Judith Exner: Mistress to President John F. Kennedy

Everyone from Frank Sinatra down has said that Judith Campbell Exner was a fabulously beautiful woman when she was well known by the FBI to be the mistress of President John F. Kennedy.

It was Sinatra who first introduced Exner to JFK in 1960. Although JFK is now thought of as having had many mistresses, Exner was undoubtedly his main squeeze. No serious biography of JFK since 1977 has failed to mention Exner.
Judith Campbell Exner

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover had Exner tailed, not for any valid law enforcement purpose, but rather to be able to blackmail JFK, just as Hoover had blackmailed every previous President, going back to Warren G. Harding, the president who had first appointed Hoover.

Judith Campbell Exner was a friend of Mafia Don Sam Giancana and was one of the president's lovers. In August 1962, while the FBI watched her apartment, agents observed a break-in into her apartment by two brothers whose getaway car had been rented by their father, the chief of security at General Dynamics. Three months later, the defense contractor, thought to be the second choice to build an experimental jet fighter, won the huge contract.

Exner has been treated unfairly by history. She never sought to capitalize off the fact that she was JFK's mistress. She kept this hidden for years. Jackie knew about her, of course. Once, when Jackie found a woman's pink panties in her pillow case, she turned to JFK in bed and said, "Would you find out who these belong to, because they are not my size?"

Although JFK was assassinated in 1963, it was not until 1975 that the identity of Exner was revealed. This happened when the Church Committee investigated the link which Exner formed between JFK and Sinatra's friends, including Mafia don Sam Giancana.

The Church Committee did not reveal Exner's name, but the Republicans leaked it to the press, and JFK's until then pristine pure reputation was irrevocably shattered.
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With her identity unmasked anyway, Exner wrote a book about this. "Judith Exner: My Story" was published by Grove Press in 1977 and became a best seller. I just searched all the new and used book stores for it. I was unable to find a copy. The book sellers said that they had not seen one in years.

I have never seen a good word written about Exner. Her name often appears in the press, but only because somebody is attacking her. For what, I wonder. What wrong has this woman done, besides sleeping with the President?

Sam Sloan

UPDATE: Judith Campbell Exner has died.

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