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Profiles in Courage (TV series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Profiles in Courage
Tom Bosley 1965.JPG
Tom Bosley as George W. Norris, 1965
GenreHistorical anthology
Based onthe book Profiles in Courage
by John F. Kennedy (and Ted Sorensen)
Directed byLamont Johnson
Daniel Petrie
José Quintero
Michael Ritchie (film director)
Alexander Singer
Theme music composerNelson Riddle
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
Executive producerRobert Saudek
ProducerGordon Oliver
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time44 mins.
Production companyRobert Saudek Associates
DistributorNBC Films
Original networkNBC
Picture formatBlack-and-white
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseNovember 8, 1964 (1964-11-08) –
May 9, 1965 (1965-05-09)

Profiles in Courage is an American historical anthology series that was telecast weekly on NBC from November 8, 1964 to May 9, 1965 (Sundays, 6:30-7:30pm, Eastern). The series was based on the Pulitzer Prize winning 1956 book, Profiles in Courage by U.S. President John F. Kennedy (and Ted Sorensen), who had been assassinated the previous November.


The series lasted for 26 episodes, each of which would feature a figure from American history who took an unpopular stand during a critical moment in the nation's history. Seven of the eight senators from Kennedy's book were profiled, with the exception being Mississippi's Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar. Music for the opening and closing theme was arranged by Nelson Riddle, based on the Irish ballad, The Boys of Wexford, home of Kennedy's ancestors.

Episode list

Episode # Episode era and historical detail behind the individual profile in courage Episode title
(names in bold are subjects of chapters in Kennedy's book)
Year of birth Year of death Actor portrayal Original airdate
1-1 1924 Democratic National Convention#Ku Klux Klan presence — Alabama Senator Oscar Underwood opposes the Ku Klux Klan Oscar W. Underwood 1862 1929 Sidney Blackmer November 8, 1964
1-2 1918 Brooklyn high school teacher Mary Stone McDowell#Her firing as a teacher for refusing to encourage her students' purchase of World War I Liberty bonds Mary S. McDowell 1876 1955 Rosemary Harris November 15, 1964
1-3 1850 Compromise — Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton#Later Senate career and tension Thomas Hart Benton 1782 1858 Brian Keith November 29, 1964
1-4 1894 University of Wisconsin professor Richard T. Ely#Education and career in defense of academic freedom Richard T. Ely 1854 1943 Dan O'Herlihy December 6, 1964
1-5 1861 Texas in the American Civil War#Governor Sam Houston refuses to sanction Texas' secession from the Union Sam Houston 1793 1863 J. D. Cannon December 13, 1964
1-6 1915 Leo Frank#Commutation of sentence by Georgia Governor John Slaton John M. Slaton 1866 1955 Walter Matthau December 20, 1964
1-7 1770 defense attorney and future President John Adams#Counsel for the British: Boston Massacre John Adams 1735 1826 David McCallum December 27, 1964
1-8 1946 Ohio Senator Robert A. Taft#Condemnation of Nuremberg Trials Robert A. Taft 1889 1953 Lee Tracy January 3, 1965
1-9 1637 Massachusetts Bay Colony Antinomian Controversy — Boston midwife and Puritan religious reformer Anne Hutchinson Anne Hutchinson 1591 1643 Wendy Hiller January 10, 1965
1-10 1838 Missouri Militia Brigadier General Alexander William Doniphan#The 1838 Mormon War Alexander William Doniphan 1808 1887 Peter Lawford January 17, 1965
1-11 1893 Haymarket affair#Pardon and historical characterization — Illinois Governor John Peter Altgeld John Peter Altgeld 1847 1902 Burgess Meredith January 24, 1965
1-12 1843 escaped slave Frederick Douglass#Abolitionist and preacher risks recapture into slavery Frederick Douglass 1817 1895 Robert Hooks January 31, 1965
1-13 1850 Compromise — Massachusetts Senator Daniel Webster#Taylor administration, 1849–1850 Daniel Webster 1782 1852 Martin Gabel February 7, 1965
1-14 1916 President Woodrow Wilson Supreme Court candidates#Louis Brandeis nomination Woodrow Wilson 1856 1924 Whit Bissell February 14, 1965
1-15 1832 Canterbury Female Boarding School#Trials of Prudence Crandall, Connecticut schoolteacher and activist for education of black girls Prudence Crandall 1803 1890 Janice Rule February 21, 1965
1-16 1860 Tennessee Senator and future President Andrew Johnson#Secession crisis Andrew Johnson 1808 1875 Walter Matthau February 28, 1965
1-17 1869 President Ulysses S. Grant's Secretary of State Hamilton Fish#Cuban belligerency and insurrection 1869–1870 Hamilton Fish 1808 1893 Henry Jones March 7, 1965
1-18 1920 Socialist Party of America#Expulsion of Socialists from the New York AssemblyCharles Evans Hughes#Presidential candidate Charles Evans Hughes 1862 1948 Kent Smith March 14, 1965
1-19 1868 Kansas Senator Edmund G. Ross#Andrew Johnson impeachment deciding vote Edmund G. Ross 1826 1907 Bradford Dillman March 21, 1965
1-20 1917 American entry into World War I#Declaration of war — Nebraska Senator George W. Norris#Senator leads filibuster against Armed Ships Bill George W. Norris 1861 1944 Tom Bosley March 28, 1965
1-21 1887 Grover Cleveland#Vetoes pension bills — Grand Army of the Republic#History Grover Cleveland 1837 1908 Carroll O'Connor April 4, 1965
1-22 1807 John Quincy Adams#U.S. Senator from Massachusetts — support for Embargo Act of 1807 John Quincy Adams 1767 1848 Douglas Campbell April 11, 1965
1-23 1807 Burr conspiracy#Trial — Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall#Burr conspiracy trial John Marshall 1755 1835 Gary Merrill April 18, 1965
1-24 1906 Denver judge and social reformer Ben B. Lindsey#Juvenile court advocacy Benjamin Barr Lindsey 1869 1943 George Grizzard April 25, 1965
1-25 1787 Founding Father from Virginia George Mason#Road to dissent and refusal to sign the Constitution until it contained a Bill of Rights George Mason 1725 1792 Laurence Naismith May 2, 1965
1-26 1847 Ohio Senator Thomas Corwin#Political career delivers a speech in opposition to the Mexican War Thomas Corwin 1794 1865 George Rose May 9, 1965


The series won two awards; a Peabody Award for Robert Saudek and a Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Television.[1]

External links

Episodes of Profiles in Courage on the Internet Archive


This page was last edited on 25 June 2021, at 20:23
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