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JFK and his unique talent for speed reading

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Dr. Gary North wrote on garynorth.com in an article “Speed Reading and Career Advantage” on January 23, 2014:


Pareto's law applies to the skill of speed-reading, just as it applies to almost everything else in life. There are a few people who have the ability to read extremely fast.

President Kennedy was one of them. Almost 30 years ago, I interviewed a man who had been an early adopter of computers. He had worked in a low-level job at the Pentagon. He did have a peculiar skill. He was able to program computers. So, as part of his extracurricular activities, which he had not been assigned, he began to collate reports coming in from all over the world. He was able to develop a tracking system which enabled him to do summary reports of material coming in from diverse sources.

You can imagine what happened next. The department that he worked for became dependent on him. Everybody wants to save time. He found a way to do it for superiors in the department.

He was then assigned the task of putting the material in a compact form of just a few pages. Next, he was sent to the war room whenever Kennedy met with his military advisers. He told me that he placed the report for the day on everybody's place at the table. He said that he sat behind Kennedy, because he was supposed to be there, just in case Kennedy did not understand something, or wanted additional information. He said that Kennedy would come in, pick up the report, skim over it in just a few seconds, and put it aside. He told me that he never saw Kennedy make a mistake in terms of summarizing in his discussion whatever was in the report. He said that Kennedy never turned back to him to ask him a question about what was in the report.

I have no reason not to believe him. This story came up as an aside in a longer interview. I had no idea about his background. I did not interview him in order to find out something about Kennedy.

Reading is as reading does. If the President of the United States can come in, briefly skim over material, remember everything in the report, and discuss it with other people who have read the report at 350 words a minute, then he has read the report. We can call it skimming, but we call it that because we cannot read that fast, and we don't want to be reminded that it may be our fault. But I don't think it is our fault. I think certain individuals have the skill of reading this fast, and assimilating the information in such a way that they can recall it.

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That JfK was a speed reader was a well known fact as was that he read five newspapers a day before breakfast.

I mention more details in JFKCountercoup.blogspot.com January 6. 2014 post called The Watchman at Dealey Plaza, a lead-in to an analysis of Gen Clifton's AF1 radio conversations.

Also in these regards please take note of the fact that it was on JFK's watch that the Situation Room was set up in a basement corner after the Bay of Pigs and the CIA's daily briefing reports, that for November 22 1963 is still classified today.


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