Lee Harvey Oswald

Oswald, Lee Harvey, 1939–63, presumed assassin of John F. Kennedy, b. New Orleans. Oswald spent most of his boyhood in Fort Worth, Tex. Later, he attended a Dallas high school, and enlisted (1956) in the Marines and served until 1959. A Marxist, he went to the Soviet Union in 1959 declaring his intention to renounce his American citizenship. In 1962 he returned to the United States, bringing his Russian wife and young daughter. In succeeding months, Oswald moved around the country, finally coming back to Dallas, where, in Oct., 1963, he obtained a job at the Texas State School Book Depository. From that building apparently shots were fired that took President Kennedy's life on Nov. 22, 1963. Oswald fled the scene. Later that afternoon, a policeman trying to accost him was shot and killed. Oswald was later arrested and charged with both murders. On Nov. 24, while in police hands, Oswald was murdered by a nightclub proprietor, Jack Ruby. In 1964 the Warren Commission held Oswald to be the sole assassin.

See P. J. McMillan's biography, Marina and Lee (1977); N. Mailer's study, Oswald's Tale (1995); P. Savodnik, The Interloper: Lee Harvey Oswald inside the Soviet Union (2013).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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