THE WHITE HOUSE

                     Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                                       May 21, 1995


   I speak for millions of Americans when mourning the death today of
Les Aspin, and join many others in saying that he was my friend.

   As a member of the House of Representatives for twenty-two years,
Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee for eight, Secretary of
Defense, and Chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory
Board, Les rendered our nation extraordinary, selfless service.

   Les Aspin accomplished greatly because he cared greatly.  He brought
the same commitment to his most recent assignment that he brought to
Washington as a young Congressional aide, staff assistant at the Council
of Economic Advisors and Defense Department official in the 1960s.

   No one knew better than he how Washington works, but he never thought
of it as a game for its own sake.  He was here to make a difference.
And he did.  He probed and helped shape a generation of American defense
policies and budgets, culminating in the decisive bottom-up review of
our military strategy, which he conducted as Secretary of Defense.

   Les Aspin was uniqe.  He brought the light of his joy in living, and
the heat of his intellect, to every occasion. He never met a person who
didn't like him.  And we all will miss him.