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Henry Gonzales’s Letter to Jackie Kennedy

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El Paso mailman Henry Gonzales, who was 46 when he wrote to the former first lady, had a fifth-grade education. Born in Mexico, he became an American citizen after fighting in World War II.
Photograph by Johnny Miller

P.O. Box 9652
El Paso, Texas 79986

Dec. 8, 1963

Mrs. J.F. Kennedy
Washington, D.C.

Dear Mrs. Kennedy:

I am but a humble postman and I realize the many letters you have received, which is but deserving to you, throughout this wide world. We at our house have continued to mourn the great loss to all of us, we are my wife and I and our four children, our youngest boy also three as yours. President Kennedy was adored in our house by all of us here and the small glimpse we saw of him in June when he visited here, shall always be remembered. We were still new here in El Paso and we saw the great love people here hath for him. We were both of the same age, I too having been born in 1917, we both were in the South Pacific area during the last war, but I was no hero as for him. We both married in 1953 and my wife is the same age as you are, we were married in Mexico City. We are also Catholics and had four children, two boys and two girls of which God was so good to us. I am not ashamed to say how terrible we all felt at this tragedy and even my five year old girl cried that day.

So our heart goes out to you and your very dear children for always. We will continue to admire your courage in the face of it all and continue to admire the great love president Kennedy had for the world. Please try to find it in your heart that we Texans of Mexican descent had a great love for all of you. We do hope that you will not think all of us Texans were bad, there is bad in every sort of people as you well know.

We will continue to p ray for you and your family in the days and years to come. May God bless all of you.

Yours most sincerely,
Henry Gonzales

P.S. Being a stamp collector, do sincerely hope the new stamp in memory of your husband will do him justice.

Read another letter to the first lady here.

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