Saturday, November 26, 2011


November 26, 2011


New York City (JFK ASSASSINATION) The New York Times announced this morning the death yesterday of  Tom Wicker, "one of postwar America's most distinguished journalists, who wrote 20 books (&) covered the assassination of President John F. Kennedy."

Mr. Wicker was the Times' only correspondent in Dallas, Texas in late November 1963 covering JFK's "routine political trip."

                                 Tom Wicker
                           New York Times
                   Photo by George Tames

The New York Times obituary in this morning's edition included the following:

"The searing images of that day--the rifleman's shots cracking across Dealey Plaza, the wounded president lurching forward in the open limousine, the blur of speed to Parkland Memorial Hospital & the nation's anguish as the doctors gave way to the priests & a new era -- were dictated by Mr. Wicker from a phone booth in stark, detailed prose drawn from notes scribbled on a White House itinerary sheet. 

 It filled 2 front-page columns & the entire 2nd page, & vaulted the writer to journalistic prominence overnight.

Mr. Wicker covered Congress & the Kennedy White House, the 1960 political campaigns & presidential trips abroad.  

His work was often entertaining as well as informative.

'The most familliar voice in Ameriker lahst yeeah warz that of a Boston Irishman with Harvard overtones who sounded vaguely like an old recording of FDR speeded up to 90 rpm's.'"*

*The Wicker obituary was written by Robert D. McFadden, New York Times, November 26, 2011, page B13.

Mr. Wicker was chief of the NY Times Washington bureau beginning September 1, 1964.  He served in that position until 1968.  

The Times obituary says that in 1971, speaking at a "teach-in" at Harvard, Wicker urged students to 'engage in civil disobedience' in protesting the war in Vietnam.


If you have watched any of the many documentaries on the JFK assassination, you have no doubt heard Tom Wicker's telephone report from Dallas.

Mr. Wicker speaks very slowly, giving his people back in New York time to copy his words.

At times, Tom chokes back tears as he is reporting the news of the President's death from Parkland Memorial Hospital.  He stops & says "I'm sorry."*

*We want to express our deepest sympathies to Mr. Wicker's family & thank them for his service to the United States.

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