Buffalo's Connection To JFK: A Local Attorney Shares His Stories

November 23, 2013 Updated Nov 23, 2013 at 12:22 AM EDT

By WKBW Admin

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November 23, 2013 Updated Nov 23, 2013 at 12:22 AM EDT


The 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's death brings back many memories for a Buffalo attorney whose father was recruited by JFK to work on his presidential campaign in 1960. It was the start of a long relationship with the Kennedy family, and it linked Buffalo to some of the most important events in American History.

Kevin Gaughan is now compiling stories from his father's work with President Kennedy and his own relationship with the Kennedy family years later when he met Bobby Kennedy, Jr. at Harvard. Gaughan also spent several summers on Cape Cod with the Kennedy family and during that time, struck up a friendship with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Intimate conversations with her will also be included in Gaughan's memoir, a work in progress called Ideas, Wonder and Possibilities. It will also include Gaughan's work locally on regionalization. His efforts have resulted in the reduction in the size of many town boards in our community.

Here's a short excerpt from Gaughan's book:

"On November 16, 1963, my father, Vincent Gaughan, Sr., navy blue overcoat draping his body, hugged my mother, kissed his seven children - pausing with my brother Vincent and me, ages 11 and 9, to review our chores one last time - and left our Hamburg home. He took the still-new State Thruway and brand-new Kensington Expressway to the Buffalo airport, and boarded a United Airlines flight to Texas. His friend, President John Kennedy, had once again asked for his help."

Gaughan talked to Eyewitness News about his father's role in Kennedy's fateful trip to Dallas, his visit a year earlier to Buffalo for Pulaski Day, and his conversations with Jackie Onassis many years later on the day her husband died. Channel 7 Anchor Joanna Pasceri has the story.