Mr. Deaver, a Republican official in Santa Clara County, joined Reagan’s staff in the governor’s office in Sacramento in 1967, after working for George Christopher’s campaign against him in the 1966 Republican primary.
He served through two four-year terms, and remained close after Reagan left office by forming a public relations firm with Peter Hannaford that handled Reagan’s appearances, columns and broadcasts. He then worked on Reagan’s unsuccessful 1976 presidential campaign and its successful sequel in 1980. He was deputy chief of staff in the White House from 1981 to 1985.
Mr. Deaver, who was born in Bakersfield, Calif., on April 11, 1938, and graduated from San Jose State College, is survived by his wife, Carolyn; a daughter, Amanda Deaver of Washington; a son, Blair, of Bend, Ore.; three grandchildren; a sister, Susan Wiggins of Tehachapi, Calif.; and a brother, William, of Mojave, Calif.