David Francis Powers (April 25, 1912 – March 27, 1998) was Special Assistant and assistant Appointments Secretary to President of the United States John F. Kennedy. Powers served as Museum Curator of the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum from 1964 until his retirement in May 1994. Powers was a military veteran who had served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II from 1942 to 1945. Powers was also a very close, personal friend of John F. Kennedy.
During the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Powers and Kenneth P. O'Donnell were riding in the Secret Service follow-up car directly behind the presidential limousine and are seen in the famous Zapruder film. Before the assassination, Powers had captured personal movie film footage showing the presidential limousine and Dallas crowds with his own movie camera until he ran out of film at 12:17 p.m., shortly before reaching Dealey Plaza. This film, now known as the "Powers film," was first made public in November 1996.
Powers' granddaughter, Jenny Powers, gained fame as a Broadway actress and performer. An ardent Democrat like her grandfather, she was asked to sing the National Anthem at the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles.
Judith Campbell Exner in her autobiography 'Judith Exner: My Story' alleged that Powers assisted in setting up encounters with President Kennedy. Powers would later state that Kennedy never had an affair with Exner.
[edit | edit source]