Torbert H. “Torby” Macdonald was a college roommate of JFK and also a lifelong friend.
Macdonald was born June 6, 1917 in Everett, Massachusetts. He attended Phillips Academy in Andover for part of his education and then entered Harvard, where he was popular and the captain of the football team. He also roomed with JFK for several years and they remained close. Macdonald served as both an usher and honorary pallbearer for JFK and chose Kennedy as a godfather for his first born son.
Like Kennedy, Torby also commanded a PT boat in the South Pacific (1942-1944) and was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart.
After the war, he graduated from Harvard Law School and became a partner in Stoneman, MacDonald, and Chandler. Active in regional land planning, he was elected to Congress in 1954, rose to the level of Majority Whip, and served until his death in 1976.
Macdonald became something of an expert in broadcast legislation, pushing hard for the formation of corporation for public broadcasting and championing the “sports blackout law” that prohibits some telecasts from sports venues that have remaining unsold seats.