Former U.S. Secret Service Agent Clint Hill, who leaped onto the presidential limousine and shielded Jackie Kennedy during John F. Kennedy’s 1963 assassination will speak about his experiences in a free lecture at 7 p.m. on October 13 at the El Dorado Conference Center.
Hill will be the subject of Mrs. Kennedy and Me, part of the South Arkansas Community College Lecture Series. The public is invited to attend. Interviewing Hill will be award-winning journalist Lisa McCubbin, who collaborated with Hill on several books.
Hill, 84, was a Secret Service agent from 1958 to 1975 under Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Ford. He was in the motorcade in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, assigned to protect First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, when the president was assassinated. Hill’s response in shielding Mrs. Kennedy often is credited with saving her life. For his actions that day, Hill received the nation’s highest civilian award for bravery.
He later rose through the ranks of the Secret Service to become assistant director, but Hill lived with feelings of guilt and responsibility for being unable to save President Kennedy, and suffered from what is now known as post-traumatic stress disorder. His depression, he said, forced him into retirement at the age of 43. He said that it took him decades to accept that he had done all that he could do that day.
He points to his collaboration with McCubbin for helping pull him out of those dark periods.
McCubbin has been a TV 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. Her joint presentation with Hill will include Hill’s personal biography, details of his work in the Secret Service including his early years in Kennedy’s detail and his moment-by-moment account of what happened on the day of the assassination, along with rarely seen historical photos and video.
Hill also will take questions from the audience and autograph copies of his and McCubbins’ books, the New York Times No. 1 bestsellers “Mrs. Kennedy and Me,” “Five Days in November” and their most recent “Five Presidents: My Extraordinary Journey With Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Ford.” Copies will be on sale before and after the lecture.