JFK Historian: Kennedy 'Was a Joy Bringer'

"The Making of the President" author Theodore H. White discusses President Kennedy's qualities.
3:00 | 10/21/13

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Transcript for JFK Historian: Kennedy 'Was a Joy Bringer'
History is being made to rapidly and I have here with me whether he likes the title in the accolade or not. -- a journalist. Who occupies a peculiarly distinctive position. As a historian of John F. Kennedy in the Kennedy administration. This is Theodore H white. Who wrote the best selling book called the making of the president which won a Pulitzer Prize for its journalistic and repertory -- excellence. A tour de force in the estimation of this the humble estimation of this journalist. And it's only appropriate that. Mr. white who is done here on a special assignment. Be asked. Not to give his private thoughts. About this sad interval at the moment. But to measure -- Kennedy the man is he knew him and he knew him as well or better than most of us who covered him. From day today. -- Neither one of us thought at the time. Three years ago this very month minus about two weeks. That we would be again together. Today in a completely different set of circumstances you recall if we spent the night. In Hyannis -- at the armory covering the exciting and then inconclusive returns. Which finally resulted days later in the election of John F. Kennedy but I remember vividly that you and I walked back to our. Miserable little motel quarters along -- Larry O'Brien at 4 o'clock that morning. And we weren't sure nobody was sure at that point what the outcome was now we've got an outcome which we are sure. In this interval. As you have observed and watched Kennedy the campaign or the candidate -- president elect and the president. What is there about him that. Struck you most. I suppose it would sound. But his kindly -- He had. Such a -- given reputation for ruthlessness and harshness. He was -- joy -- bring. A man who -- you could not sit with -- at the table except. To be wrong sometimes you have to remind yourself. That this was the president of the United States. He had. Such a tremendous range of qualities I suppose he appeared to many of us -- dozens of people to be. To express best what they thought. Good night. And Hyannis Port. I think very few people remembered just came to me now what he said that morning when he accepted. The election he said. The margin is thin but the responsibility. Is clear. And that responsibility. He -- Mobley advanced. And so clearly saw. But he will go down -- know is one of the greatest presidents in American history and most people will not recognize that for another decade hence.

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