The Unforgettable Byron White
Kennedy, Edward M., The Yale Law Journal
I first met Byron White in the late fall of 1959. I was twenty-seven, and I was making my first trip to a group of Western states to help lay the groundwork for my brother Jack's presidential campaign in 1960. Jack had first met Byron briefly in England in the 1930s, when Byron was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford and my father was the U.S. Ambassador in London. Later, by a remarkable coincidence, Jack and Byron came to know each other well when they served together in the Navy for a month on a base in the South Pacific during World War II. I knew how much Jack liked and respected Byron, and how pleased Jack was when Byron agreed in 1959 to be my brother's Colorado chairman for the coming presidential campaign.
In a period of six weeks that fall, I went to Montana, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and then Colorado. Byron met me at the Denver airport and brought me to his law office, where I met several of his colleagues and began making a series of telephone calls. He said that the next morning we would begin driving around the state to line up support for Jack, and we did.
On the first day, we went to Pueblo and met with a railroad man who was a Democratic Party leader in the area. We found him very receptive and responsive. He said that he liked Jack, but that my brother was not well-known in the state. He thought Jack could obtain strong early support from working families in Pueblo and use that support to win votes in other parts of the state.
We continued on the trip, and at each stop, often for a breakfast or lunch, we'd get together with 25, 30, or 35 local Democratic leaders. I was impressed that so many of them attended our sessions, and I quickly understood why--they all wanted to meet Byron.
Every night, we shared a room in a local motel. …