William Bertram MacFarland (known as Bertie Mac) never sought—or even imagined—a role as a Special Assistant to President John F. Kennedy.
He holds degrees from Duke University were in Mathematics and Physics (Quantum Mechanics) but fate and the U.S. government extinguished any hope of a career in those fields.
He slowly came to be a friend and confidant of President Kennedy in his (unsought) role as Special Assistant to the President and he tried in vain to resign his position when President Kennedy was assassinated.
The knowledge and “back channel” contacts that he had accumulated—and continued to accumulate as his career progressed—made him uniquely valuable to a long succession of U.S. Presidents.
Bertie Mac had 50 years of access to the highest levels of nine Administrations and the highly classified materials.