AP/ Gretchen Ertl, file
October 20, 2004
Pierre Salinger, a former press secretary to President John F. Kennedy who went on to a brief stint in the Senate and a career in business, before working in Europe for ABC News, died Saturday, Oct. 16, 2004, at his home in the south of France. He was 79. Pierre Emil George Salinger was born in San Francisco on June 14 1925, the son of a Jewish impresario and musician. His mother was French, and a Roman Catholic. Pierre was bi-lingual from childhood and a musical prodigy at 6. He served with distinction in the Navy in World War II, fighting in the Pacific. In 1955 he began a career in journalism, taking a job at the San Francisco Chronicle. He worked for Adlai Stevenson, who ran for the Democrats against Dwight Eisenhower in the 1952 presidential election, before joining the JFK team. He was White House press secretary from 1961 to 1964, serving under Lyndon B. Johnson after Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963. Salinger was elected interim senator for California in 1964, following the death of the incumbent, but was defeated in the race later that year. Salinger left the United States to live in France after the assassination of Robert Kennedy, who he worked for briefly. In 1987 he returned to the United States and continued working with ABC until 1993.