From COMM 455 student Jake Fedechko:

“Speechwriters and their craft are actually a fairly new trend, and presidents up through Woodrow Wilson — a historian and a writer by trade who was in office from 1913 to 1921— basically wrote their own remarks. The first official speechwriter was “literary clerk” Judson Welliver (search), who began working under President Warren G. Harding in March of 1921.

“Presidents didn’t give many speeches until the early 20th century,” Ribuffo said. “Wilson could be his own speechwriter not only because he was a writer but because he didn’t have to give any speeches. Now it would just be impossible.”

No president from Thomas Jefferson to William Howard Taft addressed Congress in person, and what are now known as State of the Union speeches used to be written reports.

The speeches of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who served from 1953 to 1961, filled only 6,618 of the Public Papers of the President, as opposed to those of Clinton, which took up 15,669 pages, according to”