Frank Mankiewicz: Democratic insider dies at 90

Mankiewicz speaks to reporters outside Hospital of the Good Samaritan in June, 1968. LAPL/Herald Examiner Collection

Frank Mankiewicz was a Hollywood lawyer, press secretary to Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, campaign manager for presidential candidate George McGovern, vice chairman of Hill & Knowlton, columnist for the Washington Post and the head of National Public Radio in a long career in politics and public life. He also served as an executive in the Peace Corps. Mankiewicz died Thursday of heart failure at a hospital in Washington, at the age of 90. He grew up in Beverly Hills, the son of Oscar-winning screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz and the nephew of Joseph L. Mankiewicz, and is an alum of Beverly Hills High School.

At 2 a.m. on June 6, 1968, Mankiewicz announced the death of Robert Kennedy following the shooting in the pantry of the Ambassador Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard.

Mankiewicz became a nemesis of President Richard Nixon, who included the Democrat on his "enemies list" of targets of political abuse, and Mankiewicz used to say that the August 9 date of Nixon's resignation due to the Watergate scandal should be celebrated as a national holiday. Mankiewicz later had an office in the Watergate office complex in Washington. He authored two books on Nixon, “Perfectly Clear: Nixon from Whittier to Watergate” (1973) and “U.S. v. Richard M. Nixon: The Final Crisis” (1975).

Survivors includes sons Josh Mankiewicz, a correspondent in Los Angeles for "Dateline NBC," and Ben Mankiewicz, a host on Turner Classic Movies. NBC's report by Brian Williams:

New York Times obit, NPR obit, LA Times obit

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