In the course of mulling over Ted Sorenson's eloquent 2004 Commencement Address to graduating students at the New School, I began to think that it was a a bit odd that Sorenson should speak so eloquently about integrity, since I did't think that he had ever delineated the nature of his contributions to the writing of JFK's Profiles in Courage.
For those interested in the question, Cecil Adams in The Straight Dope reports what historian and JFK biographer Herbert Parmet determined when he went through JFK's papers:
Actually, it appears that JFK's contributions to the book were more substantial than I had thought. Apparently, at least the book was JFK's idea, and he was intimately involved in putting it together, even if he wrote very little of it.
The most thorough analysis of who did what has come from historian Herbert Parmet in Jack: The Struggles of John F. Kennedy (1980). Parmet interviewed the participants and reviewed a crateful of papers in the Kennedy Library. He found that Kennedy contributed some notes, mostly on John Quincy Adams, but little that made it into the finished product. "There is no evidence of a Kennedy draft for the overwhelming bulk of the book," Parmet writes. While "the choices, message, and tone of the volume are unmistakably Kennedy's," the actual work was "left to committee labor." The "literary craftsmanship [was] clearly Sorensen's, and he gave the book both the drama and flow that made for readability." Parmet, like everyone else, shrinks from saying Sorensen was the book's ghostwriter, but clearly he was.
And Adams says that Parmet "interviewed the participants," including presumably Sorenson, though from Adams's account Parmet's conclusion seems to be based more on the Kennedy papers than on the interviews.
Nonetheless, has Sorenson ever publicly admitted that he wrote almost all of the text?
Would readers who have Parmet's JFK biography (vol. 1) in their library check to see what he reports Sorenson as having said on the question of authorship (and post the results in the comments)?