Nightly News | May 09, 2012
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: Also tonight, Nicholas Katzenbach has died. And while his name was never on a ballot, he had a towering influence on our times. As The New York Times put it today, he helped shape the political history of the 1960s . He was one of the best and brightest profiled in the famous book of the same name by David Halberstam . He was attorney general under President Johnson and he was Bobby Kennedy 's deputy at the Justice Department before that. He helped to draft the Voting Rights Act of 1965 . And his shining moment came when he confronted Governor George Wallace on the steps of the University of Alabama on the issue of allowing black students to attend.
Mr. NICHOLAS KATZENBACH: I would ask you once again to responsibly step aside and if you do not I'm going to assure you that the orders of those courts will be enforced.
WILLIAMS: Nicholas Katzenbach was born to a prominent family. He went to Exeter and Princeton but then dropped out to go fight in World War II . As a B-25 navigator, he was shot down, captured by the Germans, spent two years as a POW. He came home, finished Princeton , then Yale Law School , then was a Rhodes Scholar . At the Justice Department he fought segregation in Mississippi , fought constantly with J. Edgar Hoover at the FBI . For good measure he later went on to the State Department and then private law practice. Nick Katzenbach was 90