Ted Sorensen: Special Counsel & Adviser, Speechwriter, Lawyer

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Living Dialogues episode 58: Ted Sorensen: Counselor: A Life at the Edge of History

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Theodore (Ted) Sorensen was born in Lincoln, Nebraska on 8th May, 1928. He studied at the University of Nebraska and graduated in 1949. Sorensen developed left-wing political views and was a member of the Americans for Democratic Action. He then went on to obtain a law degree from Nebraska's College of Law. Sorensen moved to Washington where he was an attorney with the Federal Security Agency (1951-53).

Sorensen did some Senate committee staff work for Paul H. Douglas of Illinois. Douglas introduced Sorensen to the recently elected John F. Kennedy. In 1960 Kennedy appointed Sorensen as his special counsel. He also wrote a large number of Kennedy's speeches. He was also the coordinator of planning for domestic policy and had a key role in formulating Kennedy's recommendations to Congress.

In 1964 Sorensen joined a New York City law firm (Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison). He later becoming a television commentator. In 1970, he ran for the New York State Senate. Among his writings are Decision Making in the White House (1963), Kennedy (1965), The Kennedy Legacy (1969), Kennedy Legacy (1970), Watchmen in the Night: Presidential Accountability After Watergate (1975), Different Kind of Presidency: A Proposal for Breaking the Political Deadlock (1984), Let the Word Go Forth: The Speeches, Statements, and Writings of John F. Kennedy (1988), The Kennedy Legacy: A Peaceful Revolution for the Future (1993), Why I Am a Democrat (1996) and Leaders of Our Time: Kennedy (1999).