Lee Harvey Oswald

Lee Harvey Oswald
Photo taken in Minsk,
Warren Commission Exhibit 2892
Born(1939-10-18)October 18, 1939
DiedNovember 24, 1963(1963-11-24) (aged 24)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Cause of deathAbdominal gunshot wound from Jack Ruby
Resting placeRose Hill Cemetery
Fort Worth, Texas
32°43′57″N 97°12′12″W / 32°43′57″N 97°12′12″W / Burial site of Lee Harvey Oswald)
Criminal chargeAssassination of President John F. Kennedy and murder of Dallas police officer J. D. Tippit
Lee Harvey Oswald Signature.svg

Lee Harvey Oswald (October 18, 1939 – November 24, 1963) was an American Marxist and former U.S. Marine who assassinated United States President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Oswald was honorably released from active duty in the Marine Corps into the reserve and defected to the Soviet Union in October 1959. He lived in the Belarusian city of Minsk until June 1962, when he returned to the United States with his Russian wife, Marina, and eventually settled in Dallas. Five government investigations[n 1] concluded that Oswald shot and killed Kennedy from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository as the President traveled by motorcade through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas.

About 45 minutes after assassinating Kennedy, Oswald shot and killed Dallas police officer J. D. Tippit on a local street. He then slipped into a movie theater, where he was arrested for Tippit's murder. Oswald was eventually charged with the assassination of Kennedy; he denied the accusations and stated that he was a "patsy."[1][2] Two days later, Oswald was fatally shot by local nightclub owner Jack Ruby on live television in the basement of Dallas Police Headquarters.

In September 1964, the Warren Commission concluded that Oswald acted alone when he assassinated Kennedy by firing three shots from the Texas School Book Depository. This conclusion, though controversial, was supported by previous investigations from the FBI, the Secret Service, and the Dallas Police Department.[3][4] Despite forensic, ballistic, and eyewitness evidence supporting the official findings, public opinion polls have shown that most Americans do not believe the official version of the events.[5] The assassination has spawned numerous conspiracy theories.

Early life


Oswald was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on October 18, 1939, to Robert Edward Lee Oswald, Sr. (1896–1939) and Marguerite Frances Claverie (1907–1981). Robert Oswald was a distant cousin of Confederate general Robert E. Lee and served in the Marines during World War I.[6] Robert died of a heart attack two months before Lee was born.[7] Lee's elder brother Robert, Jr. (1934–2017)[8] was also a former Marine. Through Marguerite's first marriage to Edward John Pic, Jr., Lee and Robert Jr. were the half-brothers of Air Force veteran John Edward Pic (1932–2000).[9]

In 1944, Marguerite moved the family from New Orleans to Dallas, Texas. Oswald entered the first grade in 1945 and over the next half-dozen years attended several different schools in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas through the sixth grade. Oswald took an IQ test in the fourth grade and scored 103; "on achievement tests in [grades 4 to 6], he twice did best in reading and twice did worst in spelling."[10]

As a child, Oswald was described as withdrawn and temperamental by several people who knew him.[11] When Oswald was 12 in August 1952, his mother took him to New York City where they lived for a short time with Oswald's half-brother, John. Oswald and his mother were later asked to leave after an argument in which Oswald allegedly struck his mother and threatened John's wife with a pocket knife.[12][13][14]

Oswald attended seventh grade in the Bronx, New York, but was often truant, which led to a psychiatric assessment at a juvenile reformatory.[15] The reformatory psychiatrist, Dr. Renatus Hartogs, described Oswald as immersed in a "vivid fantasy life, turning around the topics of omnipotence and power, through which [Oswald] tries to compensate for his present shortcomings and frustrations". Dr. Hartogs detected a "personality pattern disturbance with schizoid features and passive-aggressive tendencies" and recommended continued treatment.[16]

In January 1954, Marguerite returned to New Orleans and took Lee with her.[17] At the time, there was a question pending before a New York judge as to whether Oswald should be removed from the care of his mother to finish his schooling,[18] although Oswald's behavior appeared to improve during his last months in New York.[19][20]

Oswald completed the eighth and ninth grades in New Orleans. He entered the 10th grade in 1955 but quit school after one month.[21] After leaving school, Oswald worked for several months as an office clerk and messenger in New Orleans. In July 1956, Oswald's mother moved the family to Fort Worth, Texas, and Oswald re-enrolled in the 10th grade for the September session at Arlington Heights High School in Fort Worth. A few weeks later in October, Oswald quit school at age 17 to join the Marines (see below);[22] he never earned a high school diploma. By this point, he had resided at 22 locations and attended 12 schools.[n 2]

Though Oswald had trouble spelling in his youth[10] and may have had a "reading-spelling disability",[23] he read voraciously. By age 15, he considered himself a Marxist according to his diary: "I was looking for a key to my environment, and then I discovered socialist literature. I had to dig for my books in the back dusty shelves of libraries." At 16 he wrote to the Socialist Party of America for information on their Young People's Socialist League, saying he had been studying socialist principles for "well over fifteen months".[24] However, Edward Voebel, "whom the Warren Commission had established was Oswald's closest friend during his teenage years in New Orleans ... said that reports that Oswald was already 'studying Communism' were a 'lot of baloney.' " Voebel said that "Oswald commonly read 'paperback trash.'"[25][26][27]

As a teenager in 1955, Oswald attended Civil Air Patrol meetings in New Orleans. Fellow cadets recalled him attending C.A.P. meetings "three or four" times, or "10 or 12 times" over a one- or two-month period.[28][29][30]

Other Languages
azərbaycanca: Li Harvi Osvald
беларуская: Лі Харві Освальд
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Лі Гарві Освальд
Bikol Central: Lee Harvey Oswald
български: Лий Харви Осуалд
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македонски: Ли Харви Освалд
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српски / srpski: Ли Харви Освалд
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Lee Harvey Oswald
українська: Лі Гарві Освальд
Tiếng Việt: Lee Harvey Oswald