He called her Mrs. Kennedy. SHE called him Mr. Hill.
For four years, from the election of John Fitzgerald Kennedy in November 1960 until after the election of Lyndon Johnson in 1964, Clint Hill was the Secret Service agent assigned to guard the glamorous and intensely private Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. During those four years, he went from being a reluctant guardian to a fiercely loyal watchdog and, in many ways, her closest friend.
Now, looking back 50 years, Clint Hill tells his story for the first time, offering a tender, enthralling, and tragic portrayal of how a Secret Service agent who started life in a North Dakota orphanage became the most trusted man in the life of the First Lady who captivated first the nation and then the world.
When he was initially assigned to the new First Lady, Agent Hill envisioned tea parties and gray-haired matrons. But as soon as he met her, he was swept up in the whirlwind of her beauty, her grace, her intelligence, her coy humor, her magnificent composure, and her extraordinary spirit.
From the start, the job was like no other, and Clint was by her side through the early days of JFK's presidency; the birth of sons John and Patrick and Patrick's sudden death; Kennedy-family holidays in Hyannis Port and Palm Beach; Jackie's trips to Europe, Asia, and South America; Jackie's intriguing meetings with men like Aristotle Onassis, Gianni Agnelli, and André Malraux; the dark days of the year that followed the assassination; to the farewell party she threw for Clint when he left her protective detail after four years. All she wanted was the one thing he could not give her: a private life for her and her children.
Filled with unforgettable details, startling revelations, and sparkling, intimate moments, this is the once-in-a-lifetime story of a man doing the most exciting job in the world, with a woman all the world loved, and the tragedy that ended it all too soon - a tragedy that haunted him for 50 years.
©2012 Lisa McCubbin, Clint Hill (P)2012 Simon & Schuster
"With clear and honest prose free of salaciousness and gossip, Hill (ably assisted by McCubbin) evokes not only a personality both beautiful and brilliant, but also a time when the White House was filled with youth and promise. Of the many words written about Jacqueline Kennedy, these are among the best." (Kirkus)
A dedicated professional
Clint Hill gives a first person account of his amazing years with the Kennedy family in the White house. I never really thought about the difficult and dedicated job of the Secret Service. The SS must leave their own family to travel for long periods of time, during holidays, etc. They had to protect the family at all times. Originally disappointed because he was "only" with Mrs. Kennedy and not the president, he came to respect and admire her. His emotional account of the days surrounding the Kennedy assassination is written from a perspective very few can give.
The subtle change of the narrator's voice when he spoke as Mrs. Kennedy was enthralling. You knew each character by his inflections.
He had to live with the rich and famous on $16 a day.
Anyone who has read the many stories and theories around the Kennedy assignation will want to read this account from someone who had an personal relationship with the first-family.
A story from a perspective no other will provide. Mr. Hill was undoubtedly enamoured with Mrs. Kennedy in every way. This job cost Clint in so many ways which exudes through the pages. These men are tirelessly devoted to their career and the individuals they protect... Even to their demise. These are stories of Jackie & her fortitude, her commitment to her family and her humor and wit. If you have any ties to Camelot, memories or otherwise this book adds another layer of those short years of love for for this First Family. Thank you Clint.
I have been studying the Kennedys for years, and this is still one of my favorites. I only wish Clint had read the whole book for us. But having him begin and end it is enough.
This is a beautiful book, full of joy and sorrow. Mr Hill delivers a work of true eloquence through his first hand account of events, some well known and others known to but a few. I loved this book!
This book provided a much clearer and respectful Insight into the lady we all knew as "Jackie". Through the events that Mr. Hill shares with the readers a person can only continue to forever be amazed by her and appreciate the legacy that she and Jack left to the world through Camelot. Mr. Hill is someone who has endured much and sacrificed quite a bit and because of his service he will forever be linked in my mind as the caretaker of the Kennedy Camelot Era. Thank you Mr. Hill for sharing your experiences with us.
This is one of the best books I've read. Clint Hill writes of Mrs. Kennedy with warmth and respect. He lets us know what she was really like and in the process shows his personality as well. I would love to meet him.
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