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30 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 05 November 2010

On Last Word this week:
"Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." The man who put those words in John F Kennedy's mouth - his speechwriter Ted Sorensen.
Also the principal trumpeter of the London Symphony Orchestra Maurice Murphy, whose talents were showcased in movie soundtracks like Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Braveheart
Sheik Saqr bin Mohammed al Qasimi - the world's longest serving ruler - who led the emirate of Ras al Khaimah for 62 years.
The astronomer Professor John Huchra who developed a revolutionary map of the universe
And the Blackburn Rovers and England footballer Ronnie Clayton - who was a hero to the fans and earned £20 a week.

  • Theodore Chaikin Sorensen

    Lawyer and political adviser who has died aged 82

    Theodore Sorensen – always known as Ted – was born in Nebraska into what he called a Danish-Russian-Jewish-Unitarian family. He studied law before joining John F Kennedy’s staff in 1952 at the age of 24. The pair formed a close bond with Sorensen playing a key role in the Presidential campaign of 1960 and staying at Kennedy’s side throughout his short administration. Sorensen’s facility with words earned him the nickname “the poet of Camelot”.

    Matthew Bannister talks to Philip Collins, a former speechwriter to Tony Blair, John F Kennedy’s official biographer Dr Robert Dallek and Democrat politician Paul Kirk.

    Theodore Chaikin Sorensen was born 28 May 1928 and died 31 October 2010

  • Maurice Harrison Murphy

    Musician who has died 75

    Maurice Harrison Murphy started off his playing career by following his father into the world of brass bands. He won the all Britain cornet championships at the age of twelve and appeared on Opportunity Knocks two years later where he came second to a Pearly King.

    At 21, he was playing in the UK’s most prestigious band – the Black Dyke Mills. From there, he was invited to join the BBC Northern Orchestra – now known as the BBC Philharmonic. His trumpet playing featured on John Williams’ soundtrack for Raiders of the Lost Ark. It was not the only film that the principal trumpeter of the London Symphony Orchestra played on. Whenever Williams was recording a soundtrack, he would ask for Maurice.

    Matthew Bannister talks to the current principal trumpet of the LSO, Rod Franks and the 2nd trumpet, Gerry Ruddock.

    Maurice Harrison Murphy was born 7 August 1935 and died 28 October 2010

  • Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed al-Qasimi

    Ruler of Ras al-Khaimah has died aged 92

    Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed al-Qasimi was the world’s longest serving ruler. After taking power from his uncle in a bloodless coup in 1948, he led the Arab emirate of Ras al Khaimah for 62 years. In the first half of the twentieth century, Ras al Khaimah was a British protectorate where the principal industries were pearl diving and fishing. After independence the country joined the United Arab Emirates, benefiting from the alliance with oil rich neighbours.

    Matthew Bannister talks to Colonel David Neild and Dr. James Onley, an expert in Middle Eastern History at Exeter University.

    Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed al-Qasimi was born 9 April 1918 and died 27 October 2010

  • John Huchra

    Astronomer who has died aged 61

    Professor John Huchra was the astrophysicist who mapped the universe and came up with the controversial finding that it was expanding twice as fast as previously thought. He was born in New Jersey and read physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    John joined the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1976 and stayed there for the rest of his career. Much of his time was spent at the Center’s observatory on Mount Hopkins in Arizona, studying galaxies through a powerful radio telescope.

    Matthew Bannister talks to Roger Davies, President of the Royal Astronomical Society and Professor Charles Alcock, Director of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

    John Huchra was born 23 December 1948 and died 8 October 2010

  • Ronnie Clayton

    Footballer who has died aged 76

    Ronnie Clayton more than six hundred and fifty appearances for Blackburn – and was capped thirty five times for England. When Ronnie Clayton was starting his career in 1951, English football was worlds away from the game’s current multi millionaire players. Ronnie earned £16 a week and lived in a comfortable, but modest house among the supporters who cheered him from the terraces.

    Matthew Bannister talks to former Blackburn player Brian Douglas.

    Ronald Clayton was born 5 August 1934 and died 29 October 2010



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    Last Word

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