Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Kenneth Dennis, May 9, 1993

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:03 - Cooper's personality and office / People to interview

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Partial Transcript: I also, at this time was. . .

Segment Synopsis: Dennis describes Cooper's personality and generous nature. Cooper's office at the Covington & Burling law firm is detailed. Dennis also lists potential interviewees for this project.

Keywords: Cherokee Park (Louisville, Ky.); Children; Dean Acheson; Dwight Eisenhower; Gerald Ford; Hearing; Hearing aids; James Stewart; Jawaharlal Nehru; John Sherman Cooper; Neighbors; Royalty; Secretary; Students; Thruston Morton; U.S. Ambassador to East Germany

Subjects: Capitol Hill (Washington, D.C.); Covington & Burling; German; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Louisville (Ky.); Pennsylvania Avenue (Washington, D.C.); Politicians; Presidents; Retirement; Somerset (Ky.); Staff; Washington (D.C.)

00:09:43 - Cooper's house / Cooper's sense of humor

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Partial Transcript: . . .It's on the corner there.

Segment Synopsis: Dennis describes Cooper's house, including its layout and furniture. Dennis also details Cooper's sense of humor.

Keywords: Articles; Character; Democrats; Franklin D. Roosevelt; General MacArthur; George H.W. Bush; Inauguration Day; John Sherman Cooper; Lorraine Cooper; Newspaper columnists; Personalities; Presidents; Republicans; Television; Theodore Roosevelt

Subjects: Georgetown (Washington, D.C.); Personality.; Politicians; Washington (D.C.)

00:16:36 - Cooper's domestic life / Cooper later in life

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Partial Transcript: And during the years when he had the butler, the English butler, Michael.

Segment Synopsis: Dennis recalls what Cooper's home life was like during his later years.

Keywords: Alcohol; Butlers; Drinking; John Sherman Cooper; Law offices; Personal secretary; Walter Annenberg

Subjects: Children; Covington & Burling; Georgetown (Washington, D.C.); Health; Hospitality; Politicians; Washington (D.C.)

00:23:17 - Cooper's social life / Cooper's emotional nature

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Partial Transcript: --Uh--and his closeness to the president. . .

Segment Synopsis: Dennis illustrates Cooper's social connections with many prominent American political families including the Kennedys, the Bushes, and the Reagans. Dennis recalls Cooper's emotional nature, especially in his later years.

Keywords: Barbara Bush; Barry Bingham Sr.; Connections; County judges; Democrats; Edward Kennedy; Fathers; First wife; George H.W. Bush; Hal Rogers; Holidays; Howard Baker; Jackie Kennedy; John F. Kennedy; John Sherman Cooper; Lorraine Cooper; Mitch McConnell; O. Leonard Press; Parents; Prescott Bush; Republicans; Ronald Reagan; Sisters; Sons; Vice presidents; White House; Wife; Young people

Subjects: Bush family; Families.; Frankfort (Ky.); Kennedy family; Marriage; Mental health; Politicians; Social life; Somerset (Ky.); Speeches; Washington (D.C.)

00:35:59 - Cooper's later years

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Partial Transcript: But--uh--then at the end. . .

Segment Synopsis: Dennis remembers what Cooper was like in his later years.

Keywords: Albert "Happy" Chandler; Assassinations; Friends; John F. Kennedy; John Sherman Cooper; Letters; Manuscripts; Students; Warren Commission; Writing

Subjects: Covington & Burling; Critique; Georgetown (Washington, D.C.); Hearing; Memory; Pennsylvania Avenue (Washington, D.C.); Politicians; Washington (D.C.)

00:40:52 - Lorraine Cooper

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Partial Transcript: We went to the home, this was before Mrs. Cooper died. . .

Segment Synopsis: Dennis shares his memories of Lorraine Cooper and her life.

Keywords: Accomplishments; Assassinations; Daughters; Dwight Eisenhower; Edwina Mountbatten; Fathers; Funerals; Indira Gandhi; Jawaharlal Nehru; John F. Kennedy; John Sherman Cooper; Lady Mountbatten; Lorraine Cooper; Mothers; Randolph Churchill; Supreme Court; U.S. Ambassador to India; Viceroys; Wendell Ford; Winston Churchill; World War II

Subjects: Age; Death; Georgetown (Washington, D.C.); Health; Justices; Marriage; New Delhi (India); Pasadena (Calif.); Politicians; Travel; Washington (D.C.); World War, 1939-1945

00:48:18 - Cooper's habits

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Partial Transcript: . . .Can tell you about--uh--what a terrible backseat driver he was.

Segment Synopsis: Dennis describes some of Cooper's habits he picked up later in life, including being a backseat driver.

Keywords: Chauffeurs; Drivers; Driving; John Sherman Cooper; Personal secretary

Subjects: Cocktails; Politicians; Retirement; Travel; Washington (D.C.)

00:52:50 - Last visit with Cooper / Cooper's grave

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Partial Transcript: The last time that I was in his home was Inauguration Day--uh--of '89, January of '89.

Segment Synopsis: Dennis recalls the last time he saw Cooper before his death in 1991. Dennis describes what Cooper's headstone at Arlington National Cemetery looks like.

Keywords: Accomplishments; Humana Building (Louisville, Ky.); John Sherman Cooper; Patton's Third Army; Ronald Reagan; U.S. Army; Warren Commission; World War II

Subjects: Arlington National Cemetery (Arlington, Va.); Bush family; Correspondence; Death; Friendship; Georgetown (Washington, D.C.); Inauguration Day; Kennedy family; Louisville (Ky.); Politicians; Regrets; Travel; Washington (D.C.)

00:56:51 - Cooper's death / Cooper's generous nature

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Partial Transcript: But he, I understood was out earlier in--in the day on the day he died. . .

Segment Synopsis: Dennis relays the circumstances behind Cooper's death. Dennis highlights Cooper's generous nature.

Keywords: British government; Character; Charles H. Price II; House of Commons; John Sherman Cooper; Mothers; Parents; Personality; Senate; U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom

Subjects: Ancestors; Death; England; Georgetown (Washington, D.C.); Kentuckians; Kentucky; Politicians; United States. Department of State; Washington (D.C.)

00:59:57 - Law work in later years / Louie Nunn and Cooper

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Partial Transcript: Now I don't know really what he was supposed to be doing for Covington & Burling.

Segment Synopsis: Dennis briefly talks of Cooper's work at Covington & Burling in the 1970s and 1980s. Dennis also discusses the dynamics between Cooper and Louie Nunn.

Keywords: 1967 Kentucky Republican gubernatorial primary; Campaign managers; Charles E. Bohlen; Dean Acheson; Dwight Eisenhower; Governors; John Sherman Cooper; John Y. Brown Jr.; Lorraine Cooper; Louie Nunn; Marlow Webster Cook; Nephews; Nieces; Political nominations; Republican nominations; Sons; Thruston Morton

Subjects: Catholics; Covington & Burling; Georgetown (Washington, D.C); Heirs; Louisville (Ky.); Nunn, Louie B., 1924-2004; Pennsylvania Avenue (Washington, D.C.); Politicians; Washington (D.C.)

01:05:45 - Students and Cooper / Cooper's final years

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Partial Transcript: Well so what did--what did the school children make of him. . .

Segment Synopsis: Dennis considers how his students reacted to visiting Cooper. Dennis shares memories of Cooper in his final years.

Keywords: Associate justices; Brother; Dwight Eisenhower; Illnesses; John F. Kennedy; John Sherman Cooper; Lorraine Cooper; Louisville Courier-Journal; Middle schools; Nursing homes; Sister-in-law; Supreme Court; Tributes; University; Vice presidents; Wife; William Rehnquist

Subjects: Age; Children; Death; Georgetown (Washington, D.C.); Health; Louisville (Ky.); Politicians; Students; Washington (D.C.)

01:11:53 - Writing a biography

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Partial Transcript: . . .Barker was succeeded by a woman. . .

Segment Synopsis: The interviewer illustrates some of the more difficult aspects of preparing to write a biography.

Keywords: Andrew Jackson; Assassinations; Cooper-Church Amendments; East Germany; Embassy; Henry Clay; Jawaharlal Nehru; John F. Kennedy; John Sherman Cooper; Legislation; Lord Mountbatten; Mahatma Gandhi; Minority party; Mississippi Delta (Miss. : Region); New York Times book review; Obituary; Protests; Publishers; Reporters; Resources; Secretary; Senate; Senate terms; Warren Commission

Subjects: Biography; Capitol Hill (Washington, D.C.); Childhood; Civil rights; Civil rights movement; Correspondence; Death; Editorials; Hampshire (England); India; Kentuckians; Letters; Lexington (Ky.); Mississippi; New York times; Newspapers; Politicians; Somerset (Ky.); Staff; University of Kentucky; Vietnam War, 1961-1975; Washington (D.C.); Writing

01:21:49 - Cooper and recognition / Influences on Cooper's life

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Partial Transcript: I--I really do want to talk to John Tuska, who did the bust of him that's in the Capitol.

Segment Synopsis: Dennis describes how Cooper typically reacted to recognition for his achievements. The interviewer talks of important events in Cooper's early life that shaped his character.

Keywords: 1939 gubernatorial campaign; Albert "Happy" Chandler; Brothers; County judges; Death; Fathers; First marriage; Gossip; John Sherman Cooper; John Sherman Cooper Commemoration Fund; John Tuska; Larry Forgy; Lawsuits; Lorraine Cooper; Maiden names; Marriages; Mental hospitals; Mother; Patton's Third Army; Political opponents; Politics; Richard Cooper; Siblings; Sister-in-law; Step-daughters; University; Widows; World War II

Subjects: Debts; Divorce; Early life; Europe; Fort Custer (Mich.); Frankfort (Ky.); Harvard Law School; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Kentucky State Capitol (Frankfort, Ky.); Newspapers; Oregon; Personality; Politicians; Somerset (Ky.); Stockbridge (Mass.); Washington (D.C.); World War, 1939-1945