Brooke Shearer dies at 58; former journalist, personal aide to Hillary Clinton

Times Staff And Wire Reports

Brooke Shearer, a former journalist and personal aide to Hillary Rodham Clinton who had directed the White House Fellows program and served in the Interior Department, has died. She was 58.

Shearer, who had cancer, died May 19 at her home in Washington, D.C., her family said.

She was married to Strobe Talbott, a high-ranking State Department official in the Clinton White House who heads the Brookings Institution research and policy center in Washington.


The couple’s lives and careers were intertwined with those of President Clinton, whom Talbott roomed with at Oxford University in the early 1970s. Shearer became close to Clinton’s wife, Hillary, now the secretary of State.

During the 1992 presidential campaign, she was Hillary Clinton’s personal aide or “friend, advisor, short-order cook,” as the irreverent Shearer once put it.

After the election, Shearer oversaw the White House Fellows program, which allows promising applicants to gain executive branch experience.

During Clinton’s second term, Shearer worked in the Interior Department, helping developing countries establish national park systems.

In 2001, she was named founding director of the Yale World Fellows program, which recruits young world leaders to study at Yale University.

Subsequently, Shearer was involved in fundraising for the National Archives and groups that support reconstruction work in Afghanistan and bring HIV/AIDS education and medicine to women in developing countries.


Brooke Lloyd Shearer and her twin brother, Cody, were born July 28, 1950, in Culver City and grew up in Los Angeles. Her twin also became a journalist and investigator.

Her father, Lloyd Shearer, wrote Parade magazine’s “Personality Parade” feature under the pen name Walter Scott, and her mother, Marva, was a longtime editor at House Beautiful magazine.

In 1971, Shearer earned a bachelor’s degree in English and history at Stanford University and married Talbott, the Yale roommate of her older brother Derek.

Early in her career, Shearer reported from Eastern Europe for the Christian Science Monitor and later worked as a private investigator.

In addition to her husband, Shearer is survived by twin sons, Adrian, of Washington, and Devin, of Bethesda, Md.; her mother, Marva, 92, of Brentwood; two brothers, Derek, of Pacific Palisades, a former U.S. ambassador to Finland, and Cody, of Washington; and a granddaughter.

Instead of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Washington Home and Community Hospices, P.O. Box 759240, Baltimore, MD 21275.