Former John F. Kennedy speechwriter Ted Sorensen was hospitalized after suffering a severe stroke, his second stroke in a decade, his assistant said Thursday.
Sorensen, 82, suffered the stroke last Friday, Laurie Morris said. She would not identify the hospital where Sorensen is being treated and said the family was requesting privacy.
Sorensen is the author of several books and was a key aide to Kennedy.
Some of Kennedy's most memorable speeches resulted from such close collaborations with Sorensen that scholars have debated who wrote what. Sorensen said that the most famous line from Kennedy's inaugural address, "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country," was written by the president himself. Others say it was Sorensen.
Sorensen suffered a stroke in 2001 that left him with such poor eyesight that he was unable to write his memoir, "Counselor," published in 2008. He dictate it to Adam Frankel, a young Princeton graduate who is now a speechwriter for President Barack Obama.
Sorensen himself backed Obama, saying he "is more like John F. Kennedy than any other candidate of our time."
Despite his impaired vision, Sorensen keeps an office at the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in New York, where he is a retired senior partner.
Morris, his assistant, said Sorensen had been maintaining a busy schedule.