Congressman Bruce Alger, who engineered the Dallas riot who cost Richard Nixon
Texas, was easily defeated for re-election in LBJ’s 1964 landslide.
Robert B. Anderson, Ike’s choice for president in 1960, supported Lyndon Johnson
in 1964. In March 1987, Anderson pled guilty to income tax evasion from income
received from the Unification Church and to operating an illegal offshore bank in the
British West Indies. Alcoholic and disbarred, Anderson served a month at Allenwood
federal prison camp and five years probation. Anderson died of cancer of the
esophagus in Manhattan on August 14, 1989. He was 79.
Inga Arvad, JFK’s wartime mistress, married 55-year old cowboy star Tim McCoy in
February 1947. Less than seven months later she gave birth. Twenty years later she
told her son Ronald, “I don’t know who your father was for sure. . . . I really don’t know if
it was Jack or Tim. I don’t know.” Arvad, 60, died of cancer at her Nogales, Arizona
ranch on December 12, 1973.
John M. Bailey died at after a two-year battle with throat cancer on April 10, 1975. He
was 70. Monsignor John S. Kennedy delivered the eulogy.
Bobby Baker found himself under Department of Justice investigation when RFK
became Attorney General—some said Bobby’s ultimate target was Johnson himself.
Baker resigned as Secretary to the Senate Majority in October 1963. In January 1967
he was found guilty of seven counts of theft, fraud, and income tax evasions.
Sentenced to three years in Lewisburg Federal Prison (a fellow inmate was Jimmy
Hoffa), Baker served sixteen months.
Lem Billings died of a heart attack at his Manhattan home on May 28, 1981. He was
Chester Bowles never became Secretary of State and soon wore out his welcome as
JFK’s Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. He fared no better with LBJ who
sent him back to India as our ambassador to New Delhi. There he first exhibited signs
of Parkinson’s Disease. He died from that disease and a stroke died on May 25, 1985
at his sprawling Essex, Connecticut home. He was 85.
Joan Braden’s marriage became the focus of her husband’s 1975 book Eight Is
Enough and the subsequent ABC-TV series. Far less wholesome was her own
memoir, Just Enough Rope, which revealed a JFK-attitude toward monogamy. Joan
Braden died of a heart attack suffered at an Alexandria delicatessen on August 30,
1999. She was 77.
Ben Bradlee’s sister-in-law, Mary Meyer became one of JFK’s many affairs. After
Bradlee published Conversations with Kennedy in 1975, Jackie Kennedy, finding it a
violation of personal confidences, never again spoke with him. Reporters at Bradlee’s
Washington Post cracked the Watergate story and forced Richard Nixon from office.
David Brinkley received one vote for vice president at the 1972 Republican National
Convention, which was more support than he felt he had at NBC after Tom Brokaw
arrived. He left the network in 1981, to join ABC. Brinkley died at his Houston home on
June 11, 2003. He was 82.
Edmund G. “Pat” Brown defeated Richard Nixon for the governorship by almost
300,000 votes in 1962 but lost by nearly a million votes to Ronald Reagan in 1966. In
1974 his son Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown, a.k.a “Governor Moonbeam.” Pat Brown died
of a heart attack at his Beverly Hills home on February 16, 1996. He was 90.
A Catholic not only became President of the United States, but with the elevation of
Lyndon Johnson to the vice-presidency and the death of Sam Rayburn, Catholics
(Mike Mansfield and John McCormick, respectively) also became Senate Majority
Leader and Speaker of the House. Nobody seemed to notice.
Dr. Eugene J. Cohen – JFK’s endocrinologist, Asked in 1966 “for a secret historical
record” Dr. Cohen finally admitted that JFK had Addison’s Disease. Dr. Cohen died at
his home on July 16, 1999. He was 87.
Murray M. Chotiner was Richard Nixon’s original choice to head the Republican
National Committee when Nixon finally became President in 1969, but opposition to
Chotiner was too intense, and Nixon never acted on the idea. Instead, Chotiner
eventually became a White House special counsel under H. R. Haldeman. During the
1972 campaign he engaged two reporters (one was Lucianne Goldberg) to spy on the
McGovern camp. Chotiner died in Washington on January 30, 1974 from the effects of
an auto accident. The accident occurred directly behind Teddy Kennedy’s McLean,
Virginia home. Teddy, who did not know Chotiner was involved, called for the
ambulance. Chotiner was 64.
John B. Connally became Richard Nixon’s Secretary of the Treasury in 1971.
Acquitted of bribery charges in 1975, he ran for President as a Republican in 1980,
spending $11 million to secure one delegate. He filed for bankruptcy in 1988. Connolly
died of pulmonary fibrosis in Houston on June 15, 1993. He was 76.
Paul Corbin, RFK’s darkly mysterious campaign operative, was appointed special
assistant to the national Democratic Chairman in 1964, triggering outrage from J.
Edgar Hoover regarding Corbin’s former Communist Party ties. Nonetheless, he not
only survived he leveled charges of graft against his long-time rival Kenny O’Donnell.
He later worked in Bobby’s 1964 Senate campaign (courtesy of the Joseph P.
Kennedy Foundation), operated Nashville’s Country Music Wax Museum, and became
a Washington political consultant. Corbin died of cancer at his Alexandria home on
January 2, 1990. He was 75.
Prof. Archibald Cox became JFK’s Solicitor General. In May 1973 Attorney General
Eliot Richardson named Cox as Watergate Special Prosecutor. Cox’s October 1973
firing touched off the “Saturday Night Massacre” and accelerated Richard Nixon’s
departure from the White House. He served as President of Common Cause from
1980 to 1992. Cox died at his Brooksville, Maine home of natural causes on May 29,
2004. He was 92.
Walter Cronkite became the first news anchor to broadcast news of JFK’s
assassination. LBJ after Cronkite said Vietnam was unwinnable. "If I've lost Walter
Cronkite, I've lost the country." Forced out in March 1981—age 65.
Richard Cardinal Cushing gave Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis a pass (“Why can’t
she marry whoever she wants?”) when she married divorced shipping magnate
Aristotle Onassis in 1968. The Vatican was not amused. Cushing died at his Boston
home on November 2, 1970.
Lar Daly lost numerous elections after 1960, the last being in March 1978, when,
dying from lung disease, he polled a remarkable 74,739 votes against incumbent
United States Senator Charles Percy (his sixth loss for the U.S. Senate), but not before
having sold his Uncle Sam suit for “economic circumstances.” Daly, age 66, died of
lung disease at the Little Company of Mary Hospital at Evergreen Park, Illinois that
April 18. Seventy five persons attended his funeral.
Mayor Richard J. Daley won election to six four years as mayor of Chicago,
becoming the bête-noir of liberal Democrats following his handling of protests at the
1968 Democratic Convention. George McGovern’s forces barred the Daley slate from
1972’s convention. On December 20, 1976 Daley, complaining of chest pains,
suffered a fatal heart attack at his physician’s office. He was 74.
Alicia Darr obtained a Mexican divorce from Edmund Purdom in 1961, promptly
becoming the sixth wife of Singer Sewing Machine heir Alfred Corning Clark, She was
32. He was 45 and dropped dead thirteen days later. In 1963 J. Edgar Hoover let
Robert Kennedy know that he knew about a $500,000 payment to Darr.
Sammy Davis, Jr. and May Britt married on November 13, 1960, five days after the
election. Frank Sinatra was best man; Peter Lawford attended. JFK found Mr. & Mrs.
Davis’s presence at his inaugural embarrassing and disinvited them—Bobby argued
otherwise. The Davis-Britt marriage collapsed in 1968, the same year Davis endorsed
Robert Kennedy for President. In 1972 he endorsed Richard Nixon, appeared at that
year’s Republican Convention. Davis died of throat cancer at his Los Angeles home
on May 16, 1990. He was 64.
William L. Dawson was insincerely “offered” the Postmaster Generalship by JFK,
basically on condition that he refuse it. He remained in Congress, despite increasing
accusations of corruption and links to gambling interests. Dawson died of pneumonia
in Chicago on November 9, 1970. He was 84.
Janet Des Rosiers, Joseph’s P. Kennedy’s mistress and Jack Kennedy’s flight
attendant, became a secretary in the White House and secretary to the ambassador to
France. In the 1990s, after reviewing the text of a biography of her former lover, she
wrote, “I’m mad at myself for giving myself to this man.”
Jimmy “Professor Backwards” Edmondson was robbed, abducted and
murdered—and his 25-year old housekeeper raped—on January 29, 1976 at his
College Park, Georgia home. He was 65.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, bitter that JFK’s election was “the repudiation of everything
I've done for eight years,” retired to his Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, farmhouse, writing
his memoirs, avoiding taking sides in the battle for the 1964 GOP presidential
nomination, and endorsing Richard Nixon in October 1968 as “better than any other
political figure than I have seen or heard” for the presidency. In December 1968 Ike’s
grandson, David Eisenhower, married Richard Nixon’s younger daughter, Julie.
Eisenhower died peacefully at Washington’s Walter Read General Hospital on March
28, 1969. He was 78.
Mamie Dowd Eisenhower died in her sleep at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center
on November 1, 1979. She was 82.
Judith Campbell Exner continued her affair with JFK and claims to have become
pregnant by him, a pregnancy that ended with a JFK-suggested abortion. Exner
revealed their affair with JFK to the U. S. Senate Intelligence Committee in 1975, the
same year she married professional golfer Dan Exner. In 1977 she published her tell-
all memoirs Judith Exner: My Story, later expanded her account to include tales of
being a JFK conduit to the mob. She died of breast cancer in a Duarte, California
hospital on September 2, 1999. She was 65.
John D. Erhlichman became Richard Nixon’s chief White House domestic advisor.
A key player in the Watergate Scandal, in 1975 he was convicted of conspiracy,
obstruction of justice and perjury and served time in federal prison. Erhlichman died
from diabetes at his Atlanta home on February 14, 1999. He was 73.
Paul B. Fay, usher at JFK’s wedding, became JFK’s beard on inauguration night (as
JFK allegedly pursued actress Angie Dickinson) and his Acting Secretary of the Navy
in 1963. He published his memoirs of JFK, The Pleasure of His Company in 1966.
Bobby and Jackie Kennedy pressured him into excising 2,000 words from it. Jackie
refused a $3,000 Fay contribution to the Kennedy Memorial Library.
Robert H. Finch was elected California Lt. Governor in 1966. In 1969 Richard Nixon
appointed him Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, but was soon eased out of
Nixon’s inner circle—thus sparing him any involvement in Watergate. He died of a
heart attack at his Pasadena home on October 10, 1995. He was just a day shy of his
John Kenneth Galbraith became United States ambassador to India in 1961. He
died at a Cambridge, Massachusetts hospital on April 26, 2006. He was 97.
Sam “Momo” Giancana, scheduled to testify before the Senate Select Intelligence
Committee regarding his involvement in plots to assassinate Fidel Castro was, on
June 19, 1975, shot seven times through the head in a basement kitchen of his Oak
Park, Illinois home. He was 67. His murder was never solved
Barry M. Goldwater ran for President against Lyndon Johnson in 1964 and was
crushed, winning but six states, but laying the basis for the conservative takeover of the
Republican Party. He won re-election to the Senate in 1968. Two days after Goldwater
advised Richard Nixon to resign, Nixon did so. Goldwater, suffering from Alzheimer’s
Disease, died of natural causes in Pasadena Valley, Arizona on May 29, 1998. He
Richard N. Goodwin went on to work in the Kennedy and Johnson White Houses (he
coined the phrase “Great Society”), before jumping ship in 1965. In 1968’s turbulent
presidential race, he wrote first for insurgent Eugene McCarthy, then for Bobby
Kennedy—then after RFK’s assassination—for “Clean Gene” once more. It was his
last hurrah politically, from then on he pursued writing—as well former LBJ aide Doris
Kearns, whom he married in December 1975.
H. R. “Bob” Haldeman became Richard Nixon’s White House Chief of Staff. Deeply
implicated in Watergate and other Nixon era dirty tricks, he served 18 months in the
federal Lompoc Correctional Facility. Upon release, Haldeman returned to the
business world and eventually owned Eight Sizzler Family Steak Houses. Unlike John
Erhlichman, he remained a Nixon loyalist. Haldeman died of abdominal cancer at his
Santa Barbara home on November 12, 1993. He was 67.
Leonard W. Hall, Nixon’s 1960 campaign manager, managed Barry Goldwater’s
presidential campaign in 1964 and George Romney’s in 1968, serving as Nelson
Rockefeller’s convention floor manager after Romney dropped out. “I’ve got nothing
against Dick,” he explained regarding why he was still not supporting Nixon, “but he
seems to start out fast and lose ground.” Hall died in Glen Cove, New York on June 2,
1979. He was 78.
Don Hewitt went on to create 60 Minutes in 1968. He retired from CBC News in 2001
at age 81.
J. Edgar Hoover died on May 2, 1972. He was 77 and still director of the FBI.
Howard Hughes, despite—or, perhaps, because of his eccentricities, continued his
dealings with Richard Nixon and his intermediaries. In 1987, Watergate conspirator
Jeb Stuart Magruder revealed that the primary purpose of the break-in at Democratic
National Chairman Larry O’Brien’s Watergate office was “the cash [$100,000] that had
been supposedly given to [Nixon friend] Bebe Rebozo and spent later by the President
possibly.” Hughes died on April 5, 1976. He was 70.
Hubert H. Humphrey became Lyndon Johnson’s running mate in 1964 and narrowly
lost the presidency to 1968. He won election to the United States Senate in 1970,
replacing Eugene McCarthy. He died of cancer at his Waverly, Minnesota home on
January 13, 1978. He was 66.
Dr. Arnold A. Hutschnecker issued a study in 1970 recommending the testing of
seven and eight years old for violent tendencies and their subsequent incarceration in
“camps.” When Gerald Ford became president, reports floated that Hutschnecker had
treated him. Ford vehemently denied it. At Pat Nixon’s funeral, Hutschnecker held his
patient’s hand. Hutschnecker died at his Sherman, Connecticut home on December
28, 2000. He was 102.
Senator Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson died on September 1, 1983 of an aortic
aneurysm following a press conference on the shooting down of Korean Air Flight 007.
He was ***.
Max “Dr. Feelgood” Jacobson – JFK’s amphetamine-injecting physician resumed
treating Jack Kennedy—and Jackie—when the Kennedys reached the White House,
even accompanying them to Europe in 1961, when JFK conferred with DeGaulle and
Khrushchev. Bobby Kennedy, concerned about Jacobson’s treatments, sent samples
of Jacobson’s concoctions to the FBI lab for testing—unfortunately, however, not for
amphetamines. Jacobson lost his license in 1975, after at least one of his patients
died from amphetamine poisoning.
Lady Bird Johnson remained active in conservation and literacy efforts until suffering
a stroke in 2002. She died at her Austin home of natural causes on July 11, 2007. She
Lyndon Baines Johnson was going to be dumped from the ticket in 1964. He died
of a heart attack at his Johnson City, Texas ranch on January 22, 1973. He was
reaching for his phone. Johnson was 64.
Edward M. “Teddy” Kennedy won elected to the United States Senate in 1962, saw
his presidential ambitions virtually extinguished in July 1969 by the Chappaquiddick
incident and the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, and ran, nonetheless, unsuccessfully for
the presidency in 1980.
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy married billionaire Aristotle Onassis in 1968. When
he died in 1975, she never remarried, though she maintained a close relationship with
Maurice Templesman., a Belgian-American diamond merchant and investor who
managed her considerable fortune. She worked at Doubleday, distinguished herself at
various New York City preservation issues, most notably that of Grand Central Station,
never granted interviews, and never commented regarded her life with the Kennedys.
She died at her Fifth Avenue apartment of cancer of the lymphatic system on May 19,
1994. She was 64.
Joseph Patrick Kennedy never fully recovered from his stroke, residing in seclusion
either at Palm Beach or Hyannis Port. After suffering a series of heart attacks Kennedy
died at his Hyannis Port home on November 18, 1969. He was 81.
Robert F. Kennedy, on Joe Kennedy’s orders, became Attorney General of the
United States. He chafed under Lyndon Johnson’s White House leadership, won
election to the United States Senate from New York in 1964 and, following Eugene
McCarthy’s lead, sought the presidency in 1968. On June 6, 1968 after defeating
McCarthy in the California, he was assassinated by Palestinian immigrant Sirhan B.
Sirhan at Los Angeles’s Ambassador Hotel. He was 42.
Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy survived her husband, four children, and two
grandchildren. A 1984 stroke left her wheelchair bound. She died of pneumonia at her
white, clapboard Hyannis Port home on January 22, 1995. She was 104.
Rosemary Kennedy, JFK’s lobotomized sister, remained at St. Coletta’s School until
her death on January 7, 2005. She was 86 and the first of the Kennedy siblings to die a
natural death. “I will never forgive Joe for that awful operation he had performed on
Rosemary. It is the only thing I have ever felt bitter towards him about.”
Otto Kerner, Richard Daley candidate for governor in 1960, went to jail in 1974 for
official corruption after the woman who bribed him listed her bribe on federal income
tax forms as a business expense. Kerner died of cancer in Chicago on May 9, 1976.
Clennon King moved to Africa, went to San Quentin in 1966, changed his name to
Lenin Lamumba Abdullah, served four years, ran for governor of Georgia, and, on the
eve of the 1976 election, attempted to integrate Jimmy Carter’s Plains Baptist Church,
was convicted of vote buying, and, in 1999, ran for the house seat vacated by newt
Gingrich. King died of prostate cancer on February 12, 2000. He was 79. His niece,
Oona, was then serving as a member of the British House of Commons.
Herbert G. Klein – Nixon’s press secretary became Editor-in-Chief of the Copley
Senator William F. Knowland, Nixon’s earliest rival for the 1960 nomination,
returned to the family business, publishing the Oakland Tribune. On February 23, 1974,
near to his Monte Rio, California summer home, Knowland, $900,000 in personal debt,
blew his brains out with a .32 caliber automatic pistol. He was 65.
Arthur Krock finally realized he had been used by the Kennedys and in November
1961 painfully wrote to Kennedy’s representatives to be taken off the Kennedy
Christmas list to receive a case of Haig & Haig. He died in Washington of natural
causes on April 12, 1974. He was 87.
Lady May Lawford penned a memoir delicately titled Bitch!: The Autobiography of
Lady Lawford. She died at Monterey Park, California convalescent home on January
23, 1972. She was 83—and remained a subject of her Queen.
Peter Lawford divorced Pat Kennedy in 1966 but re-married three times (once to the
daughter of twenty-something daughter of comedian Dan Rowan). Lawford entered the
Betty Ford Clinic for drug and alcohol rehabilitation in early 1984. Lawford died in Los
Angeles on December 24, 1984. He was 61. None of the Rat Pack attended his
funeral at Westwood Village Mortuary. In May 1988, his funeral expenses still unpaid,
Westwood authorities dug up his remains and handed them over to the family.
Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. served as JFK’s ambassador to South Vietnam, LBJ’s
ambassador to West Germany, and Richard Nixon’s chief delegate to the Paris Peace
Talks and Special Envoy to the Vatican. In 1964 he won the New Hampshire
Republican primary on a write-in vote. Lodge died after a long illness at his Beverly,
Massachusetts home on February 27, 1985. He was 82.
Eugene J. McCarthy challenged LBJ for the 1968 Democratic nomination, similarly
failed to secure the Democratic nomination in 1972, and pursued quixotic third-party
presidential bids in 1976 and 1988. He died at a Washington retirement center of
Parkinson’s Disease on December 10, 2005. He was 89.
James M. McInerney, the Kennedy family operative who discovered the Nixon-
Hughes loan died, in Washington on October 8, 1963,a car going 70 miles per hour
ran a red light and crashed into his vehicle. He was 58.
Albert Maltz couldn’t write the screenplay The Execution of Private Slovik for
Democrat Frank Sinatra could for Two Mules for Sister Sara for Republican Clint
Eastwood. He died from complications resulting from shingles in Los Angeles on April
26, 1985. He was 76. In 1997 the Writers Guild restored his screenwriting credits for
such films as The Robe and The Defiant Ones.
Sig Mickelson was canned as head of CBS News in December 1960, replaced by
Richard S. Salant. In 1975, much as Murrow became head of the USIA, Mickelson
became President of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. He died in San Diego on
March 24, 2000. He was 86.
The “Missile Gap,” indeed, never existed, though JFK still referenced it as late as
March 1961. Indeed, his Defense Secretary Robert McNamara admitted it to the press
as early as February 6 that year though he soon had to publicly backtrack.
Wayne Morse was one of only to two United States senators to vote against LBJ’s
Golf of Tonkin resolution. He lost his Senate seat in 1968 and, in 1972, lost a bid to re-
enter the Senate against incumbent Mark Hatfield, who had nominated Richard Nixon
on in 1976. He tried again in 1974, but died that July 22. He was 73.
Edward R. Murrow swallowed his antipathy to the Kennedys to become the $21,000-
a-year head of JFK’s United States Information Agency (USIA), America’s overseas
propaganda arm. Wasted by spreading lung cancer, he resigned in 1964, and died at
his 280-acre Pawling, New York farm on April 27, 1965. He was 57.
F. Donald Nixon became, in 1970, vice president for community and industry for the
Marriott Corporation. He died from cancer in Whittier, California on June 27, 1987. He
Patricia Nixon, in increasingly poor health, disappeared from public view after leaving
the White House. She died of lung cancer at her Park Ridge, New Jersey home on
June 22, 1993. She was 81.
Richard Milhous Nixon, in a surprising reasonably successful effort at resurrecting
himself, once more, issued numerous memoirs (“History will be very kind to me,
because I intend to write it,” he once quoted Winston Churchill) and books on politics
and foreign policy. After suffering a stroke at his New Jersey home, Nixon died at a
Manhattan hospital on April 22, 1994. He was 81.
Bill Moyers became the Peace Corps’ first associate director of public affairs, then
served in a variety of roles for Lyndon Johnson, including press secretary, finally
breaking with Johnson and leaving the administration. Since 1971 he has worked in
broadcasting, primarily for PBS but also for CBS, NBC, and MSNBC.
Lawrence F. O’Brien directed LBJ’s 1964 and Hubert Humphrey’s 1968 presidential
campaigns (as well as working as Johnson’s Postmaster General). As Democratic
National Chairman, he served as primary target for the Watergate break-in. He served
as Commissioner of the National Basketball Association from 1975 through 1984 and
later as President of the National Basketball Hall of Fame in his Springfield,
Massachusetts hometown. O’Brien died from cancer in Manhattan on September 28,
1990. He was 73.
Kenneth P. O’Donnell faced charges of massive graft made by fellow Democratic
operative Paul Corbin and passed on to JFK by reporter and longtime JFK friend
Charles Bartlett just before his assassination. O’Donnell, nonetheless, managed RFK’
s 1968 presidential bid and was present—as he was with JFK—when RFK was shot.
Twice—without Kennedy family approval—he unsuccessfully sought the Democratic
nomination for governor of Massachusetts. In 1970, he wrote in Life magazine, that his
chief, JFK, had chosen LBJ for the vice-presidency because he feared he could not
“live with Lyndon Johnson as the leader of a small Senate majority.” O’Donnell, an
alcoholic, died in Boston on September 9, 1977. His family refused to release details.
He was 53.
George Berham Parr, who gave Lyndon his 78-vote landslide in 1948, facing prison
for perjury and tax evasion, blew his brains out in a pasture near Alice, Texas on April
1, 1975. He was 74.
Dr. Norman Vincent Peale officiated at the December 1968 wedding of Richard
Nixon’s daughter to Dwight Eisenhower’s grandson David. Peale, 95, died of a stroke
at his Pawling, New York home at December 23, 1993.
Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. did become chairman of the House Education and Labor
Committee in 1961. Better still, the RFK Justice Department dropped income tax
evasion charges against him. Excluded from the House in March 1967 on charges of
nepotism and junketeering, he returned in June 1969 but was defeated for re-
nomination in 1970. Stricken in the Bahamas, he died at a Miami hospital on April 4,
1972. He was 63.
David F. Powers, with Kenny O’Donnell, helped plan JFK’s route through Dallas on
November 22, 1963, and for months afterward was wracked by headaches as he
recalled the sight of a bullet smashing into the base of his friend’s skull. He served as
curator of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library from 1965 through 1994, taking
time out for RFK’s 1968 presidential effort. Powers died of cardiac arrest in Arlington,
Massachusetts on March, 27, 1998. He was 85.
Francis Gary Powers was released in a 1962 spy-swap with the Soviet Union. He
died on August 1, 1977 when the Bell Jet Ranger helicopter he piloted for Los Angeles
TV station KNBC malfunctioned and crashed onto an Encino Little League field.
Powers was 47.
PT-109 rested 1,300 hundred feet below the surface of the Pacific until located in July
2002 in Blackett Straight in the Solomon Islands by Dr. Robert Barrett, who, in 1985,
had discovered the wreck of the Titanic, and, in 1989, the Bismark.
Ronald Reagan finally became a Republican, energized national conservatives in
1964 with his televised “A Time for Choosing” speech for Barry Goldwater in 1964,
defeated Pat Brown for Governor of California in 1966 and briefly challenged Richard
Nixon for the 1968 presidential nod before winning the presidency in 1980 and 1984.
Jackie Robinson supported Nelson Rockefeller’s 1964 and 1968 (he was by then
Rocky’s community relations director) presidential bids. When Nixon won the GOP
nod, Robinson resigned from Rockefeller’s staff and endorsed Hubert Humphrey. In
declining health from diabetes (he lost the sight of one eye) and heart disease, and
despondent from the 1971 death of his 24-year old, drug-addicted son from an auto
accident, Robinson died in Stamford, Connecticut on October 24, 1972. He was 53.
Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller lost the Republican presidential nomination to Barry
Goldwater in 1964 and to Richard Nixon in 1968. He resigned the governorship of New
York in December 1973, and, in December 1974, was named vice-president by
President Gerald Ford. The 70-year old Rockefeller died of a heart attack at his 13
West 54th Street townhouse on January 26, 1979, under suspicious circumstances in
the company of 26-year old $60,000-a-year aide Megan R. Marshack. His 64-page will
forgave the $45,000 lent to purchase her 25 West 54th Street one-bedroom apartment.
Edward A. “Ted” Rogers, Nixon’s hapless television advisor, had trouble finding
work after the 1960, branded as the man who engineered perhaps the single most
disastrous appearance in television history. Finally, Len Hall wrote a personal letter to
Rogers, verifying that it wasn’t Rogers’s fault—it was Nixon’s. He wrote a novel, Face
to Face, strangely enough about a flawed candidate in a presidential debate, bought
two radio stations and never worked for Richard Nixon again. Rogers died in Sarasota
on March 13, 2003. He was 82.
Norma Jean Rojas, who stabbed her husband in an argument over watching JFK on
TV, received a sentence of five years to life.
Eleanor Roosevelt really did want JFK to appoint Adlai Stevenson Secretary of State
and when Kennedy failed to do so, her attitudes toward him reverted more to form, so
much so that she pointedly refused his invitation to take a place on the platform at his
inaugural. Mrs. Roosevelt died after a six week illness (anemia which worsened into
tuberculosis) at her 55 East 74th Street home on November 7, 1962—the same day
Richard Nixon informed the press they would have him “to kick around anymore.” The
only non-family member allowed to see her during her illness was Adlai Stevenson.
She was 78.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr. had hoped to become JFK's Secretary of the Navy, but
Robert McNamara dismissed him as a “drunk and a womanizer.” Instead, Kennedy,
remembering his service in the West Virginia primary, appointed Roosevelt to the
Appalachian Regional Commission and as Undersecretary of Commerce. He ran
unsuccessfully—some said as a third-party spoiler—for Governor of New York in 1966.
FDR, Jr. died on August 17, 1988, in Poughkeepsie, New York. He was 74.
James H. Rowe, Jr. managed Hubert Humphrey’s ill-fated 1968 campaign, nearly
pulling off a come-from-behind repeat of the 1948 Truman victory. He died at his
Washington home on June 17, 1984 after a long illness. He was 75.
Mort Sahl’s career nose-dived following JFK’s election. “It was all right when I was
making jokes about the other guys,” he revealed, “but when I started on the Kennedys,
the liberals tried to destroy me. I went from earnings of $600,000 in 1962 to $19,000 in
Pierre Salinger served briefly as a United States Senator from California in 1964,
losing that November to Republican George Murphy. He assisted in RFK’s 1968
presidential bid and later became Paris and later European bureau chief for ABC
News. His reputation suffered a devastating blow when he claimed inside information
that turned out to be spurious, regarding the downing of Trans World Airlines Flight 800
over Long Island. He permanently moved to France after the election of George W.
Bush. Salinger died in LeThor, France on October 16, 2004. He was 79.
Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. became part of the Kennedy White, resigning when
Lyndon Johnson assumed the presidency. Often denounced as “a Kennedy courtier,”
he, nonetheless, turned won the National Book Award for his 1989 portrait of Robert
Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and His Times. suffered a heart attack at a lower Manhattan
restaurant and died on February 28, 2007. He was 89.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s daughter Maria (five years and two days old on Election
Day 1960) became an NBC News correspondent and, in 2003, First Lady of
California, when her husband, actor and Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, became
governor of that state.
R. Sargent Shriver nearly became the vice-presidency candidate in both 1964 and
1968—but found his ambitions thwarted by Kennedy family members. He served as
George McGovern’s 1972 running mate, after McGovern dropped the star-crossed
Senator Thomas F. Eagleton—like Shriver, also a Catholic—from the ticket. Shriver
sought the presidency himself in 1976 but attracted little support. His only daughter,
Maria, married actor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1986, later becoming First Lady of
California. Shriver now suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease.
Frank Sinatra oversaw Jack Kennedy’s spectacular inaugural gala but, as his mob
ties became increasingly noticeable and embarrassing, found himself never invited to
Kennedy White House—and particularly steamed when JFK spurned his invitation to
be his Palm springs house guest in favor of staying with old rival (and Republican) Bing
Crosby. Richard Nixon, however, invited Sinatra to sing The House I Live In and wept
supported Reagan in 1980. Sinatra died at Los Angeles’s Cedars-Sinai Medical
Center on May 14 1982. He was 82.
Senator George A. Smathers served in the Senate until 1968, later selling his Key
Biscayne home to Richard Nixon. Smathers died of a stroke in Indian Creek Village,
Florida on January 20, 2007. He was 93.
Howard K. Smith, moderator of the first Kennedy-Nixon debate, left CBS for ABC. He
died on February 15, 2002. He was 87.
Stephen E. Smith oversaw the $300 million Kennedy family financial empire following
Joe Kennedy’s incapacitation and managed RFK’s 1968 White House bid. Smith died
of cancer at his Manhattan home on August 19, 1990. “There wouldn’t have a Camelot
without Steve Smith,” mourned Teddy Kennedy. Smith was 62.
Theodore C. Sorensen opened up JFK’s medical records to historian Robert Dallek.
Charles F. “Chuck” Spalding, the friend who recommended Dr. Max Jacobson to
JFK, remarried twice, each time to wealthy women. He died of myeloma, a form of
cancer, at his Hillsborough, California home on December 28, 1999. He was 81.
Francis Cardinal Spellman died from the effects of a massive stroke at Manhattan’s
St. Vincent’s Hospital on December 2, 1967. He was 78.
Adlai E. Stevenson was sorely disappointed not to be named Secretary of State.
Instead, Stevenson served as John Kennedy’s Ambassador to the United Nations,
most notably during with Cuba Missile Crisis of 1962 and less notably (thanks to
misinformation fed him from Washington) during the Bay of Pigs fiasco. Stevenson
died unexpectedly from a heart attack while strolling on a London street on July 14,
1965. He was 65.
Charles L. Sullivan, Constitution Party of Texas nominee, after running again for
Mississippi governor in 1963, captured the lieutenant governorship in 1967.
Stuart Symington retired from the United States Senate in 1977. He died in his sleep
at his New Canaan, Connecticut home on December 14, 1988. He was 87.
Dr. Janet G. Travell remained White House physician until 1965. Like Dr. Cohen, she
also finally admitted JFK suffered from Addison’s Disease. Dr. Travell died at
Northampton, Massachusetts on August 1, 1997. She was 95. Two separate
obituaries of her ran in The New York Times. Neither mentioned Addison’s Disease.
Harry S Truman died in Kansas City on December 26, 1972. He was 88.
Pamela Turnure became First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s press secretary.
Jack Valenti married LBJ’s personal secretary in 1962—and Lyndon gave the bride
away. After JFK’s assassination, Valenti joined Johnson’s White House staff ("I sleep
each night a little better, a little more confidently, because Lyndon Johnson is my
president."). He became President of the Motion Picture Alliance of America in 1966,
oversaw creation of the film industry’s rating system, retiring in 2004. Valenti died on
April 26, 2007 at his Washington home from the complications of a stroke. He was 85.
Gore Vidal, somewhat tipsy, in November 1961, to steady himself, placed his on
Jackie Kennedy’s bare shoulder. Robert Kennedy objected. They had words (as Vidal
had with Lem Billings and JFK himself), and Vidal was never invited back to the White
House and in 1964 enlisted in the anti-RFK “Democrats for Keating.”
Bill Walton, painter, politician, and journalist, became chairman of the U. S.
Commission on Fine Arts (which actually oversaw much more than fine arts; in that
capacity he oversaw construction on the District of Columbia’s Metro) and increasingly
served as Jackie Kennedy’s confidant. He worked on RFK’s 1964 and 1968
campaigns before returning to writing. He was found dead at his New York City loft on
December 18, 1994. He was 85.
Theodore H. White won the Pulitzer Prize for The Making of the President, going on
to issue 1964, 1968, 1972, and 1976 versions of that volume. Working on his
autobiography at his Manhattan townhouse in 1986, White suffered a massive stroke,
dying six days later, on May 9, 1986. He was 71.
John Wayne supported Richard Nixon for President in 1968 and 1972, addressing
the 1968 Republican Convention. He died from cancer of the lower abdomen at UCLA
Medical Center on June 11, 1979. He was 72. Before he died, Congress voted the
Duke its Medal of Honor. Its previous recipient was Robert F. Kennedy.
Harris Wofford helped found the Peace Corps, served as president of two colleges,
and was appointed to the United States Senate from Pennsylvania in 1991.