The Speech Writer, Adviser and Close Confidant Who Helped Shape Much of the Media Image of JFK, Dies

Nov 1, 2010  •  Post A Comment

The person who was a speech writer, adviser and condfidant of President John F. Kennedy, and who helped shape much of JFK’s media image, has died, The Washington Post reports. The Post wrote:

"Ted Sorensen, the admired longtime assistant to President John F. Kennedy who provided his chief with many of the words and thoughts that still resonate through American life, died Sunday at New York Presbyterian Hospital of complications from a recent stroke. He was 82."

The article continues, " ‘Sorensen,’ historian Douglas Brinkley wrote two years ago, ‘was the administration’s indispensable man.’ The image of the Kennedy administration as an American Camelot, presided over by the wise, graceful and just, can be traced in considerable degree to Mr. Sorensen’s alluring language, through which the administration presented itself."

The article notes, "Of all of the presidential speeches of the past 100 years, few have had more lasting impact than Kennedy’s inaugural address. In that speech, no sentence is better remembered than the exhortation: ‘Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.’ "

While Sorensen conceded that he worked on that speech, and many say that he wrote that most famous of lines, Sorensen himself always said Kennedy himself came up with that line, the article says.


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