Harry Hawkins Vaughan (November 26, 1893 – May 20, 1981) was a Military Aide to the President (1945–1953) during the presidency of Harry S. Truman. In the White House, he was Truman's closest friend and poker partner. He appeared to many observers at the time, and historians since, as merely a court jester and gift taker.
Harry Hawkins Vaughan was born on November 26, 1893 in Glasgow, Missouri. He attended Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. With the United States' entry into World War I, Vaughan was commissioned second lieutenant in the Field Artillery and was assigned for military training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
During the training, Vaughan befriended another officer, future U.S. President Harry S. Truman. They were both assigned to the 129th Field Artillery Regiment within the 35th Infantry Division and sent to France. Vaughan participated in the Battle of Saint-Mihiel or the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. He served as a liaison officer and battery commander, and for his service in combat, he was later decorated with two Silver Stars and the French Croix de Guerre.
Vaughan returned to active duty in World War II, was injured in a plane crash in 1943, and was assigned to the staff of the Truman Committee. Truman made him his military aide from 1945 to 1953. Vaughan admitted repeated episodes of trading access to the White House for expensive gifts.