Hill Was Jacqueline Kennedy’s Personal Bodyguard for Years
STEUBENVILLE – Clint Hill forever will be remembered as the Secret Service agent who jumped onto the back of the presidential limousine in the midst of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.
According to a biography from the Premiere Speakers Bureau, his primary responsibility was the protection of first lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and for his actions that day, Hill received the nation’s highest civilian award for bravery.
In “Mrs. Kennedy and Me,” Hill tells the story of how a Secret Service agent who started life in a North Dakota orphanage became the most trusted man in Jacqueline Kennedy’s life. Hill’s story is told with humorous anecdotes about life with the Kennedy family, as well as his moment-by-moment account of what really happened that day in Dallas.
Hill rose through the ranks of the Secret Service to become the assistant director, responsible for all protective forces, and served five administrations – Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Ford. Even though the world viewed him as a hero, he lived with overwhelming feelings of guilt and responsibility for being unable to save President Kennedy and suffered from what is now known as traumatic stress disorder. He spiraled into a deep depression, and at the age of 43, no longer physically or mentally capable to serve as an agent, he retired from the job he loved.
After languishing for decades in what he calls his “emotional prison,” secluded from friends and family, dependent on cigarettes and alcohol, it wasn’t until he faced the demons that continued to haunt him that he finally came to the conclusion that he had done all he could that day.
He remains in contact with the current Secret Service and is actively involved in training activities at the Federal Law Training Center.
In April, Hill collaborated with journalist Lisa McCubbin to write “Mrs. Kennedy and Me,” a memoir of the four years he spent with Jacqueline Kennedy. Published in April, the book immediately became a No. 1 New York Times best seller. Hill credits McCubbin with helping him “find a reason to live, not just exist.”
McCubbin is an award-winning journalist who has been a television news anchor and reporter for NBC, ABC and CBS, hosted her own talk radio show and spent more than five years in the Middle East as a freelance writer.
She met Hill while writing the New York Times best seller “The Kennedy Detail: JFK’s Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence” (with Gerald Blaine) in 2009.
She convinced Hill that the information and memories he had buried for nearly 50 years were of historic value and should be documented. McCubbin collaborated closely with Hill for “Mrs. Kennedy and Me.”