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Robert L. Wood’s Letter to Jackie Kennedy

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Robert L. Wood was 38 years old and living in Dallas when he penned a letter to the former first lady.
Photograph by John Kennedy

November 22, 1963

Mrs. John F. Kennedy
WHITE HOUSE
Washington, D.C.

My dear Mrs. Kennedy:

I have never before written to a Congressman, President or any type of Statesman. In fact, in my thirty some years of living I have never DONE MUCH OF ANYTHING, except vote, toward being an American or making this Country a better place in which to live.

Today, however, my heart is SO HEAVY I feel I must express myself to you. I feel I must tell you how VERY ASHAMED I am to be living in this city. Dallas – a city of cultural background – a city of colleges, schools and supposedly intelligent people. God would that I could move from this place this hour.

I happened to be downtown this noon, and took the time from my work to stand on the street to take a look at a man and woman that I have LOVED for 3 years. I am SO GLAD now that I did, for never in my life have I admired and respected a man more than I did (and do) JOHN F. KENNEDY. In my opinion, he was the most outstanding individual that this Country has been able to produce in hundreds of years.

All of this means nothing to you now, I am sure of that, but my dear lady – I was so moved to tell you that there are of us in this terrible city of ours who LOVED your husband very much. We have cried (literally) bitter tears over this day. May God forgive those who brought this shame to our city – to our Country.

I would like to extend to you, Mr. Kennedy’s family, your family the most sincere and heart-felt sorrow that is felt by me, my Mother, and many thousands of others in this hour. I only wish it were possible for a humble, small person such as I to bring this message of sympathy to you in person. Of course this is not possible, but I pray that my letter DOES reach you personally.

Most Sincerely Yours,

Robert L. Wood
1606 Mapleton Dr.
Dallas, Texas 75228

Read another letter for the first lady here. 

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