Mrs. Kennedy and Me recounts Clint Hill’s Secret Service assignment to protect Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy from November 1960 until Lyndon Johnson was elected in 1964. Written with dignity and respect, the book describes the challenges and rewards attached to guarding Mrs. Kennedy.
The detail about Mrs. Kennedy’s daily activities and overseas trips is extensive. Photos of her public and private life abound. Mr. Hill and co-author Lisa McCubbin write of her indomitable spirit, her coy humor and her grace. Hill clearly adored the whole Kennedy family and guarded them with diligence. He generously chronicles his time with Mrs. Kennedy. She was an expert equestrian, which forced him to find creative ways to protect her while riding. At one point, she mischievously bummed a cigarette off him while they were in a car out of the public eye. A lover of ballet, she teased him about his reaction to a performance she thought particularly moving.
He describes her beautiful outfits for various state functions. Clothing was an important part of her image. American’s adored her sense of style. She wanted to purchase some outfits while in Italy. Advising her against it, Hill found himself dispatched to women’s boutiques with Mrs. Kennedy’s shopping list.
A Secret Service agent must problem-solve in situations we can’t fathom:
• Determining on the spot whether or not it was safe for Mrs. Kennedy to touch a baby elephant during a trip to India.
• Safely transporting a horse gifted to Mrs. Kennedy by Pakistani President Ayub back to the United States.
• Keeping Presidential moments private while maintaining adequate protection for the family.
Mrs. Kennedy valued her privacy and wanted her children to have a normal life. Much of her time was spent away from the White House. Although this meant Mr. Hill would see his wife and children less, he never complained. It was simply part of the job.