Oral History

The Edward M. Kennedy Oral History Project

Publicly Launched September 30th, 2015

View Launch Video Here

PROJECT BACKGROUND

The Edward M. Kennedy Oral History Project, created in partnership with the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, is a compilation of interviews from current and former members of the Senate, House, administration officials, foreign leaders, Senate staff, issue advocates, journalists, family and friends documenting Senator Kennedy’s service. Following the launch of this collection, the Institute is planning an annual speaker series that will draw on this resource to highlight current and future national issues before the U.S. Senate.

PUBLIC LAUNCH AND PROGRAM

A grand opening ceremony heralded the completion and public launch of the Edward M. Kennedy Oral History Project on September 30, 2015. The ceremony marked the beginning of an Annual Public Program Series featuring a broad range of politically and biographically important topics, illuminated in the EMK Oral History. Michael Beschloss offered an historical overview and Judy Woodruff lead distinguished panelists in a conversation about Civil Rights: The March for Progress.

MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT

On December 6, 2004, the Kennedy Project was officially launched in a ceremony at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. This oral history will create an archive of spoken recollections and reflections that illuminates Senator Kennedy’s public life, his vocation, the institution in which he has served and the political world in which he has moved.

The interviews cover a broad range of politically and biographically important topics, including Kennedy’s pre-Senate years and learning of politics, his relationship to his brothers and their career choices, his rise to the Senate leadership, his political style, his Senate and presidential campaigns, his public causes and how he sought to advance them, and his legacy.

In addition to interviews with Senator Kennedy, other interviewees include family, friends, classmates, relevant campaign staffers, state and national party officials, key members of his Senate office, selected members of Congress and the executive branch, intellectuals, journalists, community activists, and selected public figures.

The end product is the below collection of transcripts and audio recordings of oral history interviews that includes two primary elements: Senator Kennedy’s own recollections and reflections, consisting of an extended series of recorded interviews with him; and the recollections and observations of individuals whose acquaintances or relationships with Senator Kennedy have figured most prominently in his life and career.

Please email ohp@emkinstitute.org for further information about the program.

Interviews (A-Z by last name)

Gerry Adams President, Sinn Féin Party

Bertie Ahern Prime Minister (Taoiseach) of Ireland

Dermot Ahern Ireland’s foreign minister

Stuart Altman (not yet released) Health policy adviser to Presidents Nixon and Clinton

Nan Aron (not yet released) Outside policy adviser; President, Alliance for Justice

Melody Barnes Staffer for Edward Kennedy

William G. Barry (not yet released) Outside policy adviser on security arrangements and expertise; family friend

Robert Bates (5/2007) Staffer for Edward Kennedy

Robert Bates (7/2007) Staffer for Edward Kennedy

Birch Bayh (not yet released) United States Senator from Indiana; family friend

Samuel Beer Harvard professor; president of Americans for Democratic Action

Joseph R.  Biden (not yet released) Vice-President of the United States; Senator from Delaware

Jeffrey Blattner Staffer for Edward Kennedy

David Blumenthal National Coordinator for Health Information Technology

David Boies Chief Counsel, Senate Judiciary Committee

David Bowen, Mark Childress, Michael Myers (not yet released) Bowen: staff director for health policy; Childress: senior advisor on health care reform on HELP committee; Michael Myers: staff director and chief counsel for HELP committee

Stephen Breyer (6/2008) Associate Justice, US Supreme Court

Stephen Breyer (9/2008) Associate Justice, US Supreme Court

David Broder Journalist, White House Press Corps

Edward W. Brooke Massachusetts Senator

David Burke (2007) Edward Kennedy’s Chief of Staff; President of CBS News

David Burke (2008) Edward Kennedy’s Chief of Staff; President of CBS News

Sheila Burke Chief of Staff to Robert Dole; Senate Finance Committee Aid

Robert C. Byrd Senator, West Virginia

Mary Beth Cahill (not yet released) EMK Chief of Staff (2001-03)

Joseph Califano (not yet released) Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare under President Carter

Philip Caper Staffer for Edward Kennedy

Richard Clasby Friend of Edward Kennedy

Adam Clymer Reporter, The New York Times

Thad Cochran Mississippi Senator

Ranny Cooper (2007) (not yet released) EMK Chief of Staff (1987-1992)

Ranny Cooper (2008) (not yet released) EMK Chief of Staff (1987-1992)

Thomas Costin Kennedy supporter; former Postmaster

Gregory Craig White House Counsel; Foreign Policy Advisor to Edward Kennedy and Madeline Albright

John Culver (03/2005) Senator from Iowa, staffer for Edward Kennedy; friend

John Culver (06/2007) Senator from Iowa, staffer for Edward Kennedy; friend

John Culver (09/2009) Senator from Iowa, Legislative Assistant to Edward Kennedy; friend

Stephanie Cutter (not yet released) EMK Senior Communications Adviser; Communications Director

John Danforth Senator, Missouri; US Permanent Representative to United Nations

Thomas A. Daschle Senator, South Dakota; Senate Majority Leader

Dale DeHaan (not yet released) Staff, Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Refugees; EMK Speechwriter

Eugene A. Dellea Campaign aide

John D. Dingell, Jr.  Member of the House of Representatives

E.J. Dionne (not yet released) Journalist, New York Times and Washington Post

Gerard Doherty Attorney; Kennedy volunteer; friend of Edward Kennedy

Robert Dole Kansas Senator

Sean Donlon, Garret Fitzgerald, Michael Lillis (not yet released) Donlon: Irish Ambassador to U.S.; Fitzgerald: Prime Minister of Ireland; Lillis: Irish embassy official in Washington, DC

Paul Donovan (not yet released) EMK Press Secretary ; EMK Chief of Staff

John W. Douglas Assistant Attorney General; Civil Rights Advocate

Donald Dowd Campaign aide

Michael Dukakis Governor, Massachusetts; 1988 Democratic Presidential Nominee

Thomas Francis Eagleton (not yet released) United States Senator from Missouri

Stuart Eizenstat Domestic policy advisor to Jimmy Carter

Michael Enzi (2006) United States Senator from Wyoming

Michael Enzi (2009) United States Senator from Wyoming

David Espo Special Correspondent, Associated Press

John A. Farrell Reporter, The Boston Globe

Anthony S. Fauci AIDS Researcher

Judy Feder Staffer for Edward Kennedy

Rashi Fein Staffer for Edward Kennedy

Kenneth Feinberg Counsel, Senate Judiciary Committee; chief of staff to EMK

Dan H. Fenn, Jr. Director of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library

Lee Fentress Assistant United States Attorney; Staffer for Robert Kennedy

Charles Ferris (not yet released) Staff Director, Senate Democratic Policy Committee (1963-1977) and former chairman of FCC

Max Fine Executive Director, Committee for National Health Insurance

Garret FitzGerald Prime Minister of Ireland

Alice Fitzgerald and Patricia Hagan Kennedy volunteers

Robert P. Fitzgerald, Sr. Cousin of Edward Kennedy; Lawyer

James Flug (11/2007) (not yet released) Legislative Assistant and then Chief Counsel to Senator Kennedy

James Flug (12/4/2007) (not yet released) Legislative Assistant and then Chief Counsel to Senator Kennedy

James Flug (12/18/2007) (not yet released) Legislative Assistant and then Chief Counsel to Senator Kennedy

Wyche Fowler US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia; Senator, Georgia

Mary Frackleton Staffer for Edward Kennedy

Michael J.  Frazier (not yet released) Legislative Assistant to Senator Kennedy

John Kenneth Galbraith (not yet released) Founder of Americans for Democratic Actiion; adviser to President Kennedy; Ambassador to India for President Kennedy

Ann Gargan Cousin

Connie Garner (2008) (not yet released) Policy director for Disability and Special Populations for the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP)

Connie Garner (2010) (not yet released) Policy director for Disability and Special Populations for the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP)

Kilvert Dun Gifford Staffer for Edward Kennedy

Leroy Goldman Staff Director, Senate Subcommittee on Health

Willis D. Gradison, Jr. Ohio Congressman

Marcia Greenberger (not yet released) Founder and Co-President of the National Women’s Law Center

Ellen Guiney Chief Education Advisor to the U.S. Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources

Milton Gwirtzman (05/2009) Speechwriter, Advisor to Edward and Robert Kennedy

Milton Gwirtzman (08/2009) Speechwriter, Advisor to Edward and Robert Kennedy

Charles Haar Harvard Law Professor

Timothy Hanan Friend; Campaign Manager

Brian and Alma Hart Activists; Parents of Fallen Soldier (PFC. John Hart)

Terry Hartle (not yet released) Education staff director for the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources

Orrin Hatch (not yet released) United States Senator from Utah

Robert Healy Journalist, The Boston Globe

Antonia Hernandez Counsel to Senate Judiciary Committee

William J. Vanden Heuvel (2005) Special Assistant to the Attorney General; Deputy U.S. Permanent Representative to United Nations

William J. Vanden Heuvel (2006) Deputy U.S. Permanent Representative to United Nations & other positions

John Hilley Director, White House Office of Legislative Affairs, under Bill Clinton

Claude Jr. Hooton (not yet released) Friend and law school classmate

Larry Horowitz (4/15/2008) (not yet released) Chief of Staff to Senator Kennedy and longtime health adviser

Larry Horowitz (4/16/2008) (not yet released) Chief of Staff to Senator Kennedy and longtime health adviser

Larry Horowitz (2010) (not yet released) Chief of Staff to Senator Kennedy and longtime health adviser

John Hume Irish Social Democratic and Labour Party President

Robert Hunter Foreign Policy Adviser to Edward Kennedy

Lester Hyman Chairman, Massachusetts Democratic Party

Michael Iskowitz (2007) (not yet released) Chief Counsel on Poverty, Disability & Family Policy

Michael Iskowitz (2008) (not yet released) Chief Counsel on Poverty, Disability & Family Policy

Christopher Jennings (not yet released) Health care aide to President Clinton

John F. Jennings President, Center on Education Policy

Olatunde Johnson Civil rights policy adviser to Edward Kennedy

Stanley Jones (03/2007) EMK staffer; healthcare specialist

Stanley Jones (09/2007) EMK staffer; healthcare specialist

Jan Kalicki Chief Foreign Policy Advisor to Edward Kennedy

Nancy Kassebaum Senator, Kansas

Boris And Natalya Katz Soviet Refuseniks

Nicholas Katzenbach U.S. Attorney General, 1965-66

Edward Kennedy Jr., Kara Kennedy, Patrick Kennedy (not yet released) Children of Senator Kennedy born in 1960 (Kara), 1961 (Edward, Jr.), and 1967 (Patrick)

Edward M. Kennedy (03/23/2005) Senator

Edward M. Kennedy (6/3/2005) Senator

Edward M. Kennedy (6/17/2005) Senator

Edward M. Kennedy (10/14/2005) Senator

Edward M. Kennedy (2/27/2006) Senator

Edward M. Kennedy (3/20/2006) Senator

Edward M. Kennedy (5/08/2006) Senator

Edward M. Kennedy (8/15/2006) Senator

Edward M. Kennedy (11/29/2006) Senator

Edward M. Kennedy (12/1/2006) Senator

Edward M. Kennedy (01/06/2007) Senator

Edward M. Kennedy (02/12/2007) Senator

Edward M. Kennedy (4/3/2007) Senator

Edward M. Kennedy (05/30/2007) Senator

Edward M. Kennedy (5/31/2007) Senator

Edward M. Kennedy (8/7/2007) Senator

Edward M. Kennedy (8/8/2007) Senator

Edward M. Kennedy (10/8/2007) Senator

Edward M. Kennedy (10/9/2007) Senator

Edward M. Kennedy (12/9/2007) Senator

Edward M. Kennedy (1/7/2008) Senator

Edward M. Kennedy (3/28/2008) Senator

Victoria R. Kennedy Wife of Senator Kennedy, Attorney, Democratic activist

John Kerry Secretary of State; Senator, Massachusetts; 2004 Democratic Presidential Nominee

David Kessler Staffer for Orrin Hatch; Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration

James King (not yet released) Senior advisor and special assistant to Senator Kennedy

Paul G. Kirk, Jr. (11/2005) Special Assistant to Edward Kennedy; DNC Chairman; Senator, Massachusetts

Paul G. Kirk, Jr. (06/2007) Special Assistant to Edward Kennedy; DNC Chairman; Senator, Massachusetts

C. Everett Koop (not yet released) United States Surgeon General under President Reagan

Barnett Alexander “Sandy” Kress Education Advisor to George W. Bush

Mathilde Krim (not yet released) Founding chairman of American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR)

Kathy Kruse (not yet released) Cultural Policy Advisor, Senior Counselor to Senator Kennedy

Barbara Lahage Staffer for Edward Kennedy

Patrick Leahy Senator, Vermont

Anthony Lewis Columnist, New York Times

John Lewis Congressman, Georgia

Judith Lichtman Former Director for National Partnershp for Women and Families

Nick Littlefield (5/3/2008) Staff Director and Chief Counsel for Senator Kennedy on the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee

Nick Littlefield (5/4/2008) Staff Director and Chief Counsel for Senator Kennedy on the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee

Nick Littlefield (6/30/2008) Staff Director and Chief Counsel for Senator Kennedy on the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee

Nick Littlefield (7/1/2008) Staff Director and Chief Counsel for Senator Kennedy on the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee

Nick Littlefield (2/14/2009) Staff Director and Chief Counsel for Senator Kennedy on the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee

Nick Littlefield (2/15/2009) Staff Director and Chief Counsel for Senator Kennedy on the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee

George Cabot Lodge Assistant Secretary of Labor for International Affairs in Eisenhower & Kennedy administrations

Chester Trent Lott Senator, Mississippi

Richard Lugar Senator, Indiana

Nance Lyons Legislative Assistant to Edward Kennedy; Civil Rights Attorney

Neil Macneil Journalist and television correspondent

Ira Magaziner (not yet released) White House adviser on health care reform for President Clinton

James Manley Press Secretary for Edward Kennedy

Thurgood Marshall, JR. Staffer for Edward Kennedy

Edward Martin Staffer for Edward Kennedy

Charles Mathias Former Senator, Maryland

John Mccain Senator, Arizona

Paul McDaniel Aide to Senator Al Gore Sr.; Adviser to Edward Kennedy

Cindy McGinty Founder & President, McGinty Scholarship Fund; Board Member, Mass Military Heroes Fund

Alice Mcgoff Professor of History, University of Massachusetts

George Mcgovern Senator from South Dakota; former Democratic Presidential nominee

Barbara Mikulski Senator, Maryland

George Miller Congressman, California

Melody Miller (07/2008) Staffer for Kennedy Family

Melody Miller (10/2008) Staffer for Kennedy Family

Melvin Miller Editor and Founder, Bay State Banner

George Mitchell Senate Majority Leader; Senator, Maine

Walter Mondale Vice President

James Mongan Staffer for Russell Long

Ellis Mottur (10/2006) Kennedy staffer; science/technology expert

Ellis Mottur (11/2006) Kennedy staffer; science/technology expert

Michael Myers (2006) Staffer for Edward Kennedy

Michael Myers (10/16/2009) (not yet released) Chief counsel and staff director to Senator Kennedy

Ralph Neas (not yet released) Former Executive Director of the nonpartisan Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), and the Leadership Conference Education Fund

David Nexon Staffer for Edward Kennedy

Martin Nolan Reporter, The Boston Globe

Barack Obama (not yet released) President of the United States, former United States Senator, Illinois

Niall O’Dowd Journalist; Liaison between Sinn Féin and the White House

Sean O’Huiginn Irish Ambassador to United States; Joint Secretary, British-Irish Secretariat; Irish Consul General (New York)

Esther Olavarria Staffer for Edward Kennedy

Thomas Oliphant (11/15/2006) (not yet released) Boston Globe reporter and columnist

Thomas Oliphant (3/14/2007) (not yet released) Boston Globe reporter and columnist

Carolyn Osolinik Judiciary Committee Staff Attorney for Senator Edward Kennedy

Joel Packer (not yet released) Former Director of Educational Policy and Practice, National Education Association

Peter Parham (not yet released) Special assistant on education to Senator Kennedy

Carey Parker (09/2008) Chief Legislative Assistant for Edward Kennedy

Carey Parker (10/06/2008) Chief Legislative Assistant for Edward Kennedy

Carey Parker (10/13/2008) Chief Legislative Assistant for Edward Kennedy

Carey Parker (10/20/2008) Chief Legislative Assistant for Edward Kennedy

Carey Parker (10/27/2008) Chief Legislative Assistant for Edward Kennedy

Carey Parker (11/10/2008) Chief Legislative Assistant for Edward Kennedy

Carey Parker (11/17/2008) Chief Legislative Assistant for Edward Kennedy

Carey Parker (12/2008) Chief Legislative Assistant for Edward Kennedy

Thomas Payzant Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education; Superintendent of Boston Public Schools

Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the House

Danica Petroshius Chief of Staff to Edward Kennedy

Elizabeth Philipps Mother of Pan-Am Flight 103 Victim, Sarah Phillips

Caroline Raclin Daughter of Vicki Reggie Kennedy

Curran Raclin Son of Vicki Reggie Kennedy

Ken Regan Photographer

Doris and Edmund Reggie (8/2005) Father-in-law and mother-in-law; long-time family friends

Doris and Edmund Reggie (12/2008) Edward M. Kennedy’s father-in-law and mother-in-law; family friends; Kennedy supporters

Harry Reid (not yet released) Senate Majority Leader; Senator, Nevada

Albert Reynolds (not yet released) Former Taoiseach of Ireland

Donald Riegle (7/8/2008) (not yet released) Congressman and United States Senator, Michigan

Donald Riegle (9/1/2009) (not yet released) Congressman and United States Senator, Michigan

Richard Riley Secretary of Education under Clinton

Terri Haddad Robinson (7/22/2009) Staffer for Kennedy

Terri Haddad Robinson (8/25/2009) Former aide and press assistant to Senator Kennedy

Thomas M. Rollins (03/2009) Chief Counsel, Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources

Thomas M. Rollins (04/2009) Chief Counsel, Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources

Thomas M. Rollins (05/12/2009) Chief Counsel, Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources

Thomas M. Rollins (05/14/2009) Chief Counsel, Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources

Warren Rudman New Hampshire Senator

Mona Sarfaty (not yet released) Associate Director for Health Policy, HELP Committee, US Senate

Patti B. Saris Chief Justice, US District Court for Massachusetts; Staffer for Edward Kennedy, Senate Judiciary Committee

James Ralph Sasser Tennessee Senator

Arthur Schlesinger Jr. (not yet released) Democratic party activist and speechwriter and Special Assistant to the President for Latin America to President Kennedy

Mark Schneider (2/2/2009) Peace Corp Director; Kennedy Staffer

Mark Schneider (2/04/2009) Peace Corp Director; Kennedy Staffer

Elizabeth Shannon Wife of US Ambassador to Ireland William V. Shannon; family friend

Stuart Shapiro (04/2009) Senior Staff Member of the U.S. Senate Sub-Committee on Health and Scientific Research; Massachusetts Deputy Health Commissioner; President, Pennsylvania Health Care Association

Stuart Shapiro (05/2009) Senior Staff Member of the U.S. Senate Sub-Committee on Health and Scientific Research; Massachusetts Deputy Health Commissioner; President, Pennsylvania Health Care Association

Robert Shriver III and Maria Shriver Niece and Nephew (also Godson) of Edward Kennedy

Robert Shrum (7/6/2009) (not yet released) Speechwriter and political consultant in eight presidential elections and to Senator Kennedy

Robert Shrum (7/7/2009) (not yet released) Speechwriter and political consultant in eight presidential elections and to Senator Kennedy

John Siegenthaler (not yet released) Aide and friend to Attorney General Robert Kennedy, publisher of The Tennessean

Alan Simpson Wyoming Senator

Marshall (Mike) Smith (not yet released) Deputy Secretary of Education during Clinton Administration

Nancy Soderberg Foreign policy adviser to Senator Kennedy

Theodore C. Sorensen (2005) Family friend; advisor

Theodore C. Sorensen (2006) Family friend; advisor

Barbara Souliotis (2005) Director of Edward M. Kennedy’s Boston office

Barbara Souliotis (2009) Director of Edward M. Kennedy’s Boston office

Margaret Spellings Secretary of Education under President George W. Bush

A. Clayton Spencer (not yet released) Chief education counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources

Anne Strauss Staff Director, Senate National Science Foundation Subcommittee; Legislative Correspondent to Senator Kennedy

Thomas Susman Staffer for Edward Kennedy

David Sutphen Staffer for Edward Kennedy

William Taylor (01/2007) Civil Rights Attorney; General Counsel, US Commission on Civil Rights

William Taylor (02/2007) Civil Rights Attorney; General Counsel, US Commission on Civil Rights

Betty Taymor Family friend; Massachusetts politics

Charles Tretter Campaign aide

Laurence H. Tribe Attorney; Professor of Constitutional Law, Harvard Law School

John Tunney (2007) Senator, California

John Tunney (2009) Senator, California; friend

Archbishop Desmond Tutu Archbishop, Nobel Peace Prize winner

Trina Vargo Foreign Policy Adviser to Edward Kennedy; Founder of US-Ireland Alliance

Galina Veremkroit (formally Nizhnikov) Soviet Refusenik

John W. Warner (not yet released) United States Senator, Virginia

Henry Waxman (not yet released) U.S. Congressman, California

Sharon Waxman (2008) Senior national security advisor to Senator Kennedy

Sharon Waxman (2009) Senior national security advisor to Senator Kennedy

Ronald Weich Staffer for Edward Kennedy

Lowell P. Weicker, Jr. Senator, Connecticut; Governor, Connecticut

Burt V. Wides (not yet released) Chief Counsel to Senator Kennedy on national security issues, Secretary of Defense during Kennedy Administration

Angela Williams (not yet released) Special Counsel on criminal law to Senator Kennedy

James Sterling Young Professor of Government, University of Virginia

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