Owen Lassiter was an American Politician, serving as President of the United States during the late 70s and early- to mid-80s. He died in January 2004.


Lassiter made his home in Costa Mesa, California. He was described as an "Attila the Hun conservative." Josiah Bartlet considered him a "pompous, arrogant know-it-all." [1]

Presidential administration

Lassiter's administration is considered partially responsible for causing or enhancing many of the Middle Eastern problems that the Bartlet administration faced years later. He apparently was instrumental in propping up and supporting regimes overseas, and "playing God" in other countries. [1]

Lassiter's administration was looked on with disdain by Bartlet and his staffers, especially Toby, who showed contempt for his ultra-conservative policies.


President Lassiter spent many of his last years travelling to foreign countries, including the Philippines, South Korea, and Vietnam. He maintained a habit of telephone communication with former President D. Wire Newman and current President Bartlet, generally regarding issues of the day or historical former Presidents.[1]

On a trip to China with Congressman Glen Allen Walken, Lassiter was forced to relieve himself in some bushes in Beijing when a restroom was unavailable. Walken would later speak fondly of the incident and Lassiter's reciting of Lincoln's second State of the Union during the situation.[1]

During the MS scandal in 2001 and 2002, Lassiter made phone calls to President Newman, advising him to stay off the media trail and not denounce President Bartlet.[1]

Lassiter spent his last years continuing his travels. He travelled not only to foreign countries and sites of foreign battlefields, but also sites of American battlefields of the Civil War. He collected jars of dirt from the battlefields and spent most of his time at the replica of the Oval Office in his library.

In late 2003, Lassiter had hip replacement surgery, and he was still recovering from his surgery in early 2004. He slept, ate, and operated mostly out of his Oval Office replica.[1]

Lassiter made several calls to President Bartlet, as well as writing him a letter, entitled Need for an American Empire. Lassiter gave his last call to the White House the same night of his death, postponing a trip to Ford's Theater by President Bartlet.[1]

He was found deceased in his Oval Office, from complications due to his hip surgery.[1]


The funeral of President Lassiter was held at the Owen Lassiter Library in Costa Mesa, California. It was coordinated by Mrs. Lassiter and Donna Moss.[1]


President Lassiter was played by an unknown stand-in. His hands as he wrote his letter were the only physical time he was seen, and his image was seen on posters at his funeral.

It has been theorized that Lassiter was Bartlet's predecessor in office. However, this is unlikely, as he is referred to as if his presidency took place many years before Bartlet's term[2], and his cabinet members are all very elderly at the time of the funeral. In addition, Bartlet's predecessor appointed Democrat Leo McGarry as Secretary of Labor, which is inconsistent with Lassiter's description as a staunch right-wing conservative.

Lassiter appears to be inspired by President Ronald Reagan; he was a right-wing Republican from California who was known for his strongly conservative views, and was deeply polarizing after his presidency.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Episode 5x10 "The Stormy Present"
  2. "The world's certainly turned upside-down since Owen Lassiter's time."

Presidents of the United States
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