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Pierre Emil George Salinger
Lieutenant (jg), United States Navy
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 From contemporary press reports:

17 October 2004:

Pierre Salinger, JFK Press Secretary, Dies in France

PARIS - Pierre Salinger, press secretary to the late U.S. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson and a distinguished journalist, died of a heart attack on Saturday, his family said on Sunday. He was 79.

Pierre Sallinger PHOTO

Salinger, who moved to southern France following the election of President Bush, died at a hospital near his home in Le Thor, France, his wife told The Washington Post.

French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin paid tribute to Salinger as a "passionate journalist and writer...(who) contributed unfailingly, through his action and his talent, to improving the ties of friendship which unite our two countries."

"What remains of him is that he was an outstanding father, then there is his political commitment with the Kennedys, to try and advance an open and optimistic vision of the world," Salinger's son Gregory said on France's LCI television.

Nicole, his fourth wife, said her husband had loved the southeastern Provence areas because it gave him "a sense of freedom, because he was in France, because he felt at home in France and was always pleased to be here."

French news reports said he would be laid to rest in the Arlington National Cemetery where Kennedy is also buried.

Salinger rose from a newspaper reporter in San Francisco to a top position at the White House before he was 40, the Post reported in Sunday editions.

He was an appointed senator from California for five months, wrote books and became ABC's Paris bureau chief, and chief foreign correspondent for ABC News.

Salinger won a number of prestigious journalism prizes, including a George Polk award for his 1981 scoop that the U.S. government was secretly negotiating to free the Americans held hostage by Iran.

LAST DAYS IN FRANCE

Salinger had been ill, Nicole told the Post in a telephone interview from their home. They moved there four years ago from London and Washington.

"He was very upset with the electoral system in the States," she told the newspaper. "He said, 'If George Bush is elected president, I will leave the country,' and we did."

Salinger worked for both John and Robert Kennedy on their presidential campaigns, and for George McGovern in 1972. He was White House press secretary from 1961 to 1964 and ran the first live televised presidential news conference in 1961.

He was born in San Francisco to a French-born mother and a father who was a mining engineer, the Post reported.

Salinger enlisted in the Navy at 17 during World War II, finished his degree at the University of San Francisco and then began work at the San Francisco Chronicle.

He worked for Collier's magazine in the mid-1950s before becoming an investigator with Robert Kennedy on the Senate anti-racketeering committee from 1957 to 1959, when he went to work for Sen. John F. Kennedy, according to the newspaper.

In the 1990s, he insisted the public stories on two major airline crashes were wrong.

He said the 1988 crash of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, was a Drug Enforcement Agency operation that went wrong. He also said TWA Flight 800 was shot down near Long Island by a stray Navy missile in 1996.


Pierre Salinger, JFK Aide, Dies at 79
Sunday October 17, 2004
By PAMELA SAMPSON
Courtesy of the Associated Press

PARIS - Pierre Salinger, who served as President John F. Kennedy's press secretary and later had a long career with ABC News, has died at a hospital in southern France, his wife said Sunday.

Salinger, 79, died Saturday from heart failure following surgery last week to implant a pacemaker, Nicole ``Poppy'' Salinger said in a telephone interview. She spoke from Le Thon, near Avignon in the Provence region, where the couple moved four years ago to run a bed-and-breakfast inn.

His wife said Salinger was so deeply opposed to the presidency of George W. Bush that he left the United States for France.

Pierre Sallinger PHOTO

``He was very upset because he thought Bush was not fit to be president. He said he would leave if Bush became president and he did,'' Mrs. Salinger said.

He did the same in 1968 after the assassination of Robert Kennedy, she said.

``He said, 'They're killing all the Kennedys, and he left,'' she said.

The cultured and outspoken Salinger rose from the ranks of newspaper journalism to become press secretary to Kennedy and eventually a trusted member of the family's inner circle. He and Jacqueline Kennedy stayed in contact for many years following Kennedy's assassination, Mrs. Salinger said.

Salinger, who also served as press secretary for President Lyndon Johnson, said Kennedy was a ``special man'' who surrounded himself with advisers who ``believed in each other'' and in a common mission.

``There was no barrier on the president's door,'' Salinger wrote in McCall's magazine in 1988. ``Any of his dozen principal staffers could see him when they wanted to. They didn't need permission from a chief of staff to gain access.''

A longtime print journalist, Salinger switched to television reporting when he joined ABC in 1977. In the years following he worked as the network's Paris bureau chief, chief foreign correspondent and senior editor in London.

He had left the network by 1997, when he became a prominent backer of the theory that TWA Flight 800, which crashed off Long Island in 1996 on a flight to Paris, was accidentally brought down by a Navy missile.

Salinger had said at the time that a government document showed the Navy was testing missiles off the coast of New York, and had been told planes would be flying higher than 21,000 feet. The Navy was unaware that Flight 800 was flying at 13,000 feet because another commercial plane was flying above it, he said.

The National Transportation Safety Board found no evidence of a missile strike. It concluded that Flight 800 was destroyed by a center fuel tank explosion, probably caused by a spark from a short-circuit in the wiring that ignited vapors in the tank.

Salinger's oldest son, Stephen, said his father's health had declined noticeably when he last saw him at his home in France four weeks ago.

Although his eyes twinkled at a gift of his favorite Punch Punch Cuban cigars, ``his vocabulary was limited to only a few words,'' Stephen Salinger said from his home in Los Angeles. ``That was OK, because among the few words he could still remember and words every son wants to hear. He said 'I love you.'

``It's the first time in my life I wasn't going to receive a prognosis on the upcoming election,'' Stephen Salinger said.

Mrs. Salinger said her husband suffered from aphasia and was not able to speak, but otherwise was very aware of his surroundings and recognized and enjoyed the company of his friends and family.

Born on June 14, 1925, in San Francisco, Pierre Emil George Salinger first worked on the editorial staff of the San Francisco Chronicle from 1942 to 1943. He resigned from the newspaper to enlist in the Navy, where he commanded a sub chaser in the Pacific during World War II. He was honorably discharged with the rank of lieutenant in 1946.

Salinger, who graduated from the University of San Francisco in 1947, returned to the Chronicle after the war before leaving to join Collier's Magazine as a contributing editor in 1955. Two years later, he joined Kennedy's senatorial staff and served as his press officer in the 1960 presidential campaign.

Kennedy, Salinger said, ``was not a perfect man. ... For all his loftiness of purpose, he did not take himself that seriously. He had no great vision of himself as a political or intellectual giant.''

But Salinger said Kennedy learned from his mistakes, citing private correspondence between Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita Krushchev that he said showed ``two leaders of confrontational powers groping toward understanding.''

Once while he was press secretary, a journalist asked him directly about Kennedy's sex life, Salinger said in a 1993 Washingtonian interview.

``I gave him a 1960s answer, not a 1990s answer: 'Look, he's the president of the United States. He's got to work 14 to 16 hours a day. He's got to run foreign and domestic policy. If he's got time for mistresses after all that, what the hell difference does it make?' The reporter laughed and walked out. That was the end of the story. For sure, I couldn't get away with that in the '90s.''

After Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963, Salinger served under Johnson before being appointed to complete the term of Sen. Clair Engle, D-Calif., who died in office. But Salinger lost his 1964 bid to keep the job to one-time Hollywood song-and-dance man George Murphy.

After his political career, Salinger worked as a correspondent for the French news magazine L'Express, and later for ABC.

Salinger, whose mother was French, lived some 19 years in Paris, although later made his home in New York. In 1978, the French awarded him the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, France's highest civilian honor, for increasing understanding between the two nations.

He is survived by his fourth wife, Nicole, and two sons, Stephen and Gregory. He had two other children who died.

Salinger's wish was to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery following Mass at Holy Trinity Church in Georgetown, his wife said.


Pierre Salinger Dies at 79; Press Secretary for JFK, LBJ
By Patricia Sullivan
Courtesy of the Washington Post
Sunday, October 17, 2004

Pierre Emil George Salinger, 79, press secretary to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson and chief European correspondent for ABC News, died of a heart attack October 16, 2004, at a hospital near his home in Le Thor, France, his wife said.

Mr. Salinger, a witty, debonair bon vivant, rose from a newspaper reporter in San Francisco to a top position at the White House before he was 40. He was an appointed senator from California for five months, wrote books and became ABC's Paris bureau chief. His journalistic reputation was besmirched in the 1990s, however, after his insistence that two major airline crashes were not what they seemed.

Pierre Sallinger PHOTO
Salinger in his White House office in 1961. He was adept at
leaking news and suggesting stories to reporters.

He said the 1988 explosion of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, was a Drug Enforcement Agency operation that went wrong -- a theory for which no evidence materialized. He also fell for a hoax document found on the Internet that claimed that TWA Flight 800 was shot down near Long Island, New York., by a stray Navy missile in 1996; investigators concluded that it was blown up by a spark in its fuel tank.

Until those incidents, Mr. Salinger enjoyed a reputation as a reporter with sources in the intelligence communities of the world. He won a number of prestigious journalism prizes, including a George Polk award for his 1981 scoop that the U.S. government was secretly negotiating to free the Americans held hostage in Iran.

Mr. Salinger had recently been ill, said his fourth wife, Nicole, in a telephone interview from their home in Le Thor, Provence, where she runs a bed-and-breakfast. They moved there four years ago from London and Washington.

"He was very upset with the electoral system in the States," she said. "He said, 'If George Bush is elected president, I will leave the country,' and we did."

Always a Democrat, Mr. Salinger worked for both John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy on their presidential campaigns, and for George S. McGovern in 1972. He was White House press secretary from 1961 to 1964 and ran the first live televised presidential news conference in 1961.

President Kennedy called him "the voice of the White House," but Mr. Salinger described himself as "a reporter for the rest of the press." He was agile at leaking news and suggesting stories. The job demanded incredible discretion; between the president's sexual liaisons and his chronic, secret medical ailments, Mr. Salinger was often called to account for a missing commander in chief. In apparent gratitude, Kennedy gave him, for his 36th birthday, a medical encyclopedia.

In a 1993 Washingtonian interview, Mr. Salinger said a journalist once asked him directly about Kennedy's sex life. "I gave him a 1960s answer, not a 1990s answer: 'Look, he's the president of the United States. He's got to work 14 to 16 hours a day. He's got to run foreign and domestic policy. If he's got time for mistresses after all that, what the hell difference does it make?'

"The reporter laughed and walked out. That was the end of the story. For sure, I couldn't get away with that in the '90s."

In 1962, Mr. Salinger was involved in efforts by the Kennedy administration to keep a lid on news that the Soviet Union was installing medium-range ballistic missiles in Cuba. At Kennedy's behest, both the New York Times and The Washington Post agreed to withhold publication of the news in the interests of national security.

The president announced a blockade of Cuba on national television, and Mr. Salinger wrote in his 1966 book, "With Kennedy," "the next six days were the most anxious and active of my life."

Born in San Francisco to a French-born mother and a father who was a mining engineer, Mr. Salinger learned to play piano before he learned to read and gave his first recital in Toronto at age 6. Fearful of the abnormal effects of a career started so young, his parents cut off his public performances but continued private lessons. He attended San Francisco State College and at age 17 enlisted in the Navy during World War II, commanding a submarine chaser in the Pacific. After the war, he finished his degree at the University of San Francisco.

He plunged into journalism at the San Francisco Chronicle, several times having himself jailed as a vagrant in order to write a series about prison abuses.

He worked for Collier's magazine in the mid-1950s before becoming an investigator with Robert Kennedy on the Senate anti-racketeering committee from 1957 to 1959, when he went to work for Sen. John F. Kennedy.

Mr. Salinger, a ferocious poker player and two-fisted drinker who boasted of his many mistresses, was exceedingly popular with the overwhelmingly male reporting corps covering the White House. He was known for wearing colorful vests and smoked Havana-made cigars until the Cuban embargo, when he gave them up for Brazilian stogies.

After President Kennedy's assassination, Mr. Salinger worked for Johnson until March 1964, when he resigned to run for a Senate seat from California. He won the Democratic primary and was appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown (D) in August of that year to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Clair Engle (D). Mr. Salinger lost the general election to Republican George Murphy and went into corporate public relations.

By 1973, he was back in journalism as a roving editor for L'Express of Paris, and five years later moved to television, becoming ABC's Paris bureau chief, and later its chief foreign correspondent and senior editor for Europe. He retired in 1993 and became a consultant, working for Burson-Marsteller, and gave speeches.

In 1998, Mr. Salinger wrote an admiring preface to a book of short stories by Colonel Moammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader.

He wrote a number of books, including a 1995 memoir, three novels and a 1991 book, "Secret Dossier: The Hidden Agenda Behind the Gulf Crisis."

A son, Marc, died in 1977, and his daughter, Suzanne, died in 1984. His first three marriages ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife, Nicole Beuvillain de Menthon, and two sons: Stephen, of Los Angeles, from his first marriage, and Gregory, of Paris, from his third marriage.


Salinger, JFK's spin doctor and a friend of France, dies at 79

Man to whom Kennedy clan turned in time of crisis
Jon Henley in Paris
Monday October 18, 2004
Courtesy of The Guardian

Pierre Salinger, former press secretary to John F Kennedy and Lyndon B Johnson, and France's "most French of Americans", has died of heart failure at 79. He died in hospital near his home of Le Thor, outside Avignon, after recent surgery to fit a pacemaker, his wife, Nicole, said.

The couple moved to the Vaucluse to run a B&B when George Bush won the 2000 election. "He was very upset because he thought Bush was not fit to be president," Mrs Salinger told the Associated Press. "He said he would leave if Bush became president, and he did."

Salinger was outspoken but cultivated, and had a distinguished career with ABC News after serving two Democrat presidents. Born to a French mother in San Francisco in 1925, he had two years on the San Francisco Chronicle before joining the US navy in 1943. Salinger returned to the paper after the war, then moved to Collier's magazine, and joined Kennedy's senatorial staff in 1957.

A trusted member of the Kennedy clan's circle, Salinger was JFK's press secretary for the 1960 presidential campaign. He was White House press secretary from 1961 to 1964, ran the first live TV presidential news conference in 1961, and stayed on at the White House after Kennedy's 1963 assassination. After a brief spell as a senator, he returned to journalism in 1964.

Kennedy, Salinger once said, "was not a perfect man ... For all his loftiness of purpose, he did not take himself that seriously. He had no great vision of himself as a political or intellectual giant."

 The Massachusetts senator Edward Kennedy, the late president's brother, told AP yesterday: "[Salinger] was a steady presence in the best and most difficult of times, and many members of my family sought his counsel on all of the most important issues of the day."

"His skill, genius, and judgment in the art of communication were legendary."

Horrified by the killing of Robert Kennedy, Salinger moved to France and worked for the news weekly L'Express before becoming ABC's bureau chief in London and Paris, and then the organisation's chief foreign correspondent. He spent a total of 19 years in the French capital, and in 1978 was awarded France's highest civilian honour, the Légion d'Honneur.

The French prime minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, paid tribute to a "passionate journalist and writer ... [who] contributed unfailingly, through his action and his talent, to improving the ties of friendship which unite our two countries."

Salinger won several prizes, including a George Polk award for his 1981 scoop that the US was secretly negotiating to free the Americans held hostage by Iran.

In the 1990s he repeatedly questioned the official lines on two air crashes, claiming the 1988 downing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie was a US drug enforcement agency operation that went wrong, and that TWA flight 800 was shot down near Long Island by a stray US navy missile in 1996.

He was hugely popular in France, known for his near-perfect command of the language, strong American accent, and love for the Gallic way of life. He quoted Thomas Jefferson's dictum: "Every man has two countries - his own, and France." However, he always said the country would benefit from "the exigencies of American democracy". The outcome of Watergate, forcing Richard Nixon to resign in 1973, would be "unimaginable" in France, Salinger said.

He is survived by Nicole, his fourth wife, and sons Stephen and Gregory; and will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington.


Former ABC newsman Salinger dies
Sunday, October 17, 2004

PARIS, France - Pierre Salinger, who served as President John F. Kennedy's press secretary and later had a long career with ABC News, has died at a hospital in southern France. He was 79.

Salinger died Saturday from heart failure following surgery last week at a hospital in Cavaillon to implant a pacemaker, his wife, Nicole "Poppy" Salinger, told The Associated Press Sunday in a telephone interview.

Mrs. Salinger, spoke from Le Thon, near Avignon in the Provence region, where the couple moved four years ago to run a bed-and-breakfast inn.

She said her husband decided to move to France because he was so deeply opposed to the presidency of George W. Bush.

"He was very upset because he thought Bush was not fit to be president. He said he would leave if Bush became president and he did," Mrs. Salinger said.

He did the same in 1968 after the assassination of Robert Kennedy, she said. "He said, 'They're killing all the Kennedys, and he left," she said.

The cultured and outspoken Salinger rose from the ranks of newspaper journalism to become press secretary to John F. Kennedy and eventually a trusted member of the family's inner circle. He and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis stayed in contact for many years following her husband's assassination, Mrs. Salinger said.

Salinger, who also served as press secretary for President Lyndon Johnson, said Kennedy was a "special man" who surrounded himself with advisers who "believed in each other" and in a common mission.

"There was no barrier on the president's door," Salinger wrote in McCall's magazine in 1988. "Any of his dozen principal staffers could see him when they wanted to. They didn't need permission from a chief of staff to gain access."

A longtime print journalist, Salinger switched to television reporting when he joined ABC in 1977. In the years following he worked as the network's Paris bureau chief, chief foreign correspondent and senior editor in London.

He had left the network by 1997, when he became a prominent backer of the theory that TWA Flight 800, which crashed off Long Island in 1996 on a flight to Paris, was accidentally brought down by a Navy missile.

Salinger had said at the time that a government document showed the Navy was testing missiles off the coast of New York and had been told planes would be flying higher than 21,000 feet. The Navy was unaware that Flight 800 was flying at 13,000 feet because another commercial plane was flying above it, he said.

The National Transportation Safety Board found no evidence of a missile strike. It concluded that Flight 800 was destroyed by a center fuel tank explosion, probably caused by a spark from a short-circuit in the wiring that ignited vapors in the tank.

Salinger's oldest son, Stephen, said his father's health had declined noticeably when he last saw him at his home in France four weeks ago.

Although his eyes twinkled at a gift of his favorite Punch Punch Cuban cigars, "his vocabulary was limited to only a few words," Stephen Salinger said from his home in Los Angeles. "That was OK, because among the few words he could still remember and words every son wants to hear, he said 'I love you."'

"It's the first time in my life I wasn't going to receive a prognosis on the upcoming election," Stephen Salinger said.

Mrs. Salinger said her husband suffered from aphasia and was not able to speak, but otherwise was very aware of his surroundings and recognized and enjoyed the company of his friends and family.

Born on June 14, 1925, in San Francisco, Pierre Emil George Salinger first worked on the editorial staff of the San Francisco Chronicle from 1942 to 1943. He resigned from the newspaper to enlist in the Navy, where he commanded a sub chaser in the Pacific during World War II. He was honorably discharged with the rank of lieutenant in 1946.

Salinger, who graduated from the University of San Francisco in 1947, returned to the Chronicle after the war before leaving to join Collier's Magazine as a contributing editor in 1955. Two years later, he joined Kennedy's senatorial staff and served as his press officer in the 1960 presidential campaign.

Kennedy, Salinger said, "was not a perfect man. ... For all his loftiness of purpose, he did not take himself that seriously. He had no great vision of himself as a political or intellectual giant."

But Salinger said Kennedy learned from his mistakes, citing private correspondence between Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita Krushchev that he said showed "two leaders of confrontational powers groping toward understanding."

Once while he was press secretary, a journalist asked him directly about Kennedy's sex life, Salinger said in a 1993 Washingtonian interview.

"I gave him a 1960s answer, not a 1990s answer: 'Look, he's the president of the United States. He's got to work 14 to 16 hours a day. He's got to run foreign and domestic policy. If he's got time for mistresses after all that, what the hell difference does it make?' The reporter laughed and walked out. That was the end of the story. For sure, I couldn't get away with that in the '90s."

After Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963, Salinger served under Johnson before being appointed to complete the term of Sen. Clair Engle, D-California, who died in office. But Salinger lost his 1964 bid to keep the job to one-time Hollywood song-and-dance man George Murphy.

After his political career, Salinger worked as a correspondent for the French news magazine L'Express and later for ABC.

Salinger, whose mother was French, lived some 19 years in Paris, although he later made his home in New York. In 1978, the French awarded him the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, France's highest civilian honor, for increasing understanding between the two nations.

He is survived by his fourth wife, Nicole, and two sons, Stephen and Gregory. He had two other children who died, his wife said.

Salinger's wish was to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery following Mass at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Washington, D.C., his wife said.



17 October 2004:

Pierre Salinger, a veteran print reporter and editor who served as press secretary in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations before becoming a widely known foreign correspondent for ABC News, has died. He was 79.

Salinger died of heart failure Saturday at a hospital near his home in Le Thon, France, said his wife Nicole "Poppy" Salinger. He had undergone surgery earlier in the week to implant a pacemaker.

The couple moved to France four years ago to run an inn.

Mrs. Salinger said her husband left the United States because he was opposed to the presidency of George W. Bush.

"He was very upset because he thought Bush was not fit to be president," she said.

The cultured and outspoken Salinger rose from the ranks of newspaper journalism to become press secretary to Kennedy and eventually a trusted member of the family's inner circle. He and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis stayed in contact for many years following her husband's assassination, Mrs. Salinger said in a telephone interview.

Salinger, who also served as press secretary for President Lyndon Johnson, said Kennedy was a "special man" who surrounded himself with advisers who "believed in each other" and in a common mission.

"There was no barrier on the president's door," Salinger wrote in McCall's magazine in 1988. "Any of his dozen principal staffers could see him when they wanted to. They didn't need permission from a chief of staff to gain access."

A longtime print journalist, Salinger switched to television reporting when he joined ABC in 1977. In the years following he worked as the network's Paris bureau chief, chief foreign correspondent and senior editor in London.

He had left the network by 1997, when he became a prominent backer of the theory that TWA Flight 800, which crashed off Long Island in 1996 on a flight to Paris, was accidentally brought down by a Navy missile.

Salinger had said at the time that a government document showed the Navy was testing missiles off the coast of New York and had been told planes would be flying higher than 21,000 feet. The Navy was unaware that Flight 800 was flying at 13,000 feet because another commercial plane was flying above it, he said.

The National Transportation Safety Board found no evidence of a missile strike. It concluded that Flight 800 was destroyed by a center fuel tank explosion, probably caused by a spark from a short-circuit in the wiring that ignited vapors in the tank.

Salinger's oldest son, Stephen, said his father's health had declined noticeably when he last saw him at his home in France four weeks ago.

Although his eyes twinkled at a gift of his favorite Punch Punch Cuban cigars, "his vocabulary was limited to only a few words," Stephen Salinger said from his home in Los Angeles. "That was OK, because among the few words he could still remember and words every son wants to hear, he said 'I love you."'

"It's the first time in my life I wasn't going to receive a prognosis on the upcoming election," Stephen Salinger said.

Mrs. Salinger said her husband suffered from aphasia and was not able to speak, but otherwise was very aware of his surroundings and recognized and enjoyed the company of his friends and family.

Born on June 14, 1925, in San Francisco, Pierre Emil George Salinger first worked on the editorial staff of the San Francisco Chronicle from 1942 to 1943. He resigned from the newspaper to enlist in the Navy, where he commanded a sub chaser in the Pacific during World War II. He was honorably discharged with the rank of lieutenant in 1946.

Salinger, who graduated from the University of San Francisco in 1947, returned to the Chronicle after the war before leaving to join Collier's Magazine as a contributing editor in 1955. Two years later, he joined Kennedy's senatorial staff and served as his press officer in the 1960 presidential campaign.

Kennedy, Salinger said, "was not a perfect man. ... For all his loftiness of purpose, he did not take himself that seriously. He had no great vision of himself as a political or intellectual giant."

But Salinger said Kennedy learned from his mistakes, citing private correspondence between Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita Krushchev that he said showed "two leaders of confrontational powers groping toward understanding."

Once while he was press secretary, a journalist asked him directly about Kennedy's sex life, Salinger said in a 1993 Washingtonian interview.

"I gave him a 1960s answer, not a 1990s answer: 'Look, he's the president of the United States. He's got to work 14 to 16 hours a day. He's got to run foreign and domestic policy. If he's got time for mistresses after all that, what the hell difference does it make?' The reporter laughed and walked out. That was the end of the story. For sure, I couldn't get away with that in the '90s."

After Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963, Salinger served under Johnson before being appointed to complete the term of Sen. Clair Engle, D-Calif., who died in office. But Salinger lost his 1964 bid to keep the job to one-time Hollywood song-and-dance man George Murphy.

After his political career, Salinger worked as a correspondent for the French news magazine L'Express and later for ABC.

Salinger, whose mother was French, lived some 19 years in Paris, although he later made his home in New York. In 1978, the French awarded him the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, France's highest civilian honor, for increasing understanding between the two nations.

He is survived by his fourth wife, Nicole, and two sons, Stephen and Gregory. He had two other children who died, his wife said.

Salinger's wish was to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery following Mass at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Washington, D.C., his wife said.


Family of Kennedy press secretary Pierre Salinger mourns
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
By PAT STANLEY
Courtesy of the Register

President John F. Kennedy's press secretary, Pierre Salinger, was remembered Monday by his brother, Herb Salinger of Calistoga, as "a generous man who liked people and people liked him."

Napa High School teacher Jon Salinger, Pierre Salinger's nephew, said, "He was very out-going, very jovial and you could sense that he had a wealth of knowledge about any subject."

Pierre Salinger died Saturday of a heart attack in France, where he had lived the past four years. He was 79.

Herb Salinger was about 11 months younger than his famous brother. Because they were so close in age, the younger brother said, "we did a lot of things together. We went all the way through grammar and high school together. Sometimes he could have been in the same class."

He recalled once signing up to take an English class at Lowell High School in San Francisco. "The teacher asked me to spell my name, then asked if my brother was here. He said if you are anything like that, you probably are going to fail this class. I thought it prudent to take another course," he said with a laugh.

Herb Salinger said he was often asked about his brother. "I'd say we used to claim him," he joked. In fact, they were very close.

"He was genuine," the younger brother said.

Herb Salinger, one of four brothers, taught at Ridgeview Junior High School and was later promoted to deputy superintendent of Napa schools. He then took administrative posts in Southern California, returning to Napa Valley after retirement.

The older Salinger made his mark early in life, becoming the Presidential press secretary by age 40. Later in life, he served as a U.S. Senator, filling the unexpired term of Sen. Clair Engle, D-Calf., who died in office. He also became the chief Paris correspondent for ABC Television.

During a January, 2001 visit to Napa, he addressed a Vintage High School class taught by his nephew, Jon Salinger, who now teaches at Napa High. He provoked an angry response from some Napans by sporting a sweatshirt emblazoned with the likeness of President George Bush and the words: "He's not my president."

In fact, according to his wife, Nicole "Poppy" Salinger, "He was very upset because he thought Bush was not fit to be president. He said he would leave if Bush became president and he did."

The Salingers took up residence near Avignon in the Provence region, where they ran a bed-and-breakfast inn.

Jon Salinger said when people listened to his uncle speak, "You just kind of sat on the edge of your seat."

He recalled his famous uncle's 2001 visit, which turned out to be his last. "It was one of the more intimate times we had with him," he said. "That was one of the most in-depth times with him. We were able to sit down with him the night before and grill him on all this history. So many other times, family gatherings were not conducive to conversation about the Kennedy era."

During his Vintage High appearance, Pierre Salinger said he became a secret intermediary to "back channel talks" that helped resolve the 1962 Cuban Missile crisis.

Reflecting back on that crisis, he said, "If (Soviet Premier Nikita) Kruschev had not pulled out the missiles, we were going to send in troops and bomb Cuba. The Soviet Union would have immediately bombed us."

One of his favorite stories, which he shared with the VHS students, occurred five weeks after the famous Bay of Pigs incident -- an invasion of Cuba that failed miserably. Five weeks later, he said, JFK called Salinger into the Oval Office. "He said, 'I need 1,000 Cuban cigars,'" the press secretary said. Salinger, whose trademark was a smoldering stogie, found the requested smokes and returned them to the White House. "(Kennedy) then picked up a paper and signed it. It was the embargo ending trade with Cuba."

More recently, the former press secretary made headlines when he claimed to have evidence that an ill-fated TWA Flight 800, which crashed off Long Island in 1996 on a flight to Paris, was brought down by an errant U.S. Navy missile. Investigations since have concluded there was no credible evidence of any such missile.

Herb and Jon Salinger were preparing to join other California members of the family at funeral services in Washington, D.C. later this week. Salinger's wish was to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery following Mass at Holy Trinity Church in the nation's capitol.


It will be a reunion of sorts for Kennedy-era New Frontier types at 11 a.m. tomorrow as mourners gather for Pierre Salinger's funeral service at Holy Trinity Church in Georgetown. 

Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Massachusetts) is scheduled to give the eulogy. The 79-year-old former press secretary to President Kennedy and ABC News Paris bureau chief died over the weekend in his home in France. His widow, Nicole, is bringing Salinger's ashes to Washington. A Navy veteran of World War II, he will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery.


FUNERAL FOR PIERRE SALINGER
22 October 2004 

John Kennedy’s former White House press secretary, Pierre Salinger, who brought the presidency into America's living rooms has been buried in Arlington National Cemetery near his old friend and boss.

The raucous, cigar-smoking spin doctor and one-time confidante of the Kennedy clan died of a heart attack Saturday near his home in southern France.

He was laid to rest with eulogies from the glitterati of America's politics and media.

"Pierre was part of our family," said Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, his voice choked with emotion.

"Jack and Bobby must be in seventh heaven right now, so glad to be reunited with Pierre at last," he said.

Senator Kennedy evoked his assassinated brothers, John and Robert, both buried in Arlington across the Potomac River from Washington.

Senator Kennedy recalled when Robert Kennedy first introduced Salinger to JFK.

"Bobby said, 'Say hello to that senator on your left, that's my brother.' It was love at first sight."

"We couldn't have done the New Frontier without him," recalled Kennedy, using the name the Kennedys gave to their new brand of government.

"And with Pierre, the New Frontier was a lot more fun," he said in a eulogy at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, the Kennedys' regular place of worship in Washington.

Salinger, recalled Kennedy, endeared himself to JFK's grieving family when he regaled the late president's orphans with stories about their fallen father.

"He told Caroline and John a treasure of incomparable stories about Jack that they grew up with."

Speakers at Holy Trinity recalled the media revolution Salinger brought to the White House, where he began informal twice-a-day press briefings held around his desk.

And he prodded the young president, of a different generation from his predecessors, to speak directly and regularly to the American people on television.

The Catholic mass program bore a classic photo of Salinger, smiling, hands clasped over his knee, the ever-present cigar entwined in his fingers.



Kennedy Delivers Eulogy for Salinger

Former presidential press secretary and journalist Pierre Salinger was remembered Thursday as brilliant reporter and a critical messenger for John F. Kennedy's New Frontier.

Salinger, who died Saturday in France, started his career as a print journalist, served in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, and went on to a career as a television reporter, including work in Paris and London.

"I'm sure Jack and Jackie and Bobby are in seventh heaven right now because they're so glad to be reunited with Pierre at last," said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who delivered the eulogy for his family's loyal, longtime friend. "They'd be the first to tell you they couldn't have had the New Frontier without him."

Political and media notables were among the 300 to 400 mourners at the Holy Trinity Church, where John Kennedy used to attend Mass. They included former presidential hopefuls George McGovern and Gary Hart, and President Lyndon Johnson's daughter, Linda Johnson Robb, as well as newsmen Ben Bradlee, Ted Koppel, Sam Donaldson, Art Buchwald and Chris Matthews.

Salinger died of heart failure at a hospital near his home in Le Thon, France, where he had moved to escape the presidency of George W. Bush, according to his wife, Nicole Salinger. He had undergone surgery earlier in the week to implant a pacemaker.

He was laid to rest in Arlington Cemetery.

Kennedy, recalled when Salinger first met the Kennedy brothers, eventually working on John Kennedy's Senate staff, then later as his campaign press secretary. After the president's death, Salinger remained close friends with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Edward Kennedy described Salinger as an accomplished pianist who used to play at a Nantucket, Massachusetts, restaurant while he and the Kennedys waited for a table. Early on, Kennedy remembered, guests would leave their tables sooner so they could listen to the music in the next room, freeing up a table. But as time went on, he said, customers lingered over coffee because they realized that the music stopped when Salinger got a table.

"It's hard to say goodbye to a dear, dear friend like Pierre. He made us feel like family, too," said Kennedy. "Now he'll have an honored place in Arlington Cemetery, close by the president and the senator he served so well and who loved him so much.


Courtesy of the New York Times
October 22, 2004
 

The grizzled Galahads of Camelot gathered again for one brief, pining moment on Thursday to remember Pierre Salinger as the piano-playing White House press secretary and bon vivant who pioneered the live-television presidential news conference and made the New Frontier "a lot more fun," as Senator Edward M. Kennedy recalled in a tender eulogy.

"Pierre was part of our family," Mr. Kennedy told Mr. Salinger's own family and friends, "and I'm sure Jack and Jackie and Bobby are in seventh heaven right now, because they're so glad to be reunited with Pierre at last.''

Slower of tread and whiter of head, a surviving cross section of the politicians and reporters who 42 years ago this week were immersed in the Cuban missile crisis filed into Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Georgetown for a Mass in memory of Mr. Salinger, who died on Saturday near his home in France at age 79.

There was Theodore C. Sorensen, John F. Kennedy's special counsel and trusty wordsmith. There were Frank Mankiewicz and John Siegenthaler, loyal aides to Robert F. Kennedy, and Jack Valenti, who was the same for Lyndon B. Johnson, whose daughter Lynda Robb sat next to Sam Donaldson of ABC News, the news organization where Mr. Salinger ended his career.

There were the best-wired newsmagazine correspondents of the Kennedy era, Hugh Sidey of Time and Ben Bradlee, then of Newsweek and now of The Washington Post. There were former Senators George McGovern, Gary Hart and Harris Wofford. And there was Helen Thomas, the longtime United Press International reporter who once woke Mr. Salinger at 3 a.m. demanding to know whether Caroline Kennedy's hamster had died. (It had, but he waited till morning to find out.)

So when the mourners prayed for "those who serve in government or the press," they prayed for themselves, marking the passing not only of Mr. Salinger but also of an era when journalists considered themselves reporters and thought of "media" as a Greek sorceress, "usually played by Dame Judith Anderson," as the veteran NBC and ABC correspondent Sander Vanocur recalled in a written remembrance read aloud.

Mr. Salinger's widow, Nicole, sat in the front, near a small octagonal urn containing his ashes. His elder son, Stephen, read Ecclesiastes' maxim that there is a "time to mourn and a time to dance," and his younger son, Gregory, read from St. Paul's second letter to Timothy: "My life has already been poured away as a libation, and the time has come for me to depart."

Elizabeth Frawley Bagley, ambassador to Portugal in the Clinton administration, recalled meeting Mr. Salinger almost 25 years ago in Rome for what she believed was an interview for a producer's job at ABC and what he - between wives at the moment - had thought might be a date. When she told Mr. Salinger that she was already in a relationship but really needed a job, he replied: "What a shame. But we can't waste a good bottle of Bordeaux." He then hired her.

His ashes were to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery, Mr. Kennedy noted, "close by the president and the senator he served so well and who loved him so much.'' With his voice suddenly breaking, Mr. Kennedy said, "It's hard to say goodbye to a dear, dear friend like Pierre," who, he said, relished his reputation as a Lucky Pierre.

"We were the lucky ones, Pierre," the senator concluded. "We loved you, we'll miss you, and we'll never forget you. Au revoir."


SALINGER, PIERRE EMIL GEORGE
LT(JG)   US NAVY
VETERAN SERVICE DATES: 10/04/1942 - 07/03/1946
DATE OF BIRTH: 06/14/1925
DATE OF DEATH: 10/17/2004
DATE OF INTERMENT: 10/21/2004
BURIED AT: SECTION 6-PP  ROW 7  SITE 3
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

Pierre Sallinger Funeral Service PHOTO
Pierre Salinger's widow Nicole Salinger (2nd L) watches as the Honor
Guard carries the urn of her husband's ashes during a burial ceremony at 
Arlington National Cemetary in Virginia
Posted: 23 October 2004  Updated: 26 October 2004  Updated: 18 September 2005