Cuneo, Ernest L., 1905-1988


Cuneo, Ernest L., 1905-1988


Bio: Ernest Cuneo (1906-1988), lawyer, newspaperman, author, and intelligence liaison, was born in East Rutherford, New Jersey. After he graduated from law school, Cuneo became law secretary to Fiorello LaGuardia, then a congressman from New York. In 1936, James Farley appointed Cuneo associate general counsel of the Democratic National Committee. When World War II began, General William Donovan, head of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), appointed Cuneo liaison officer between the OSS, British Intelligence, the FBI, the Department of State, and the White House. For his service during the war, Cuneo was decorated by Italy, Great Britain, and the City of Genoa. As a lawyer, Cuneo was an authority on libel and constitutional law, especially in freedom of the press. He represented Walter Winchell during Winchell's most influential period. In his later years, although he continued to practice law, Cuneo was more involved in the newspaper business and in writing. He served as president of the North American Newspaper Alliance and was later editor-at-large of the Saturday Evening Post. For a number of years he wrote a syndicated column, "Take It or Leave It," which appeared three times a week.


LBJ Connection: Associate Counsel, Democratic National Committee, 1936-1940; White House Liaison Officer, OSS, 1942-1945; Chairman of the Board, National American Newspaper Alliance, Inc., 1950-1963