David Powers

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This article is about the special assistant to JFK. For the television director, see Dave Powers (director). For the American politician, see D. Lane Powers.
David Francis Powers, Special Assistant to President John F. Kennedy.

David Francis Powers (April 25, 1912 – March 27, 1998)[1] was Special Assistant and assistant Appointments Secretary to President of the United States John F. Kennedy. Powers served as Museum Curator of the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum from 1964 until his retirement in May 1994. Powers was a military veteran who had served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II from 1942 to 1945. Powers was also a very close, personal friend of John F. Kennedy.

The son of Irish immigrants, Powers was born in the Charlestown section of Boston.[1] His father died when he was two-years old.[1]

During the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Powers and Kenneth P. O'Donnell were riding in the Secret Service follow-up car directly behind the presidential limousine and are seen in the famous Zapruder film. In 1996, the Assassination Records Review Board released three-minutes of film footage captured by Powers in Dallas prior the assassination.[2] Powers said he began filming when the motorcade left Love Field but ran out of film at 12:17 p.m before reaching Dealey Plaza.[2]

Powers and Kenneth O'Donnell co-authored "Johnny We Hardly Knew Ye": Memories of John Fitzgerald Kennedy (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1972). ISBN 0-316-71625-1

Powers' granddaughter, Jenny Powers, gained fame as a Broadway actress and performer. An ardent Democrat like her grandfather, she was asked to sing the National Anthem at the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles.

Judith Campbell Exner in her autobiography Judith Exner: My Story alleged that Powers assisted in setting up encounters with President Kennedy. Powers would later state that Kennedy never had an affair with Exner.[3]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Stevenson, Richard W. (March 28, 1998). "David Powers, 85, Aide to John Kennedy, Dies". The New York Times (New York). Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Newfound film shows JFK before assassination". CNN (Washington). November 21, 1996. Retrieved May 25, 2013. 
  3. ^ Judith Exner: From the Outfit to the Oval Office