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JACQUELINE KENNEDY, HISTORIC CONVERSATIONS: 7TH CONVERSATION XIII

April 12, 2012

JACQUELINE KENNEDY, HISTORIC CONVERSATIONS: SEVENTH CONVERSATION XIII

Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today JFK+50 continues our report on the seventh conversation from “Jacqueline Kennedy, Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy,” published by Hyperion.


The seventh conversation was recorded on June 3, 1964.

Arthur Schlesinger asks:

“The President made 2 appointments to the Supreme Court, you remember. Byron White* & Arthur Goldberg**.  Did he talk much about the Court….?”

Jacqueline Kennedy answers:

“I remember he was really happy that he’d have 2 appointments to make & I think he thought both of his appointments were good.”

Mrs. Kennedy continues….

“And I know that Justice Frankfurter, he knew wanted him to appoint whoever it was—Paul (Freund).”***

Arthur Schlesinger then mentions William O. Douglas****, a good friend of JFK’s father & brother Bobby.

Jacqueline goes on to say that…

“None of those people were (ever around the White House). Arthur Goldberg used to be around our house in Georgetown a lot….but that was always for breakfast.

And….I said to Jack once (at) some dinner where I sat next to him–‘He’s the biggest egomaniac of any man I’ve ever seen in my life.’ 

And it’s true.  I’ve never seen a man who never stops talking about himself.”

Mrs. Kennedy believes that her husband may have made a mistake by putting Goldberg on the Supreme Court “because that just seems to make (him) think (he is) more & more special.”


*Byron White (1917-2002) earned the nickname ‘Whizzer’ as an All-American football star at Colorado.  He was a Rhode Scholar in London where JFK met him before WWII. 


White was Deputy Attorney General before joining the Supreme Court in April 1962 & according to the book’s footnote, Justice White “proved more conservative than Kennedy….had expected.”


Byron White & RFK, Justice Department, 1961

**Arthur Goldberg, already mentioned on this blog, was JFK’s Secretary of Labor before being appointed to the Supreme Court.

***Paul Freund (1908-1992) was a Harvard Law School professor & giant of constitutional law.

****William O. Douglas (1898-1980), a liberal, civil libertarian & environmentalist, had been a Kennedy family friend since working with Joseph Kennedy, Sr. on the SEC in the 1930s.



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