Former AG, Civil Rights Advocate Dies

Nicholas deB. Katzenbach, who helped shape the political history of the 1960s -- facing down segregationists, shepherding historic civil rights legislation and helping to map Vietnam War strategy, died Tuesday at age 90. Katzenbach advised President John F. Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis and negotiated the release of Cuban prisoners captured during the Bay of Pigs invasion. He was Robert F. Kennedy’s second-in-charge at the Justice Department and took on F.B.I. director J. Edgar Hoover over the wiretapping of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Perhaps his most public moment came when he confronted then-Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace on the steps of the University of Alabama over the governor’s resistance to desegregation. Flanked by a federal marshal and a U.S. attorney, Katzenbach read a presidential proclamation ordering that two African American students be admitted to the school. He later escorted the students to register for classes. The New York Times looks at his life