Former CIA chief John McCone, who directed photo reconnaissance that confirmed the presence of Soviet missiles in Cuba in 1962, has died of a heart attack. He was 89.
McCone died Thursday night at his home in Pebble Beach, authorities said.President John F. Kennedy appointed McCone CIA director in 1961, replacing Allen Dulles after the abortive Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. McCone served as director until 1965.
Although a Republican in a Democratic administration, McCone became close to Kennedy, meeting privately with him on a regular basis. His access to the White House was enhanced by the agency's performance during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, when photo reconnaissance confirmed McCone's suspicion that the Soviet Union had placed missiles in Cuba.
CIA Director William H. Webster said McCone "made an enormous contribution to the security of this nation. He guided the intelligence community during a particularly trying time."
McCone also served as chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission from 1958-1960 under President Dwight D. Eisenhower.