Cuban Missile Crisis - KENNY O'DONNELL

This image depicts a photo of Kenneth P. O'Donnell, Special Assistant to President Kennedy. Abbie Rowe, who was working for the National Park Service at the time of this photo (circa early 1960s), took the picture. It is now maintained at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.


One of Bobby Kennedy's close friends was Kenny O'Donnell. Part of the President's inner circle of " Irish Mafia," O'Donnell was a special adviser to the President.

Secretly recorded transcripts of the Missile Crisis deliberations reveal O'Donnell was not part of the meetings or the discussions. On the other hand, as a close friend of the President and Bobby, O'Donnell had extraordinary access. He was usually around—often in the background.

The story is told of a conversation JFK had with Kenny O'Donnell when the Democratic party was considering a vice presidential candidate. Party managers thought Lyndon Johnson would be a good running mate. Although he wasn't sure about it, Kennedy eventually agreed. He told Kenny O'Donnell:

I'm forty-three years old, I'm not going to die in office. So the vice presidency doesn't mean anything.

What did mean something to the President, beginning with the first day of the Crisis (October 16th), was the unwavering dedication of his most trusted advisers. Most would get very little sleep for the next two weeks.

0 Question or Comment?
click to read or comment
2 Questions 2 Ponder
click to read and respond
0 It's Awesome!
vote for your favorite

Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5189stories and lessons created

Original Release: Apr 01, 2002

Updated Last Revision: Jul 16, 2019

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"KENNY O'DONNELL" AwesomeStories.com. Apr 01, 2002. Dec 09, 2019.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips