Howie Franklin
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Howie Franklin

Fee Range1: $ 2500 - $5000

Flight steward for five US presidents


Spouse ProgramsWhite House


North Carolina


Howie Franklin

Howie FranklinFlight steward for five US presidents

Howie Franklin is the only Flight Steward who worked for five U.S. Presidents: Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton. “I’d love to hear the rest of your stories,” said Al Roker during a recent interview with Franklin on The Today Show. With over 300 stories to tell of working around Presidents, First Ladies, Vice Presidents, Cabinet Secretaries, VIP guests and U.S. press corps, he has enough “behind the scenes” information to hold the attention of any audience. 

“Howie knows all of your inner secrets (on Air Force One), when you can’t take the pressure, when you’re tired and crying and sleeping on the floor. . ..The perception on the outside is always different from the inside,” said Marlin Fitzwater, former Press Secretary to President’s Reagan and Bush. 

When he was promoted to the crew of Air Force One in 1976, it was on the tail end of the Ford administration. He was told not to get attached – a change in presidents could mean a switch in crew. But “he survived a lot of administrations because he gave good service with a smile, he was dedicated and trustworthy, he did his job without criticism and without complaint,” complements Fitzwater. 

Franklin enlisted in the Air Force at age 20 with a single aspiration: to see the world. He began in 1965 preparing meals for B-52 flight crews in Guam. At various career stops, he cooked for and served generals, secretaries of defense, secretaries of state, and heads of state. 

Franklin ended up spending 29 years in the Air Force, reaching the rank of Chief Master Sergeant, 24 years at Andrews Air Force Base in Special Missions Operations, including his 18 years on Air Force One. In addition to his experience with five Presidents, Franklin flew exclusively with Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State, on Shuttle Diplomacy missions during the Nixon and Ford Administrations. 

Early on, his years waiting on the jet-set crowd at ritzy Talisman Yacht Club on Fire Island, Franklin eventually found the White House types modest by comparison. “That job gave me an edge,” Franklin says. “It prepared me.” He worked for people like Ahmed Erdigan, President of Atlantic Record Company; Leonard Holzer, a Manhattan developer; Carol Channing, Bill Cullen, Victor Lowns, former New York Playboy Club Manager, and Happy Rockefeller. His exposure to the rich and famous taught him a fact he took with him through his years on Air Force One, famous people were just human. 

Currently, Franklin serves as President of the North Carolina Airport’s Association and is the Director of Brunswick County Airport in southeastern North Carolina.

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