The famed speechwriter and politico passed away yesterday. I talked to him once, on the phone. Wanted to confirm something. Mainly, I wanted the chance to talk to him. I had read that, whenever he was asked whether he had written Kennedy’s inaugural address, he answered, “Ask not.” When I quoted that to him, he sort of winced, verbally: “Yes, I said that, but just once: only once.” He was embarrassed about it. (Even though he had admitted nothing, about the speech.) He was of the school of not telling — not telling what you wrote.
I’m glad I made contact with him, even if it was just a phone conversation. A big figure in our political life.