John Siegenthaler (1927-), an American journalist, created and founded the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University, which he chairs. He is a member of the Liberty and Security Committee of the Constitution Project.
Previously, he was President, American Society of Newspaper Editors. He retired, in 1991, as Founding Editorial Director of USA Today and, for The Tennessean, Nashville's morning newspaper, retiring as editor, publisher and CEO after 43 years.
He had been, in the 1960s, Administrative Assistant to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. In 1962, he was the John F. Kennedy administration's chief negotiator with the Governor of Alabama during the Freedom Rides crisis. During that crisis, he was beaten by Ku Klux Klan members at the bus terminal, and hospitalized with head injuries.
Wikipedia controversyIn 2005, an anonymous edit to Wikipedia said
John Seigenthaler Sr. was the assistant to Attorney General Robert Kennedy in the early 1960's. For a brief time, he was thought to have been directly involved in the Kennedy assassinations of both John, and his brother, Bobby. Nothing was ever proven. John Seigenthaler moved to the Soviet Union in 1971, and returned to the United States in 1984," Wikipedia said. "He started one of the country's largest public relations firms shortly thereafter."
The material also spread to reference.com and answers.com. It was removed when Seigenthaler pointed out, to Jimmy Wales, that only one sentence was true: he was Robert F. Kennedy's administrative assistant.
He was also one of his pallbearers.
He is chair of the Robert F. Kennedy Book Awards for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, and he is chairman emeritus of the annual Profile in Courage Award selection committee of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.