Monday, 1 November 2010

Ted Sorensen

Ted Sorensen, John F Kennedy's speech writer, has died. He cooperated with JFK to write such famous lines as "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" from the President's inaugural speech. His close relationship with Kennedy was particularly important during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, when he drafted with Bobby Kennedy a letter to Nikita Khrushchev. This careful piece of diplomacy ignored some of Khrushchev's harsher comments but agreed to remove missiles from the US base in Turkey, persuading the Soviets to withdraw their missiles from Cuba. "That's what I'm proudest of," he once said. "Never had this country, this world, faced such great danger. You and I wouldn't be sitting here today if that had gone badly." You can read more about Sorensen here, plus his comments on Kennedy's inaugural speech here.

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