Clinton J. Hill was a U.S. Secret Service Agent from 1958 – 1975, serving five presidents—Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford. He was in the motorcade in Dallas on November 22, 1963, assigned to protect First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Hill will forever be remembered for his brave and swift actions as he leapt onto the back of the presidential limousine in an effort to protect President and Mrs. Kennedy while shots were being fired. He is credited with saving Mrs. Kennedy’s life.
Clint Hill was born January 4, 1932 and was adopted as an infant by Chris and Jennie Hill who raised him alongside his adopted sister Janice in the small town of Washburn, North Dakota. In 1954, he graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, with a degree in History and Physical Education. He intended to be a history teacher and athletics coach, but was immediately drafted into the United States Army, where he served as a Special Agent in the Army Counter Intelligence Corps.
In 1958, Hill applied and was accepted into the U. S. Secret Service as a Special Agent in the Denver field office. A year later he was assigned to the elite White House Detail protecting President Dwight D. Eisenhower. When John F. Kennedy was elected in 1960, Hill was assigned to First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s detail, and he remained with Mrs. Kennedy, Caroline, and John Jr. for one year after the assassination.
Hill was reassigned to the White House in November 1964 and eventually became the Special Agent in Charge of Presidential Protection during Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration. When Richard M. Nixon became president in 1969, Hill was the Special Agent in Charge of Vice Presidential Protection with V.P. Spiro Agnew. When Hill retired from the Secret Service in 1975, he was the Assistant Director responsible for all protective forces.
Hill’s career and actions have been recognized worldwide. He is a guest speaker at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center and continues to participate with present day Secret Service personnel in discussing protective activities and procedures. In December 2013, the U.S. Secret Service honored him at the James J. Rowley Training Center with a permanent bronze plaque next to a street they named Clint Hill Way.