John Seigenthaler Eulogized As Defender Of The Constitution

John Seigenthaler Eulogized As Defender Of The Constitution

Since his retirement in 1991, John Seigenthaler has served as chairman of the First Amendment Center. Image: First Amendment Center
Siegenthaler spent much of his career at The Tennessean, but he also a confidante of Bobby Kennedy and a Judicial Department staffer during Kennedy’s tenure as Attorney General. That job took him into the Deep South during the Civil Rights movement. In his eulogy, Father Strobel said that, as much as he loved journalism, Siegenthaler would have left the newspaper in a heartbeat had Bobby Kennedy won the presidency and invited Siegenthaler to take a role in his administration. Image: First Amendment Center

John Seigenthaler was memorialized today at Nashville’s Cathedral of the Incarnation as a man devoted to America’s founding tenets.

The former editor and publisher of the Tennesseean was remembered for his work as a journalist and Civil Rights advocate. Father Charles Strobel said that work could be summed up as an effort to live out the idea that all people are created equal.

Jack Seigenthaler spoke about treasuring his grandfather’s written messages.

One of my favorite notes is an inscription on a pocket version of the US Constitution he gave me. It reads: ‘To Jack, this is my Bible. Love, Grand.’

Roughly a thousand mourners attended Seigenthaler’s funeral mass. It was held in the same catholic church where he was baptized and married. But it ended with a choir made up of singers from four of Nashville’s black Baptist churches, leading a chorus of “I’ll Fly Away.”

Nina Cardona

Nina Cardona is WPLN's host for All Things Considered. As a reporter, she covers a wide range of assignments with an emphasis on culture, the arts and local history. A graduate of Converse College, she's lived in Middle Tennessee most of her life.
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