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Frank Cullen Sr., 79; Political Consultant, Aide to Pat Brown

April 06, 2006|Dennis McLellan | Times Staff Writer

Frank W. Cullen Sr., a government relations consultant who had a long history in state and national politics and worked closely with former California Gov. Pat Brown for more than three decades, has died. He was 79.

Cullen died March 20 at UCLA Medical Center after a long battle with prostate cancer, said his son, Frank Cullen Jr., chief of staff for Rep. Mary Bono (R-Palm Springs).

As founder and president of FCA Co., based in Century City, Cullen was involved in numerous political campaigns and provided government relations and public affairs counseling to clients in the public and private sectors.

Cullen, who was born June 26, 1926, in Brooklyn, N.Y., launched his career in politics as a volunteer in John F. Kennedy's 1948 and 1950 congressional campaigns and continued as a volunteer on Kennedy's 1952 campaign for the U.S. Senate.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday April 07, 2006 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 53 words Type of Material: Correction
Frank Cullen Sr. obituary: The obituary of government relations consultant Frank Cullen Sr. in Thursday's California section said that Cullen was active in California Gov. Pat Brown's 1965 reelection campaign against Ronald Reagan. The campaign was in 1966. The obituary also said that Brown left office in 1966. He left office in 1967.

It was during Kennedy's 1960 presidential campaign that Robert F. Kennedy introduced Cullen to Brown, in whose administration Cullen later served as an assistant legislative secretary. Cullen also was active in Brown's 1965 reelection campaign against Ronald Reagan. After Brown left office in 1966, Cullen continued as his private-sector chief of staff.

When Brown, at President Nixon's request, headed the first visit of the People's Republic of China table tennis team to the United States in 1972 -- so-called ping-pong diplomacy -- Cullen served as coordinator.

In 1980, Cullen co-founded the Edmund G. "Pat" Brown Institute of Public Affairs, now affiliated with Cal State L.A.

"He helped my father in innumerable ways and was right there to the end, so he was very helpful to the family," Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown told The Times on Wednesday. "He also helped me when I ran for governor and even [California] secretary of state" in the 1970s."

Cullen, who served in the Army Air Forces during World War II, received a bachelor's degree in economics and administration from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., in 1952.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Anne. In addition to Frank Jr., he is survived by another son, Peter; his brothers, Steven and Jim; and two grandchildren.

A memorial service is to be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Church of the Good Shepherd, 505 N. Bedford Drive, Beverly Hills. The family requests that any donations be made to the Louis Warschaw Prostate Cancer Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles or the Mid-Twentieth Century California Governors Education and History Project in Sacramento.

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