JFKWHP-AR6295-1H (crop): Special Counsel to the President Theodore C. Sorensen, 25 January 1961

Theodore C. Sorensen is best known for his close association with and dedication to President Kennedy. Serving as a legislative and administrative assistant and speechwriter for Senator Kennedy, Sorensen went on to play an important role in organizing the presidential campaign of 1960, especially efforts to counter anti-Catholic prejudice. He later served as Special Counsel and speechwriter to President Kennedy from 1961 to 1963 and participated in the secret ExComm meetings during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Mr. Sorensen is the author of four books about the Kennedy years, including Kennedy (1965), and Let the Word Go Forth (1988), a selection of the speeches, statements and writings of President Kennedy. He was largely responsible for completing Robert Kennedy's Thirteen Days, based on notes left after RFK's assassination in 1968.



1928 Born, Lincoln, Nebraska

1949 B.S. University of Nebraska

1951 J.D. University of Nebraska

1951 Admitted to Nebraska bar

1951-1952 Attorney, Federal Security Agency

1952 Staff member, U.S. Senate, Joint Committee on Railway Retirement

1953-1959 Secretary, New England Senator’s Conference

1953-1961 Assistant to Senator John. F. Kennedy

1961-1963 Special Counsel to President John F. Kennedy

1963-1964 Special Counsel to President Lyndon B. Johnson

1966-68 Visiting lecturer in public and international affairs, Princeton University

1967-1969 Chairman of Advisory Committee, New York State Democratic Party

1966-1976 National Executive Committee, Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

1966 Admitted to Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court

1966 Admitted to New York State Bar

1966-present Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison law firm, New York City

1968 Advisor, Robert F. Kennedy campaign

1968 Delegate, National Democratic Convention

1970 Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, New York

1971 Admitted to District of Columbia Bar

1971-1973 Commentator on National Affairs for Metromedia Channel 5

1978 Member, President’s Advisory Committee on Trade Negotiations

2010 October 31, died


Decision-Making in the White House: The Olive Branch or the Arrows, foreword by John F. Kennedy, 1963.
Kennedy, 1965.
The Kennedy Legacy, 1969.
Watchmen in the Night: Presidential Accountability after Watergate, 1975.
A Different Kind of Presidency: A Proposal for Breaking the Political Deadlock, 1984.
A Widening Atlantic?: Domestic Change & Foreign Policy (with Ralf Dahrendorf), 1986.
Let the Word Go Forth: The Speeches, Statements, and Writings of John F. Kennedy (selected by and author of introduction), 1988.
Why I Am a Democrat, 1996.
Counselor: A Life at the Edge of History, 2008.


Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2004. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, MI: The Gale Group, 2004.