|Birth Day:||June 14, 1925|
|Death Date:||Oct 16, 2004 (age 79)|
|Birth Place:||San Francisco, United States|
White House Press Secretary to U.S. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson who later became known for his work as an ABC News correspondent. He was one of the managers of Robert F. Kennedy's 1968 presidential campaign and was only several feet away from the Senator when he was assassinated in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel.
As per our current Database, Pierre Salinger died on Oct 16, 2004 (age 79).
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He served in the United States Navy during World War II.
He left SF State to enlist in the United States Navy in July 1943, where he became skipper of a submarine chaser off Okinawa during World War II. He distinguished himself during Typhoon "Louise" in Okinawa by making a daring rescue of some men stranded on a reef. For this act he received the Navy and Marine Corps medal. After serving with the United States Navy to Lieutenant, junior grade during World War II, Salinger finished his studies at the University of San Francisco, earning a BS in 1947. Salinger then began his journalism career as "Lucky Pierre," a horse racing columnist and later reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle and as a contributing Editor to Collier's in the 1940s and 1950s.
After Salinger researched and wrote a number of articles in 1956 about labor union leader Jimmy Hoffa, Robert F. Kennedy hired him to be legal counsel for the Senate Select Committee investigating organized crime. Later, Kennedy wanted him to be press secretary to his brother John F. Kennedy, who was then a member of the Senate.
Salinger worked on Kennedy's presidential campaign in 1960, and became one of the leading figures in the campaign. He was at times described as being part of Kennedy's Kitchen Cabinet of unofficial advisers. In 1961, after JFK became President, he hired Salinger as his press secretary. When Kennedy became the first president to allow live television broadcasts of his news conferences, Salinger was said to have managed the press corps with "wit, enthusiasm and considerable disdain for detail," which made him a "celebrity in his own right."
In May 1962, Salinger went to Moscow alone to meet with the press, and after he landed, he was unexpectedly told he had been invited to spend time with Khrushchev at his dacha, outside the city. There, they shared meals and took long hikes along country roads, as they discussed politics and world events, such as the Berlin crisis. Salinger described in his Memoir and during an interview the 16 hours, over two days, spent with Khrushchev. After their first day together, Khrushchev said, "I have had such a good time today, I think I will do it again tomorrow."
In October 1962, Salinger briefed the press about what had been learned about Soviet missiles being stationed in Cuba. He later said that Kennedy's actions during that crisis were among the most incredible things a president had ever done in the 20th century and noted how close the countries were to nuclear war.
At the time of the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy in November 1963, Salinger was on a plane flying to Tokyo with six Cabinet members, including Secretary of State Dean Rusk. Salinger's visit was to have been for an economic conference and to start working on a visit, when President John F. Kennedy was going to take there in February 1964 as the first United States President to visit Japan since the end of World War II in 1945. Salinger was retained by President Lyndon B. Johnson as Press Secretary, and Johnson later said during a speech, "I don't have to tell you that Mr. Salinger was John F. Kennedy's press secretary... and I don't know what I would have done without him, night and day, over this past month." At one point in his career, Salinger briefly considered running for president, as he described in an interview about his Memoir in 1995.
Following his service in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, Salinger returned to California and ran for the Senate. He defeated California State Controller Alan Cranston in a contentious Democratic primary. Governor of California Pat Brown, who had supported Cranston, appointed Salinger a Democratic senator to fill the vacancy resulting from the July 30, 1964 death of retiring Senator Clair Engle; he took office on August 4, 1964. In his bid for a full six-year term in the 1964 election, he was defeated by former actor and vaudeville song and dance man George Murphy following a campaign in which Salinger's recent return to his native state became an issue, and his legal residency was being challenged in court. Salinger was hurt also by his adamant support, despite advice from his political managers, of legislation banning racial housing discrimination. Salinger's loss made California the sole Democratic-held seat to go Republican in what was otherwise a Democratic landslide.
Salinger resigned from the Senate on December 31, 1964, only three days before his term was to expire. Murphy, who was to take office on January 3, 1965, was appointed to fill the remaining two days of Salinger's term, giving Murphy a slight advantage in seniority in the Senate over other members elected in 1964 when seniority was more vital in Senate affairs than now. Salinger went on to work in the private sector, which included a stint as a vice-president of Continental Airlines.
Salinger published a biography of the president, With Kennedy, in 1966.
Salinger was one of the managers of United States Senator Robert F. Kennedy's 1968 presidential campaign and was standing 10 to 12 feet away from Kennedy when he was assassinated in Los Angeles, California in June of that year. Salinger claimed that Jim McManus, who was also working on the campaign, said to him, "I've got to get the message to Los Angeles, under no circumstances should Bobby go through that (Ambassador Hotel) kitchen ... there's usually grease on the floor. He's going to fall or something." Then, Kennedy died at Good Samaritan Hospital at 1:44 am on June 6, 1968, only more than 24 hours after he was shot.
In 1968, he became director of Great America Management and Research Company (GRAMCO), a mutual investment fund in US real estate aimed at foreigners.
In 1976, ABC Sports employed Salinger as a features commentator for the network's coverage of the Olympic Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria and the Summer Games in Montreal, Quebec, and in 1978, he was hired by ABC News as its Paris bureau chief. He became the network's chief European correspondent based in London in 1983, when Peter Jennings moved to New York to become sole anchor of ABC World News Tonight after the death of Frank Reynolds.
In 1981, he was bestowed with a George Polk award for his scoop that the US government was secretly negotiating to free the Americans held hostage by Iran.
Salinger provided commentary on the 1989 Tour de France for ABC Sports. In the 1980s, he was also well known as a member of Amiic World Real Estate Investment Organization in Geneva, with François Spoerry, Paul-Loup Sulitzer and Jean-Pierre Thiollet, which was dissolved in 1997.
After leaving ABC, Salinger moved back to Washington and became an executive with Burson-Marsteller, a public relations firm; he returned to France in 2000. Until the late 1980s, Salinger had been a popular television pundit in France and a frequent guest on French news and public affairs shows to explain or interpret American events for French viewers. Salinger even hosted a program for the cable network A&E in the early 1990s, Dining in France.
In November 2000, he became exasperated when he was denied permission to give exonerating evidence as part of his testimony before the Scottish Court in the Netherlands to try two Libyans for the downing, on December 21, 1988, of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Salinger stated that he knew who the real bombers were but was told by trial judge Ranald Sutherland, Lord Sutherland, "If you wish to make a point you may do so elsewhere, but I'm afraid you may not do so in this court."
On October 16, 2004, Salinger died of heart failure in a Cavaillon hospital near his home, La Bastide Rose, in Le Thor, France, at the age of 79. He is interred in Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, DC.
Currently, Pierre Salinger is 97 years, 5 months and 19 days old. Pierre Salinger will celebrate 98th birthday on a Wednesday 14th of June 2023.
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