- NAME: Pierre Salinger
- OCCUPATION: U.S. Representative, Journalist
- BIRTH DATE: June 14, 1925
- DEATH DATE: October 16, 2004
- Did You Know?: A child prodigy on the piano, Pierre Salinger gave a concert when he was 6 years old.
- EDUCATION: San Francisco State College, University of San Francisco
- PLACE OF BIRTH: San Francisco, California
- PLACE OF DEATH: Cavaillon, France
- Full Name: Pierre Emil George Salinger
- AKA: Pierre Salinger
Best Known For
Pierre Salinger served as presidential press secretary to John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. In the 1970s, he resumed his career as a journalist in Europe.
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Following Kennedy's assassination in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963, Salinger served as President Lyndon B. Johnson's press secretary for several months. In 1964, he resigned to run for the U.S. Senate.
After winning the Democratic primary in California, Salinger was appointed to fill the vacancy left when Senator Claire Engle died. In the fall of that year, however,
he was defeated in a general election by George Murphy, his Republican opponent.
In 1968, Salinger worked on Robert Kennedy's presidential campaign, and was nearby when the candidate was assassinated. Salinger briefly stepped back into the world of politics when he joined the presidential campaign team of George McGovern in 1972.
Shortly after McGovern's loss to Richard Nixon, Salinger returned to journalism. Over the next 30 years, he worked in England and France. His employers included the French magazine L'Express and ABC News, where he served as Paris bureau chief. He also wrote several books, including three novels.
Salinger's reputation took a big hit in the 1990s when he asserted, without credible evidence, that the U.S. government had been responsible for two major airline crashes. Salinger said that Pan Am Flight 103 did not go down in 1988 over Lockerbie, Scotland, because of terrorists, but rather was the consequence of a Drug Enforcement Agency action gone wrong. Falling for an Internet hoax, Salinger later claimed that an errant U.S. Navy missile had shot down TWA Flight 800 in 1996.
Following the 2000 election of President George W. Bush, a disgusted Salinger left the United States, settling into a new life in France with his fourth wife, Nicole Beauvillian de Menthon, who ran a small bed and breakfast in Le Thor. After suffering from dementia for years, he died in Cavaillon on October 16, 2004, at the age of 79. Two of Salinger's four children survived him.
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