Ultimate Sacrifice

Skip to content

Book finally clears first black Presidential Secret Service agent

...Abraham Bolden, who was arrested the day he went to Washington to tell Warren Commission staff about attempts to assassinate JFK in Tampa (four days before Dallas) and Chicago (two weeks earlier), as well as serious Secret Service laxity.

News articles at the time of Bolden's arrest in 1964 mentioned the laxity, but not the Chicago or Tampa attempts. Small reports about the Chicago attempt and Bolden briefly surfaced in the press in 1967. But the Tampa attempt on JFK--which Bolden could have revealed to the Warren Commission if not for his arrest--has not been detailed until this book.

The following is short excerpt from Chapter 52 of "Ultimate Sacrifice:" A former Senate investigator wrote that Abraham Bolden "worked his way through college, graduating cum laude from Lincoln University." He worked for Pinkerton for one year, then spent "four years as an Illinois State Trooper" where "his record was so outstanding that he became an Eisenhower appointee to the US Secret Service in" 1959. Bolden worked counterfeiting cases in Chicago, eventually winning "two commendations for cracking counterfeiting rings." In the summer of 1961, John F. Kennedy appointed Bolden the first black agent to work presidential protection as part "of the Secret Service White House detail."

According to Congressional investigators, "Bolden spent only 3 months in" the White House "detail and was evidently shocked at what he saw." Bolden "resented the slurs against blacks" he occasionally heard from some of the white agents, as well as "the separate housing facilities for black agents on southern trips." Bolden "complained to his supervisor ... and to James Rowley, then head of Secret Service, about the general laxity and the heavy drinking among the agents who were assigned to protect the President." But Bolden’s warnings went unheeded, and the straitlaced agent "was transferred back to Chicago." In Chicago, Agent Bolden resumed his focus on counterfeiting cases. But two of the cases would come back to haunt him several months after JFK’s death, and would result in the fact that both the Chicago and Tampa assassination attempts remained secret for years.

(More excerpts and information about Bolden will be added in the coming weeks.)


site copyright © 2008, Counterpoint Press and Lamar Waldron with Thom Hartmann. All rights reserved.