Clint Hill, the U.S. Secret Service agent who gained fame when on Friday, November 22nd, 1963 he jumped on the back of President John F. Kennedy’s limousine in a futile attempt to save his life in Dallas, announced on Thursday that he will no longer sign autographs.
Hill, who is now 87-years-old, said that for the past 10 years he has made a daily trip to the post office to find that his mail box would contain mostly requests for autographs of items. Hill said that because each person took the time to write to him, he felt an obligation to autograph their items, and he would then repackage the item and mail it back to the requester.
However, according to Hill, it disturbed him when he recently discovered many of these items were posted for sale on the website Ebay, and he realized that his autograph had no historical value to the requester, but instead was for their own financial gain. Hill said this discovery lead him to decide to do no more autographs.
Hill was in his early 30’s during the Kennedy administration and he was assigned to First Lady Jackie Kennedy’s detail. He was on the driver-side running board of the Secret Service follow-up car “Half-Back” when President Kennedy was assassinated in Dealy Plaza. Hill was the only agent who reacted upon hearing reports from Lee Harvey Oswald’s rifle from the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository Building.
KJAS News interviewed Clint Hill in August of 2016 and he shared his story of that dreadful day in Dallas. The audio of that interview is included with this story.
The following is Clint Hill’s full statement on Thursday, June 13th, 2019:
During my recent hospitalization for pneumonia, I had the opportunity to think about my life and the activities I had allowed myself to become a part of in order to please fans. Every day I go to the Post Office and retrieve my mail. It consists mostly of requests for autographs on photos and a variety of other items. I began to realize how much of my time was being allocated to this procedure. Go to the post office; retrieve the mail and transport it back to my residence; open each piece; read the request; autograph the item as requested; repackage the item; transport the package back to the post office; have the postal clerk insure each parcel has adequate postage.
I have been doing this for about 10 years. My reason for responding to each request was that I felt if someone had taken the time to write me, then I owed them the courtesy of a response. But then I'd go on Ebay and see many of the items on sale.
I have decided I will no longer sign photos or any other memorabilia because a majority of people's interest is only in acquiring my autograph and selling it for financial gain. I apologize to those who have a legitimate interest in acquiring autographs for historical reasons. I have no way to determine who is who.
Thank you to all of you who truly have an interest in my role in history. I will continue to autograph the books purchased on my website, as time permits, and I will continue to share things on this page— please know that I do read all your comments and appreciate the many kind words. For each of us, time is precious. I've realized that spending it doing things I enjoy and with those I love should always take priority.
Clint Hill - June 13, 2019