WASHINGTON - Former New York Times correspondent Tom Wicker, who was riding in the presidential motorcade when John F. Kennedy was assassinated, died on Friday at the age of 85, the Times reported.
Wicker, who went on to become Washington bureau chief for the Times and a long-time political columnist, died of an apparent heart attack at his home in Rochester, Vermont, the newspaper said.
Wicker was a 37-year-old White House correspondent when Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963, the newspaper said.
He dictated his story of the tragic events of the day from a telephone booth using notes scribbled on the presidential itinerary for what was to have been a routine political trip to Texas, it said.
Wicker took over as the Washington bureau chief of the Times the next year and began writing a political column, "In the Nation," two years later, which was featured in the Times until his retirement in 1991, the newspaper said.
A liberal, Wicker opposed the growing US involvement in Vietnam and his columns about Watergate earned him a place on president Richard Nixon's infamous "enemies list," the Times said,
Wicker was the author of 20 books including the 1975 "A Time to Die" about the uprising at New York's Attica prison which left 10 hostages and 32 inmates dead.