Lawrence O'Brien was born on July 7, 1917 in Springfield Massachusetts. He earned a BA in 1942 at Northeastern, He directed John F. Kennedy's successful campaigns for the Senate and the Presidency. Serving as Kennedy's liaison to Congress, O'Brien tried to help the President get his "New Frontier" programs passed.
In 1965, he was named Postmaster General, a position he held until he became chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 1968-69, and again in 1970-72.
In 1972, burglars broke into O'Brien's office in the Watergate building in order to wiretap his conversations. This event, part of the Watergate scandal, eventually led to the resignation of President Nixon.
O'Brien left politics and served as commissioner of the National Basketball Association during its merger with the American Basketball Association.