Salinger became 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.


In the 1990s, Salinger 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.
Salinger also said TWA Flight 800 was shot down near Long Island
by a stray Navy missile in 1996.

Reading the biographies of JFK and RFK as I have over the years, I've learned also about the people around them. Pierre Salinger, President Kennedy's Press Secretary, seems to be one who was a true friend. In the years after JFK's death Jackie used to ask Pierre to come and spend time with John-John and Caroline and tell them stories about their father. And I remember when TWA 800 exploded and Salinger was going to give a press conference in Paris to expose the truth. But then he cancelled it. The rumour on the net at the time was that the powers-that-be told him that if he gave the press conference they'd kill John-John, and so he backed down. It must have been a horror for him the day in 1999 when John-John disappeared, as had been the assassinations of JFK in 1963 and RFK in 1968. ~ Jackie Jura

Pierre Salinger, JFK Press Secretary, Dead at 79
by Jon Boyle, Reuters, Sun Oct 17, 2004

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. 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.

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.



Mourned for what he might have been
by Pierre Salinger, UPI, Aug 6, 1999

The death of John Kennedy Jr. is one of the saddest events in the 20th century. Of course, John F. Kennedy was elected president in early November of 1960. We spent much of our time in Florida, but we spent several days in Washington until Thanksgiving Day, when we took off on the Caroline for the warmer weather in Palm Beach. Jackie Kennedy was expecting her baby the following week and didn't join us. But when I stepped from the plane in Palm Beach, a messenger told me I had an urgent call from Washington waiting on an open line. It was the Georgetown University Hospital and Jackie, who had been rushed there, was giving birth to her child. JFK spoke briefly to the doctor, John Walsh, and then ordered the press plane back to Washington. Halfway there, the radio operator on our American Airlines charter told the president-elect that his son had been born. He then told me to make the announcement to the cheering press. When we arrived in Washington, we went immediately to the hospital and I joined JFK in meeting the new baby, John F. Kennedy Jr. He was four hours old, but he looked wonderful.

Of course, during the time John Jr. and his sister, Caroline, were in the White House, Jackie was always in touch with me to get me to tell the media not to photograph the kids when they were outside the White House. It was not easy to stop them, although I finally did. But JFK had another view. When Jackie was leaving the White House - for example, when she went to Pakistan and India - he was in touch with me and told me that now it was time for the media to get some wonderful pictures of John Jr. and Caroline in his office in the White House. I arranged for Jacques Lowe, who had been hired as the photographer of the Kennedys, to do those photos.

Of course, I would see the kids almost every day in the White House, but things changed dramatically when Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963. Only two days after the assassination, Jackie came into my office to speak to me. She told me something very important.

"Pierre, there is only one thing I can do now after JFK is dead. I have to take care of those kids day by day. I have to make sure they become intelligent. I have to make sure they do good work in schools. I have to make sure when they get older that they have strong views on what they should be doing. This is the only thing I can do anymore."

There was a long period later that I was not seeing John Jr. very often...

When Jackie decided to marry Onassis, I learned something important. Jackie had made a deal with Onassis that she would stay in New York for nine months a year to make sure that she worked day by day with John Jr. and Caroline. I stayed in contact with Jackie, and she told me many things regarding how John Jr. was moving forward. But something happened in early 1972. I had just started working as a journalist for the French magazine L'Express. A week later, I got a call from Jackie. "Pierre, I need your help. The son of Onassis was killed yesterday in a helicopter crash. He is in a bad mood. We are going to go to Dakar in Senegal and get on Ari's ship and go across the Atlantic. I want you to be with me and talk to Ari and get him in a better mood." I agreed. But when we got to the Caribbean, Jackie grabbed me again. "Pierre, do you have any plans for summer this year?" I said, "No." "OK, I want you to come to the Onassis island in Greece, and I want you to spend an hour or an hour and a half a day with John Jr. and Caroline and explain everything about what their father did." I went to the island and spent four weeks with John Jr. and Caroline, explaining all of the work of JFK, from the time he was in World War II to the time he became a member of the House, a member of the Senate, and finally, president of the United States. The kids were very excited about all the things I told them, because they had not had that kind of information about their father. I think that it got something important in their brains about their future.

One of the most important things I did with John Jr. was in 1988, when I attended the Democratic Convention in Atlanta. Suddenly, I discovered that John Jr. was going to give a speech there. It was fantastic. I was very excited about that speech, and I took John Jr. to meet alone with me for several hours. I was telling him that this speech showed strongly that he should start thinking about going into politics. He said he was interested, but he was still too young. He told me that he had an idea that he should go into politics in the next century.

That was something I still believed that he would do. But then he was killed. I had not talked to John Jr. very often, but as I watched what he was doing, it was still in my brain that he would become a candidate for senator in 2004 or 2006, and later become a candidate for president of the United States. If he had won, the Kennedy family would never have been lost.

As I said above, the death of John Jr. is one of the saddest events of this century.

JFK, JR'S CRASH STILL A MYSTERY, by Pat Shannan, Media ByPass, April 2000
...For decades it has been speculated that Bobby Kennedy was well aware of the faction which murdered his brother, but he needed possession of the Oval Office in order to expose it. He was murdered at the Los Angeles Ambassador Hotel, minutes after his acceptance speech for winning the 1968 California Democratic Primary. Contact magazine, among others, says that young JFK, Jr. also knew who killed his father and was willing to spill it to the American people, once he reached an ivory tower sufficient to be heard, in particular, the White House...[link to no longer connects]


Jackie Jura
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