Verena Dobnik (HuffPo):
Sorensen's brain of steel was never needed more than in October 1962, with the U.S. and the Soviet Union on the brink of nuclear annihilation over the placement of Soviet missiles in Cuba. Kennedy directed Sorensen and Bobby Kennedy, the administration's attorney general, to draft a letter to Nikita Khrushchev, who had sent conflicting messages, first conciliatory, then confrontational.
The carefully worded response – which ignored the Soviet leader's harsher statements and included a U.S. concession involving U.S. weaponry in Turkey – was credited with persuading the Soviets to withdraw their missiles from Cuba and with averting war between the superpowers.
Sorensen considered his role his greatest achievement.
"That's what I'm proudest of," he once told the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald. "Never had this country, this world, faced such great danger. You and I wouldn't be sitting here today if that had gone badly." MORE...