"You will always be a shining knight to me." These two letters, written more than twenty-five years apart, demonstrate that throughout her life, Mrs. Kennedy believed that Robert McNamara was one of the great men of his time. The first letter was written from the Palacio de las Duenas in Seville and reports on her visit to Argentina, where her host "said that you were the only great man in North America now!" She notes that South American dances seem "to need more training & fitness than you & Bobby ever need for your mountain climbs." After flying to Spain she attended "the most disastrous and papparazzi infested ball which I didn't want to go to begin with." But despite planning to go to bed early, she wanted to take time to acknowledge the behind-the-scenes assistance McNamara gave to arranging the trip. "I wish you could see [las Duenas]—to tell you how I appreciate all your thoughtfulness—I think of you & hope that you take care of yourself & that things are not awful."
The 1993 letter, perhaps sent in response to a dispirited note from McNamara, makes clear that she considers him one of the great men in the world, not just in North America. "Look at what Les Aspin said about you. Don't you ever doubt for a moment that you were one of the most valuable men in American history. And respected—and admired and loved.
"That's why people want to write books about you—because you towered above the others—I'm sure you'd be willing to give up that dubious compliment! But it is a compliment and you let them diminish you by getting upset. Didn't Mrs. Roosevelt say, 'No one can humiliate me without my assent?' You will always be a shining knight to me."