Ted Sorensen remembered on JFK assassination anniversary - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Ted Sorensen remembered on JFK assassination anniversary

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By: Brittany Paris
bparis@klkntv.com

It's a name that will forever be tied to John F. Kennedy. He was one of the last links to the Kennedy administration, a man credited with helping to shape JFK's image and legacy.

"Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country," one of the most  famous lines in an inaugural address, one that Lincoln native, Ted Sorensen helped craft.

He began working for President Kennedy when he was still Senator Kennedy.

We spoke with Sorensen's daughter, Juliet, who lives in Chicago, over the phone.

"His responsibilities expanded and broadened when he and JFK learned that dad had a knack for putting into words the ideals, values and political plans that JFK held," she said.

They were a team for 11 years, until the President's death 50 years go.

Juliet says her father and Kennedy were good friends.

"They were certainly friends. Kennedy was not only my dad's boss, he was also his mentor."

But that's not to say they weren't different. They were quite different.

Kennedy grew up in a famous and well-to-do family form the East Coast. And Sorensen, raised right here in Lincoln, even attending Lincoln High. The school's theater was named after him in 2010.

But, it's what the two had in common that cemented their friendship.

"They shared a vision for progress and peace in America and the world," Juliet said.

But November 22, 1963 would be the last time Sorensen and the President would see each other.

"He was leaving to fly to Dallas and my father met him as he was getting on the helicopter on the White House lawn an handed him a folder of Texas humor that the President had asked him to put together before the trip," Juliet said. "Both the President and my father were funny, funny people."

President John F. Kennedy was assassinated just after noon at Dealey Plaza in Dallas.

"My dad has described it as the most deeply traumatic event in his life. It was a shock. It was a profound loss and tragedy," Juliet said.

She says her father rarely talked about the death. Rather, he worked to accomplish his and JFK's goals for the country and the world.

Juliet says on this day, she celebrates the President's life.

"Although the day itself is tragic, I like to remember the legacy of what the President accomplished in his life. And again, that's what my dad fought to communicate after the President's death."

Sorensen passed away in October of 2010 from complications of a stroke. He was 82.

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