Mountain, Tenn., this weekend.