Long-time member of the Catholic League’s board of directors, Kenneth Whitehead, died of cancer on April 16. He was a prolific author, activist, diplomat, government administrator, and linguist; he also translated many books from French and German to English.
Ken authored, or co-authored, 27 books, ranging in subject from the Second Vatican Council to Catholic higher education. His work on the Catholic Catechism, written with Msgr. Michael Wrenn, was a cogent response to the volume’s critics. Whether discussing religious liberty or public policy, he never lacked for insight or courage. He also served as a diplomat in Rome, Lebanon, and Libya, and later as Assistant Secretary of Education in the Reagan administration.
As a board member of the Catholic League for over two decades, Ken authored 25 articles and book reviews for us; some were published in our monthly journal, Catalyst, and others were posted online. His scope was large: he provided a masterful review of the many books written by scholars who defended Pope Pius XII, and was just at home writing about ObamaCare. When asked to represent the Catholic League at Washington functions, he never turned us down.
Ken was a convert to the Catholic Church, and a brave and brilliant defender of the faith. He was also extremely kind and self-giving. To say he will be missed is an understatement. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Margaret, and their four sons.