Chicago newswire editor told the world of JFK's death

Only 26, Larry Lorenz was the first desk editor in Chicago's UPI office on Nov. 22, 1963.

November 22, 2013

(Larry Lorenz)
Larry Lorenz, age 25. One year later he helped break the news of JFK’s assassination while working for United Press International in Chicago.

Larry Lorenz says the morning of November 22, 1963 began like most days — editing copy for the UPI in a smoky newsroom full of teletype machines.

Then at 12:34 p.m. CST, as Lorenz was about to step out for lunch a teletype bell clanged five times. The bulletin that came across the wire made him gasp: “Three shots were fired at President Kennedy’s motorcade in downtown Dallas.”

Larry Lorenz was only 26 at the time, working as the first desk editor in the Chicago office of United Press International.

Soon it would be his job to convey the news to the rest of the world — a task that has haunted him ever since.