November 10, 1997 in Nation/World

New Book Claims To Expose The ‘Dark Side’ Of Jfk’s Life

Compiled From Wire Services

A new book claiming John F. Kennedy had ties to mobsters, an unquenchable sexual thirst, a tryst with Marilyn Monroe and a one-day marriage to a Palm Beach socialite hits stores today with a tidal wave of publicity and criticism.

In “The Dark Side of Camelot,” author Seymour Hersh claims that much of the mystique about the former president is largely a myth.

“We’ve all had hints that Kennedy was a womanizer, but the risks he took were astonishing,” says Hersh, a former reporter who won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam.

“He was living a public lie as an attentive husband, a hard-working chief executive and a speed reader who spent hours each night poring over bulky government files.”

Details about the book have been dribbling out for weeks. Some excerpts came out in the October issue of Vanity Fair and gossip columnists also have leaked sordid tidbits.

A spokeswoman for Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., dismissed the book.

“From the accounts we’ve been given, this book is fiction,” spokeswoman Kathy McKiernan said. “Sen. Kennedy and his family are very proud of his brother’s record of public service and always will be. We don’t intend to comment any further on this maliciousness and innuendo.”

Claims in the 498-page book include:

As a first-term congressman in 1947, Kennedy secretly married Palm Beach, Fla., socialite Durie Malcolm, although the marriage lasted barely a day. The marriage reportedly was annulled by the Catholic Church.

Kennedy’s father, Joseph P. Kennedy, met with Chicago mobster Sam Giancana in 1960 to strike a deal with mob-run unions to provide money and muscle to deliver the Kennedy vote. John and Robert Kennedy knew about the arrangement.

Kennedy suffered from venereal disease for more than 30 years, and though he was treated with antibiotics, Kennedy was “repeatedly reinfected because of his continual sexual activity.”

Kennedy was aware of plans to carry out political assassinations, including plans to kill Fidel Castro of Cuba and Patrice Lumumba of the Congo.

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