Here's a tiny story about JFK calling his Dad

Monday, November 18, 2013 - 02:48 PM

U.S. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy signs the order of naval blockade of Cuba, on October 24, 1962 in White House, Washington DC, during the Cuban missiles crisis. (AFP/Getty Images)

Ted Sorenson on JFK

Ted Sorenson was John F. Kennedy's speechwriter and chief legislative aide. 

We spoke to Sorenson in October 2010, the month he died. It was the 50th anniversary of the JFK-Nixon debates, famous in media lore as the moment that being telegenic became important in American politics. Kennedy, the legend goes, looked like a movie star, while Nixon looked nervous, sweaty, and untrustworthy. 

Anyway. Sorenson gave us this tiny image of Kennedy after the debates that I've always liked and which we had to cut from the interview for time. It's small. The first debates just finished, and Sorenson and Kennedy are leaving. Here's Sorenson:

He and I were walking off that soundstage together, and passed a pay telephone. And the millionaire Senator turns to me and says, “Got any change?” So I fished a quarter out of my pocket and gave it to him, and he called his father. And I heard him say, "What’d you think Dad?"

I stepped back a few paces but I could see a smile light his face. They talked a little awhile. Finally he said, "Thanks Dad, I gotta go to Ohio." And he hung up and he turned to me and he said, “That’s the great thing about my father. If I had just fallen flat on my face out there. He would’ve said Jack, the way you picked yourself up the floor was magnificent.

 

Tags:

More in:

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Supported by

 

Embed the TLDR podcast player

TLDR is a short podcast and blog about the internet by PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman. You can subscribe to our podcast here. You can follow our blog here. We’re also on Twitter, and we play Team Fortress 2 more or less constantly, so find us there if you like to communicate via computer games from six years ago.

Subscribe to Podcast iTunes RSS

Feeds