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Malcolm Kilduff, 75; White House Official Announced JFK's Death

March 08, 2003|From Staff and Wire Reports

Malcolm Kilduff, 75, the acting White House spokesman who announced the death of President Kennedy, died Monday in Beattyville, Ky., of an aortic aneurysm.

Kilduff was serving as acting White House spokesman for the first time on a presidential trip when he accompanied Kennedy to Dallas. At a hastily arranged news conference at Parkland Memorial Hospital on Nov. 22, 1963, Kilduff announced: "President Kennedy died at approximately 1 p.m. Central Standard Time, today here in Dallas. He died of a gunshot wound to the brain."

Earlier, Kilduff informed Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson and his wife, Lady Bird, of Kennedy's death. Fearing a widespread plot against top government officials, Johnson ordered Kilduff to withhold the official announcement of Kennedy's death until Johnson was safely aboard Air Force One.

Kilduff was in Dallas with Kennedy because White House spokesman Pierre Salinger was with a group of Cabinet members on their way from Hawaii to Japan.

Kilduff left the White House press office in 1965, and held a number of newspaper jobs, including editor of the Beattyville Enterprise.

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